One of the benefits of being out of the loop is that you are out of the loop. So, in a week of turmoil and tragedy, ignorance was truly bliss. The majority of my week was centered around the activity of flying into Salt Lake City and driving my parents and sister home. (This was due to the fact that my father suffered a stroke while on vacation) After a day of driving I would lay alone on top of the covers of the bed in my motel room and read. Never once turned on the television, and I must say that it was a relief being free from the news cycle that is never good news. The journey ended…and now I must reconnect to a world that is not my home. I must now make sense of a world that is full of nonsense. I must now be light in a world that loves the darkness. Make no mistake—the news from this week, the violence—the protests—the shooting of police in Dallas, this is pure darkness and evil.
I have a few musings as I reengage with the real world. Firstly, the world is populated with a species called Homo Sapiens. This species is made up of different races that are visually identified by a variety of colors. Most people would define me as being “white,” but, I am actually light brown. The question that needs to be answered is simple: Does race matter? Does the color of one’s skin distinguish and set them apart from others with a different skin color?
If one is to believe that race matters…really matters: it is a short journey down a road that leads to racism. Racism is defined as “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.” As a Believer in Christ I believe that we cannot afford to become racists. It is contrary to the idea that we as Believers are of equal standing before God. Paul beautifully expresses this in Galatians 3:26-28 (NKJV) For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
I have “put on Christ.” He is the covering that I wear. Christ is that which defines me. Not my gender, not my nationality, not my social-economic standing, not my I.Q., and certainly not my race.The challenge that faces America is the difficulty of defeating racism without the love that comes from our faith in Christ. Love is the virtue at the core of defeating prejudice. Love causes us to treat people with grace, mercy and compassion. As Believers in Christ, love must be our response to a world that is spinning out of control.
“Do black lives matter?” Of course black lives matter. Does justice matter? Of course justice matters. However; in the fight for social justice, racism is not defeated by more racism. Violence is not defeated by more violence. The fires of hatred are not extinguished by more hatred. Love---specifically, God’s love is the answer. There is a near and present danger to Believers in Christ; and that is the danger created when we watch the news and begin to form opinions and emotions that are not of Christ and His Kingdom. We must not let our souls become tainted by the darkness. We must keep in mind that this world is not our home…I repeat, this world is not our home; and the weapons of our warfare are not carnal. So, let each of us shine the light of Jesus in the darkness and walk in love.
Author's Note: I believe that the law of sowing and reaping is a fact. Therefore, racism always leads to more racism. Hatred always leads to more hatred. Prejudice always leads to more prejudice. Hitler's Germany was a country that exchanged the love of God for a prejudice that led to the death of millions of Jews. It was an unreasonable prejudice based on race and religion. An epic tragedy in a country with a Christian heritage that allowed darkness to overshadow the light. How should we then live--in a country that is turning away from God? Live and celebrate the fruit of the Spirit. Practice love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against the practice of these things! RJD