On racism and Christianity

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Sigh.

  

It pains me to write this. However 2017 has revealed to me in a crystal clear way that despite claims of progress, despite allegedly living in a “post-racial” society, despite Jesus’ injunctions to “love your neighbour” “love your enemies” “esteem others better than yourselves”; despite all of this, racism is still something which lives and thrives in the hearts of many Christians.

 

I don’t know why I’m surprised, it’s not like the bible didn’t warn us. We’re told that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” and that “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?”. Jesus himself asked the very poignant question, “When the son of man returns, will He find faith on the earth?” and in Matthew 24 when talking about signs of the end times, He said that “the love of many will wax cold”. It shouldn’t be a surprise and yet it is still shocking and hurtful and painful that people who take God’s name and claim to represent Him on earth look down at other races as being inferior to themselves.

 

The thing is a lot of these people may not even have fully accepted or realised how racist they are,  but it comes out in various ways. They will show it with their feet: by choosing to flee from their churches or cities or communities when there they start to become multicultural. Or by their callous lack of empathy to the plight of innocent people being killed by State representatives (Police) in the USA and instead finding excuses and justifications for their deaths, or using the diversion of “black on black crime” to avoid the issue. Or they might show it by choosing to belittle black women or men when they point out the obvious racism they have faced or experienced. They might show it when they claim that talking about the injustices these people are experiencing is the cause of the racial tension and if only black people would shut up about racism, it would all go away. Rather than lifting their fingers to fight against injustice they’d rather close their eyes, ears and hearts to the sufferings of others.

 

Frankly, I’m done with it all. I shall no longer engage with the Christian racist trolls on these issues. People who foolishly ignore reason and parrot insensitive lies. Solomon is popularly known as being the wisest man ever and he dropped some gems of wisdom which are pertinent. 

 

Proverbs 23:9 Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of your words.

Proverbs 26:4-5 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

Ecclestiasties 11:9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes: but know you, that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. 

 

The scripture in Ecclestiaces is especially pertinent. The bible essentially says as a human being with agency, you are completely free to do whatever you want but remember God will bring it into judgement.  

 

The great singer and songwriter Babbie Mason wrote this song which perfectly captures my feelings on this topic. It’s called “Black and Blue” and is worth listening to. You can get it on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and all other major outlets but it is the perfect song to convey my feelings on this subject. It says: 

 

Black and Blue
I'm taught to be proud,
Still I'm not allowed
To speak and know I'm being heard.
It seems rather strange
Some things never change;
Some lessons they never get learned.

I've come a long ways
Since back in the days
In Dixie, when cotton was king.
The heartache remains
From the storms I've been through
And right now I'm black and blue.

I stayed on my knees
I cried and I grieved
It's hard to forgive and forget.
But memories don't die
And I'm still asking why
Would people treat people like that.

God looks at my skin
I'm lovely to Him;
He made me and said it was good.
But people still judge,
It's so sad but it's true;
God knows why I'm black and blue.

I've nothing to gain by shifting the blame
I'm saying, at last, let the past be the past;
While there is strength in my bones,
I will still journey on.
But I'm not naive, I still do believe that
The last will be first, the servant be served
We're all bound to reap what we sow.
When love finally wins,
Someday hatred will lose
'Till then I'll be black and blue.

One day love will win,
Someday hatred will lose;
Then I still will be black,
But I'll no longer be blue.

 

The play on words of “black and blue” is brilliant because on one hand it’s talking about being black and sad (blue) but on the other hand it’s also referencing racism and black people being beaten till they were “black and blue”. It’s a journey from the past till present and most importantly, to the glorious future promised. For me that is ultimately it! I truly believe that one day love WILL win and hatred will lose and then I won’t be blue anymore. The Bible is clear that God will bring every work into judgment and so people will reap what they’ve sown and so that is my consolation. If you’re harbouring racism or hatred in your heart, surrender it to Jesus and let Him change you and put His love there instead so that you can treat others with love and esteem them like Christ commands.