One In Christ (Race Relations US-West Newsletter)

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In light of the current events in Charlottesville…be ambassadors of reconciliation. The politics of our time are rife with hate. In contrast, God’s people are called to bring peace, love our neighbors, and be ambassadors of reconciliation.

Our church leaders are amongst the few that have boldly stood against racism. Please see these reflections from Colin Watson, Director of Ministries and Administration.

I urge you to pray and encourage others to pray. Just today I received an email from a church-going group. They were lamenting the stupidity of our country for allowing immigrants to cross the border illegally. It was a rant depicting all illegal immigrants as welfare abusers and depicting anyone who receives welfare subsidies as a drunk and drug user. They also depicted anyone who protested with a flag from another country as being here illegally. I replied to all with Leviticus 19:33-34 (without commentary). They were outraged. One was trying to justify why they were not racist. Another did not care. He said that he was “tired of this pack of dogs” coming here. So I would encourage each one of you to pray that the Holy Spirit would teach you the mind of Christ. Let’s see everyone as people created in the image of God.

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Nobody says it directly, but our worldly point of view is that African-Americans and Anglos are the only true Americans. All others are often assumed to be foreigners. Another sad worldly assumption is that only those with white skin make the rules. All others have to comply (Transcending Racial Barriers: Toward a Mutual Obligations Approach, 2010).

The good news is that Christ has come to break down the satanic strongholds that bind our nation and threaten the power of the Church to expand God’s kingdom. Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” So while that email was forwarded to me from a church member, I am not giving up on the church. God will help us all overcome. Racism and its ugly brother nationalism are satanic lies. The gates of hell will not prevail against the church (Matthew 16:18).

The white nationalists behind the protests in Charlottesville are overt white supremacists. But they are not the most dangerous threat. The real power is with the silent majority that stands by as evil beliefs and assumptions are repeated and made into social realities. This silence and winking approval give way for a dangerous ideology of a hierarchy of people based on skin color. Though some who ascribe to this way of thinking may be African American, Asian, or Latino, they have exchanged their minority status in hopes of being included as nationalists, even as they compete for a place in the ruling class. In contrast, Christ’s blood gives us a high position as a distinct people from every tribe and nation (Rev. 5:9b-10). May we live more fully into that identity, by the power of Christ.

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I don't know whose worldly point of view the author is talking about, but I certainly don't consider African-Americans and Anglos to be the only true Americans.  Never have.  In fact, properly defined, that kicks me out of being a true American and I don't think that is so either.

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