But in the past few days I’ve seen two posts on Facebook that really made me think again. The first was an excerpt from last Sunday’s message by my pastor, Bishop Joseph Garlington. I encourage you to take the 7 minutes to watch the video – it’s definitely worth your time.
Later I read a comment from Pastor Bryan Loritts at the Kainos Conference this week, ”The multi-ethnic church needs to become the norm. What if Darren Wilson and Michael Brown had belonged to the same church?”
I couldn’t agree more.
The issues being fanned into flames by the mainstream media, as well as the protests and the marches and the focus on #BlackLivesMatter are band-aids at best and misguided at worst. The real issue is the sin of racism, and the resulting fear that causes white cops to overreact and blacks to distrust authority.
What I’d like to help people see is that NONE of this is new; racism was the reality of the world into which Jesus came almost 2,000 years ago – and it was one focus of His death on the Cross, to make one NEW race – HIS Church!
When we are truly born-again, our primary identity is no longer the color of our skin, but the Lord of our life, and HE came to make us One! (see Eph. 2:14-16)
I agree with Pastor Bryan Loritts: we need more multi-ethnic churches! But I also know that just because you attend a church that has people of different races and cultures doesn’t solve the problem by itself - it’s time for us to truly come together as one. Maybe the Christmas holiday would be a good time to put it into practice: when did you last invite someone of a different culture into your home for a meal? When was the last time you truly got to know someone who didn’t look like you? As we get to know each other, our fear leaves and we learn compassion and appreciation and love. As someone else said recently, “proximity encourages empathy”.
Yes, #BlackLivesMatter. So do red and yellow and white – for we are all precious in His sight. We need more multi-ethnic churches to spread this message.