1. Racism is Real
I am not saying that you are racist. Nor am I saying that all of our crises are racially motivated. Nor are all of country’s problems tied to racism. But racism is real. The recent controversies make this fact abundantly clear. Our black brothers and sisters and neighbors feel that the system is stacked against them. Throughout the history of our country, they have been attacked and belittled because of the color of their skin. And those feelings have been touched off over the last year or so.
If we pretend otherwise, we are closing our eyes to needs of our neighbors. We must recognize the pain many in the black community feel. We must admit there is racism in our towns, neighborhoods, and churches. We must confront it when we see it. And we must repent of it when we practice it. We cannot meaningfully speak into our culture until we have removed the log out of our own eyes (Matt 7:5).
2. Sin in the Ultimate Problem
The U.S. is coming unglued because of sin. As I John 3:4 makes clear sin is lawlessness. When we sin and when we live for self and for our wants, disorder and chaos always follows. As James 3:16 says,
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
Innocent people have been murdered because people are controlled by sin. If we want peace, we must address the sin in our hearts and the sin in our culture.
3. Evil Has Consequences
The controversy of late have involved some very sinful men and women. Now, one person’s sin in no way justifies another person’s sinful actions. As I Thess. 5:15 clearly says, “See that no one pays back evil for evil.” But the scriptures also don’t excuse sinful choices (Gal. 6:7). If we are driven by hatred, we will can expect to be destroyed by evil. Proverbs 26:27 says,
Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone it will come back on him.
4. Only Jesus Saves
Because racism is ultimately a sin problem, there is only one solution. And it’s not a nationalized police force or body cameras. It’s the gospel. The gospel saves. Through the gospel men and women get the power to love their enemies and to bless those that curse them. Through the gospel men and women can stop viewing their race as superior and can begin treating other races with love. Only the gospel can save and bring peace. As Christians, we need to be quick to preach the gospel with our words and actions. We need to love those who are different from us by practically meeting their needs. And we need to tell them about Jesus. Only through the advancement of the kingdom of God can racism be ended.
5. Parents Have To Step Up
One thing I have noticed over the years is that kids are not inherently racist. If put together a whole a bunch of black, white, and Asian preschoolers into a room, you don’t get race riots.
To some degree kids have to be taught by adults to think that their race is superior. Admittedly, little kids are sinners and are ready to embrace sinful ideas. Parents can model the gospel and still have racist kids. But most kids adopt racist ideas because their parents practice them.
If we want gospel change to happen in our culture, we have to live it out in our families. We have to apply Colossians 4:11 to our homes:
Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
We have to stop using racist language and criticizing minorities as if the color of one’s skin determines their actions. We need to be open to having friends that look different from us. We need to encourage our kids to make godly friends, caring nothing about their friend’s skin color. We need to start modeling the gospel. I.e, we as parents have to view all people as being created in God’s image.