Dear White American Christian friends,
Now that you know my story, I need to be honest with you. We have major work to do. Some of us are entering the conversation way too late in the game. Sure, we might have lived through the police brutality against Rodney King and the racial tension associated with the OJ trial. But, maybe we didn’t feel the weight of it. Maybe we didn’t understand the whole story or see the big picture. As a detail-focused gal, I get it.
But, if you haven’t started looking deeper into the state of racial division and injustice in our country and church, do it now. You can’t ignore it. It’s all over your Facebook feed and all over the news (if you know me personally and haven’t unfollowed me on Facebook, you’ve seen plenty about this from me).
This is not a left-wing or right-wing issue. This is a kingdom issue. This is a family issue. Our brothers and sisters in Christ who are people of color are hurting because of racism, both from individuals and from our broken system. It’s time to start listening.
Start listening to our Black, Latino, Asian, and Native American brothers and sisters. White voices are important too, but, as a whole, we have been heard. We can’t get our entire education on race from Freedom Writers and The Help.
Spend time getting to know our nation’s history from a perspective other than those of White males. Don’t worry if you slept through history class. A lot of us are on an even playing field because this history hasn’t been taught well. We need historical context to truly understand what’s happening.
While you’re at it, learn about our God under the teaching of people who look different from you. Just to start you off, look into Soong-Chan Rah and Thabiti Anyabwile. Please don’t make the mistake of just learning about race and culture from them. Dig deeper and listen longer, and you will see the glory of God from a new perspective.
The racial divisions in the church go deep, but there are pockets of believers who are fighting hard for awareness, for justice, and for unity. As much as we need to listen, it’s also time for us to speak. Stand up for our fellow Christians and fellow humans who were made in God’s image.
Speaking up against racism can be exhausting, and we need to do whatever we can to help bear these burdens. I’ve seen God working in some of you on this issue. As you learn and listen with compassion and empathy, I pray God will use you to start softening hearts.
Sadly, there are some white Christians who may listen to you, but not listen to our brothers and sisters of other races. Please use your voice.
Soli Deo Gloria,