Lord Jesus, Save us from Racism!

Another unarmed black man, with raised hands, was fatally shot by a white police officer.

I thought white police officers ought to protect and serve its citizens?  Or is it only to protect and serve those who look like them and people of color they will treat as criminals?

This is troubling. This is disturbing.

According to the twin sister of the unarmed black man, with hands raised, who was fatally shot down by a white cop,

“We’re truly devastated. The entire family is devastated… That big bad dude was a father, that big bad dude was a son, that big bad dude was enrolled at Tulsa Community College just wanting to make us all proud, that big bad dude loved God, that big bad dude was in church singing with all of his flaws every week.”

I will continue to use this blog to blog against the evils of racism in this nation.  It is a gospel issue.  READ Galatians 2:11-14.

My white brothers and sisters, I see your passion against things like abortion.  Rightfully so!  But why not the same passion against racism, where people of color are being treated less than human?

You have the power to act!  Why stand idly by and continue to do nothing, while innocent black men are being gunned down on the streets by white police officers?

According to the Apostle Paul, to be a racist is to go against the gospel of Jesus Christ.  To be a racist is “not acting in line with the gospel of truth” (Gal. 2:14).  I know you know this.  Then why not act against this oppression and discrimination against people of color?

It’s time for the white American church to do something.  And if she continues to display indifference and apathy toward these evil actions of white police officers, she will one day have to answer for this indifference and apathy.

In the end, however, I’m confidence that Jesus will right all wrongs–for he’s a God of justice (Isaiah 9:7).

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12 Responses to Lord Jesus, Save us from Racism!

  1. ec says:

    Of course racism is a gospel issue, and of course it is very wrong. It is also already illegal, and tragic and deplorable incidents like the one you discuss receive much attention, are thoroughly investigated, and the offender punished. These laws are already on the books and are enforced. There will, unfortunately, always be a few people who don’t care about laws and choose to break them–not only in regard to racism, but in all other issues as well. Despicable crimes of every sort happen every day, and that fact is truly tragic. That doesn’t mean that society or churches are indifferent to the issues or don’t care.

    I find it unfair and offensive that you presume “white” churches, and therefore I, don’t care about racism. Of course we care! No one is saying it is okay, and in fact It is emphatically denounced right and left. It is both criminal and culturally taboo, and rightly so.

    That you choose to contrast racism with abortion seems a puzzling choice in trying to bolster your stance on racism. The leaders of our nation have chosen to put a glaring stamp of approval on abortion, for any reason and at any stage. Some lawmakers (I will reluctantly refrain from naming a name here; it is well documented if anyone chooses to find out) have in the past even championed making the killing of the just-born child (“fetus”–yeah, right) legal when that live birth results from a botched attempt at a partial-birth abortion. At least that truly revolting and frightening effort failed. But abortion is legal and “approved” by the majority of our nation’s leaders, as well as by many citizens and our culture as a whole. Racism is most definitely NOT legal nor approved (and rightly so). Surely you can see the huge difference in the legal and cultural standing of those two issues. There is really no comparison in the way they are viewed and treated in this nation. To try to pit the issues of racism vs abortion doesn’t even make sense. Both are wrong; they’re just treated very differently in our culture.

    The white churches I’ve attended deplore racism, abortion, and a lot of other moral issues. Those aren’t the only two important issues by any means; there are many others. Some of these issues fortunately have good laws on the books; others do not. In either case, churches can only advocate, and even that is under fire of “separation of church and state” screamers Where are you getting your “white people don’t care about racism” thing? With all due respect, I’m not seeing that. You are painting with far too broad a brush.

    • TC Robinson says:

      EC,
      I appreciate your feedback. Conversations about racism are not always easy. As an aware person, I’m sure you will be the first to admit that our country has a very serious problem with racism. Consider the inequalities: education, jobs, homeownership, etc – all race related.

      Why did I single out the White church? Because when whites decide to act, things get done. Case in point, the removal of the confederate flag after an “angry” white woman, in position of authority, decided to speak up.

      I appreciate the fact that your church finds racism deplorable. What investments is your church making to combat racism? Or is your church just talking? As a white person, What are you doing to combat racism?

      • ec says:

        Thank you for your reply. I hesitate to comment further, because part of what I will say probably will not sit well with you, but you have asked questions of me and so I will reply.

