Two dear friends in the last 12 hours have told us that the white church is being deafeningly silent. I don’t own a stain glass building, and brand new to Mississippi in the middle of Covid-19, I don’t even have a church yet.
But I AM the church, and the color of my skin is white. I AM the church, and if I am deeply hurting from long-standing broken racial injustice, if our brothers and sisters are hurting from silence, if my prayers have been deep and constant, let me pray them out loud for a minute.
Coming from a non-social media culture the last many years, we must be keenly aware that speaking up on FB, taking a stand on InstaGram, sharing truth on Twitter PALES in impact to speaking up around your dining room table. Sharing truth on our pages PALES in comparison to doing the genuine, sacrificial, painful, messy relational work needed for true change.
If change begins at HOME—and it DOES—then let’s get some people into our homes…not just our Facebook feeds. If at the root this sin issue is a HEART issue, NOT a political issue—and it IS—then let’s invite God to do the heart work; let’s be urgently praying for soft hearts for our countries, let’s be His vessels as we speak His truth in love, that hearts might hear.
If in some way I have been unclear or silent, I HATE WHAT GOD HATES. And God hates (Proverbs 6:16) haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
“Brothers and sisters” is not a term of endearment for us.
It’s our theology
We constantly repeat “our brothers and sisters” to our children because it’s our continual recognition of Biblical family TRUTH. God is our Father and Creator, and He made every person on planet earth in His image. We look like our Father, not the other way around.
Every person we encounter looks like and comes from our Father, therefore is our brother and sister—and to suffer prejudice, racial or otherwise—is haughty and lying. To hate one another or wish less for one another IS to shed innocent blood. To have hearts that seek bad for others, instead of His good, is a heart devising wicked plans. To run to evil IS to diminish the image of God in another. To breath lies against His Truth—we are all made in His image and precious to Him, worth dying for—is a false testimony, which God hates.
To sow discord among brothers is HATED by God. To sow seeds (which WILL grow) of pride and selfishness that one is superior to another (due to race, record, money, background, nationality, education, culture, religion, whatever!) IS discord. God hates discord because it violates the unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17, that we ALL be ONE, just as Jesus is one with the Father.
As we HATE sin and the brokenness and separation it always leads to, alongside of a mighty God’s holy hatred, may we not be poisoned by it. May our hatred of that which God hates—racism, abortion, idol-worship, abuse, suffering, lies, injustice, murder, selfishness—break our hearts and move our feet…not break our spirits and freeze our frames. May hatred of injustice fuel His great love in and through our lives, not snuff it out.
God’s hatred of sin led to the most beautiful and powerful display of love ever known.
In case I have been unclear or silent, racism (prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior) is a sin against God and His creation, and as such, our family HATES it.
May hatred of sin lead the multi-colored church (that is you and I, Christ-followers) in these coming days in some of the most beautiful and powerful displays of love the world has ever known.
May we lay our lives down, always, for the only cause that matters…Jesus.
We’ve only got one life. May we lay it down completely for Jesus, that He might give it back to us again, no more tears, no more broken.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my righteous and victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10