Monday, June 1, 2020

Race and Christianity

Remembering George Floyd: Devoted father, 'gentle giant' | USA ...

First of all, please know this is a very strange blog for me to write.  I'm afraid that even in the writing of it I may be offending some.  If that's the case, please accept my apologies. But I'm more afraid of being a coward and not addressing a topic I feel needs to be addressed. Ephesians 4:15 implores us to  "Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ."

The George Floyd tragedy and the COVID death disparity are the two most recent examples that the world Africa-Americans and other people of color live in and the world whites live in are very different.  James 2:1-9 is about the forbidding of favoritism and it seems to me that racism is an ugly form of favoritism.

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 

Things to think about:
  • Speaking the truth in love - Love without truth is mush.  Truth without love is harsh.
  • I believe God is the Artist who loves color would have us celebrate the variety in His creation. I don't believe in color blindness because that tries to ignore the beauty of the quilt God has made.  I am richer when I embrace others from different backgrounds who don't necessarily look or sound like me.
    • Why should you see color?
  • Full transparency about the current climate (How do you really feel about it?)
  • What you (don’t/want) to understand about race, police violence, etc.? What is the lingering question you’ve always wanted to ask?
  • Advocating in your respective circles for your brothers (When topics of race surface do you stand in the gap, tend to agree or remain silent?)
  • What can we as a group do to help? Heal? Change for the better? 
Isaiah 59: 1-9
So Justice is driven back,
    and Righteousness stands at a distance;
Truth has stumbled in the streets,
    Honesty cannot enter.
Truth is nowhere to be found,
    and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.
The Lord looked and was displeased
    that there was no Justice.
 He saw that there was no one,
    he was appalled that there was no one to intervene;

so His own arm achieved Salvation for him,
    and His own Righteousness sustained him.


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