Last night there was a massacre of police officers in Dallas, Texas. This tragedy was in response to the killing of two black men by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota. It was fueled by anger and much hate. The complete and full details of these shootings are not yet known. Regardless of the circumstances, I am heartbroken over the loss of all human life. The videos that recorded the shootings of the two black men are horrific. The eleven officers who were shot by a sniper is also horrific. However, It doesn’t matter what the details are…what matters most are that people died. This is not the way things should be.
I am not a Black American and can’t even pretend to know what everyday life is for them. I know some are quick to dismiss that racism actually still exists in this country. There is indeed racial injustice in our country. This injustice exists on many different levels. There are many people who are mistreated and abused simply for the color of their skin or cultural heritage. Racial injustice does exist and to deny that truth only amplifies the situation to dangerous levels. I am a White American with a Cuban heritage. I’ll never forget a sign that I saw when i was a child. I didn’t really know what it meant, but knew that it upset my father a great deal. My father legally immigrated to this country to escape the Castro regime when he was a teenager with my grandparents. The sign that I saw displayed in a window said, “Will the last American to leave Miami please bring our flag?” My father didn’t say a word, but I could tell by the look on his face as he got back in the car that he was upset. I have been very fortunate to have never felt oppressed or victimized by my race. However, I can’t deny that there are people who deal with things that I can’t even begin to comprehend. What I can’t comprehend is the actions that some take to take justice in their hands. Justice for some means that you loot and burn your town or kill as many white cops as possible.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines racism as:
“a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”
Racism happens when we attempt to define another person based on our fears. This is wrong. It is wrong because these fears are based on false assumptions. It is not right to define some or all persons of a particular race based on the actions of a few. This is what happened yesterday. The police officers who died yesterday were killed because they were white and were police officers. They were executed because of the actions of other police officers. It is not right to define every police officer by the negligence of a few “bad” ones. Nor is it right to assume that because a man is black and admits to having a gun that he will kill you. Again, I wasn’t there. I don’t have all the details of what was or what was not going through their minds. People died and that’s all that matters. This needs to stop.
I have witnessed many “pro-life” people express racist sentiments at one time or another. Let’s be clear that you cannot be pro-life and racist at the same time. These two ideologies are in opposition to one another. Being pro-life has much more to do than saving babies from abortion. A pro-life worldview has it’s foundation in a God who created all people with equal worth and dignity. If you are harboring feelings of superiority or entitlement because of the color of your skin – you are the problem. If you call yourself a Christian and have racist beliefs – you are the problem.
So what must the church do? The Church must stand against all forms of racism and injustice. This is not just a black issue or a white
issue or a police issue. This is a human issue. Racism is as ugly as sin because it is sin. Racism violates and degrades the most basic fundamental rights of an individual. It fosters a lie of superiority and fear and this is not of God. I could keep going on why racism is wrong, but let me just share three short and simple reasons from Scripture. Racism is detrimental to human existence and needs to be extinguished. Christian, this is not a time to take sides. This is a time to weep, pray, and repent. What matters most in the fight against injustice and racism are gospel lives. This is what the world needs from us now. They need to see the truth of the gospel when we stand up for what is right and denounce what is wrong. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” What I believe matters most are the lives of all men and women. Justice must prevail. The gospel compels us to take action for all people.
1. Racism denies the dignity of human life
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27
“He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth…” – Acts 17:26
We are all made in the image of God. Every single person bears in their soul a God given value. When we demean a people based on fears and ideologies we are demeaning the value that God has given them. Racism also denies that we are all the same. God made from “one man every nation of mankind.” To be racist is to deny the humanness of people who come from where you come from.
2. Racism denies our human responsibility to love
“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” – James 2:8-9
James repeats the second greatest commandment “love your neighbor as yourself.” To show partiality (in context this was about how someone treats the rich and poor) is a sin. To show partiality is to treat people differently than the value and worth they possess.
3. Racism denies the power of the gospel.
“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” – Romans 10:12-13
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands” – Revelation 7:9
The Bible is clear that God is saving a people from all tribes, tongues and nations. If you are only expecting the people of your “kind” to be present…you are in for a rude awakening. God is not a racist. The gospel is the only answer for racism. Ultimately the church needs to stand against injustice when it is found, and also promote the equality and dignity of all human life.