“Rescue those being lead away to death, hold back those staggering towards slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing of this,’ does he who weighs the heart not perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he as done.” Proverbs 24: 11,12
“The only thing worse than hate is indifference.”
Every time I here the song Pride or think about the lyrics, my eyes well up in tears. Martin Luther King Jr. said he wouldn’t make it to 40, and he didn’t. He died at just 39 years old. I think of other people, not all Christians, but many of them professing Christians who were willing to live and to die for what they knew to be right, despite their fellow believer’s criticisms. A prophet is seldom appreciated by the status quo, which often includes popular church culture.
Most middle-class white evangelical Christians think that racism is over. I don’t fault all of them. They haven’t been taught. But we fail to realize there is something called institutional or systemic racism. When we’re confonted with it, we say, “Oh no, I am not a racist, I like black people, I have no problems with minorities.” But when push comes to shove, those in power, do not want to relinquish power to those they’ve oppressed for centuries. Forget about relinquishing, we don’t want to share power with anyone. How many blacks, minorities, or women for that matter, are afforded the opportunities to rise to the highest places in Christian organizations or even universities? Very few. And it’s not because they’re incapable, it’s because real barriers exist.
I am not saying anything new. Plenty have said this before me. I am just one more voice in a chorus whose voices are growing louder. Tony Perkins, Brenda Salter-McNeill, Ed Gilbreathe, and others who have been calling for reconciliation in evangelical circles have been saying this for years.
We have to defend the rights of the unborn, but we must do our very best, to also knock down the walls of seperation, the walls of power that oppress. And we can do this in the name of Jesus.
But let each one of us be one more in the name of love. It will require sacrifice brothers and sisters, maybe even our lives if we are to follow Jesus and follow Jesus in this way. Reconciliation is part of the gospel.