Another week, another tragedy reflecting the incredibly egregious and disrespectful race relations in our country.
No need for specifics, because sadly, by the time you read this, we’ll be embroiled in yet another.
The general details are usually the same: a person of color brutally/fatally/irreversibly violated by a non-color “authority” figure. The nightly news, Twitter, and Facebook outrage ensue. A song or two, a march or two, outrage subsides, and we’re back to debating which rapper is hottest and who’s the GOAT in athletics.
We pick at and complain about the fruit, and a lot of times rightfully so, but we rarely, if ever, address the root.
Please understand: I COMPLETELY understand the hurt, frustration, disappointment, and indignation that arises in the aftermath of events that completely devalue human life. I get it. What disappears, though, from the Christian perspective in these moments, from too many of us is the Christian perspective.
In these instances, we get angry, we lash out, we ask other colors of Christianity to not look biblically but physically at a plight we feel like we’ve cornered the market on, and we make a sovereign GOD look weak and anemic. We rely on our angst and itchy Twitter fingers to stoke the flames of our so-called cries for “justice”. In these moments, we reveal what we feel about prayer and GOD’s ability to move on behalf of situations like these…like HE’s not grieved by or doesn’t see or feel when these things go on.
Not once, but twice, GOD makes it clear that once we are Christians, color isn’t the first thing, nor the main thing, that defines us. For the Kingdom Citizen, this means a few things:
The Christian response to racial atrocities can not mimick or mirror the world’s. When we, the set-apart people to whom the ear of GOD is attuned, choose to respond to heinous offenses in the flesh instead of the SPIRIT, we place the omnipotence of GOD on pause in favor of our feelings. Last time I checked, natural anger never lastingly changed anything…or anyone. On the contrary: it opens doors, spiritually, to an ever-lurking thief who’s looking for opportunities to do his job (John 10:10a).
Asking someone to see my color, FIRST, means that I’m asking them to ignore what The Bible says. It’s unfair and unChristlike to refuse to allow someone to view my personage in favor of paying attention to my ethnicity, instead. Dead wrong. What identified me in the world no longer speaks louder than my Christianity (at least it’s not supposed to). So the question becomes, what’s more important: me being Black or me being Saved?
Someone saying they don’t see color, they only see people, is not an automatic slap in the face or disrespect to GOD. If the motive behind that message is right, it simply means that individual has determined to and accomplished what GOD desires of us: to love not based on a color, a gender, a denomination, a background, an upbringing, an age, a class, a bank account, or a lineage, but to love just because. That’s agape. That’s GOD. No strings.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort. If to you, prayer is not enough, you’re not doing right (James 5:13-18).
It’s unfortunate that our rage against sin happens primarily when it comes to one race taking the life of another.
First off, this is sin we’re looking at and dealing with, so while protests and speeches are constitutional, and in some instances helpful and unifying, we’re simply placing Band-Aids on open wounds and, as stated earlier, poking at fruit rather than addressing the root. Spiritual issues have to be addressed spiritually (Eph.6:10-18). It’s disappointing that we’re not as upset at homosexual marriage, profanity, secular music, poverty, homelessness, blasphemy, lying, adultery, fornication, witchcraft, religious spirits; you know, things that grieve GOD on a daily basis. It’s an immature stance to say or act as though out of all the sin in the earth, this is the one thing that will cause me to retire my civility and resign my Kingdom Citizenship for a taste of revenge in a moment of weakness.
Don’t get me wrong; it hurts.
If you love GOD and love people right, it’s supposed to. If you care anything about life, it’s supposed to.
Destruction (whether it’s in conversation, disposition, or deeds) for destruction, though, is not a GODly response to unGODliness; it’s ultimately sowing to the flesh, which guarantees a harvest we’re ill-prepared to receive (Gal.6:8).
I love people, so seeing a world in chaos breaks my heart. But, more importantly, I love GOD. What breaks HIS heart takes priority. We’ve got to address all of it the same because facts are, sin knows no color.
If we, as The Church, the Saints of GOD, are content to allow this to simply be an issue of race, then we’re no better than the rest of the world in combatting these ills, which is truly unfortunate because, as The Church, we’re the only ones who can really do something about it.
Prayers up for the family of George Floyd and the too many others over the years and around the globe. Even so, come LORD JESUS.