“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” – Romans 12:14
The weight of sin and the brokenness of this world have been on saddening display in our country these past few days. On Saturday, August 12th the sickness of our world came to bear in the form of white supremacist groups descending in protest in our neighboring city of Charlottesville, VA. Unfortunately, racism is not dead in 2017 in the United States of America.
Many in our country are grieving, fearful, and lamenting this outpouring of organized, public hatred of themselves, their families, friends, and neighbors. Many of our brothers and sisters in Christ from minority families are mourning. They are mourning because of the great load of hatred and violence, both subtle and direct, that has been aimed their way for hundreds of years in this country. And those of us who follow Jesus as majority-culture families, white brothers and sisters, we should mourn with them.
Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with those who weep.” The inherent dignity of every human life is under attack. That which Creator God has called, “Very good” is being spat upon and defiled by broken, confused, and bewitched men and women who have no sense of gospel-grace in our nation. And we, all those who follow Jesus, should lament with our minority brothers and sisters who have endured the weight of being considered “less than” for centuries in our own country.
If love is genuine among followers of Christ, then we should listen to those who grieve, and understand their outcry so that we can grieve with them. Where there is no grief, none at all for those who are marginalized, we should ask, then: is there love?
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.” -Isaiah 5:20
As a church family, Gospel Community Church, soon to be Gospel Community Church Rivermont, we have to name that which is evil, and denounce it as such. And white supremacy and every form of racism is an affront to God’s good design and a violence to the Image of God in every human being, regardless of ethnicity, gender, skin color, and so on. Therefore, white supremacy is evil, and the wrath and judgment of Almighty God are aimed at those who espouse such beliefs without repentance.
GCC family, we must do at least these 3 three things:
- We must not hesitate to name this evil.
- We must learn to understand those around us who grieve these sort of personal attacks on their own identity. We must be in relationships with a diverse cross-section of people in our churches and in our neighborhoods. Minority/Majority cultures eating together, worshipping together, and listening to one another is the context for genuine gospel-transformation and healing in this space of racial brokenness.
- We must not think that any person or group of people alone can push back this darkness. We must believe that we are dealing with evil that is impossible for us to banish on our own, but that Jesus has already done the impossible for us. King Jesus has already conquered evil, death, and sin through his death and resurrection! So, Church, we must pray. We must pray together and alone. With our friends and families. We must pray often.
By the grace of God, we have come a long way since slave ships, plantations run by slaves, and segregation. Praise Christ! But we must realize, there is still a journey toward justice and reconciliation, especially among those in the Body of Christ. We cannot let racism, in any form, fester in the hearts of those who claim to follow Christ.
By the grace of God, let us move forward and do all that we can to, “stand in the evil day” (Ephesians 6:13).