        First, you and I apparently don’t always “see” things the same way, although I believe we agree as to what is right and wrong. I don’t see whites, or the “white church,” as having nearly as much power as you think we do. (Granted, there are some very powerful individuals both black and white, but I’m speaking of the common man and woman.) Actually, we can’t speak out, or legally do, any more or less than you or anyone else can.

        There are many things that I, and my (predominately but not totally white) church and other friends, don’t like about the direction in which this country is headed, but we are out-numbered in our thinking on some of them (but not on the issue of racism) and are losing many of the battles. I don’t feel very powerful in regard to that. As the over-riding example, I believe that every effort is currently being made, and with far too much success, to remove God and Godly traditions and laws from our culture, and I don’t like that one bit and it breaks my heart. (Of course, Revelation tells us the war will ultimately be won!) I pray about it every day, try to live in a way to set a good example, and stand up for my views when the opportunity presents itself. Am I buying TV time to speak out on it? Am I rioting in the streets over it? No, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care, and it is offensive to me that you seem to think that because bad things sometimes happen in the world, it therefore means I (and the “white church”) don’t care.

        I also don’t see, overall for the vast majority of all people, the current inequalities of opportunity in the areas that you name. The former inequalities have been very thoroughly addressed legally and for the most part in the attitudes of the populace. And for those of any color who remain racist, it is an on-going battle to eradicate. For most people of every color the opportunities are now there. (In the past, no.) Yes, a minority of white people are racist, but so are some black people, and both are inexcusable–and fortunately neither group has universal power. (You can’t please all the people all of the time, but fortunately, you don’t have to.) Satan is the prince of this world, and it’s not going to be perfect until Christ comes back to reign on earth. As individuals, we must live our lives in such a way as to show by our actions our stance on this and other issues. That’s what I and many others try to do.

        As to the tragic instances of a few law enforcement officers’ abuse of power, of course those are deplorable! Those instances have made worldwide headlines (which speaks volumes about society’s concern and stance on racism) and are being prosecuted, as they should be. There have also been instances in which law enforcement officers have been unjustly accused and subsequently found to have acted appropriately. In the meantime a lot of additional very bad things happened to innocent people, despite the fact that multiple wrongs don’t and never will make a right. It’s wrong to vilify all law enforcement (or all white or all black people) over the actions of a few. In a perfect world, none of this would happen (along with many, many other horrible acts of every kind). But it’s not a perfect world. That such things happen does not mean that people, white or other, don’t care–a conclusion that you seem to draw, and with which I must disagree.

        While I’m on my soapbox, I will also say this: Over a lifetime of experiences, including a belated career as an elementary school teacher, I have found that a good many black people have an unrealistic notion of most white people’s experiences. I taught at a small rural school, and many of my black students seemed amazed that I didn’t have a maid to help with my housework, and were surprised to learn in history lessons that not all white people at one time owned slaves, only the very wealthy. There are apparently a lot of misconceptions. My parents’ families were poor farmers. My mother picked cotton from the age of five. Neither attended school past eighth and ninth grade; back then they had to quit and work full time. They eventually left the farm for laborer jobs in a cotton mill. They both also had some fairly serious health issues from their 40’s on, but that didn’t stop them. I grew up in a mill village, for those who know what that is. I, through God’s help and blessings, hard work, Pell grants and scholarships (available to black and white), working full time during the day, taking care of my family, and commuting to evening classes twice a week, got my bachelor’s degree at age 43. (Part of this as a divorced single mother.) Nothing was handed on a silver platter to my parents or to me, or to my children and grandchildren. I feel very blessed to have done this, but it was not by any means easy or automatic, nor was it because of my skin color. Two of my three children went to college with a little (very little) financial help from me, Pell grants, but mostly by working themselves the entire time as well as taking student loans, which took them many years to repay. The other one did not finish college; he married and became a (fantastic!) father at age 19. As a result, he doesn’t have as good a job as the other two, but he and his wife work very hard and get by okay, if you have realistic expectations regarding a reasonable standard of living. (They rent, not own, a home, but someday…?) His oldest child is attending college after working for a year to save some money toward the costs and continuing to work part-time now and taking student loans, which of course he will have to repay in the future. I am truly in no way bitter about any of this; I’m just thankful God gave us the motivation and ability to persevere, and that we live in a country where this is possible. I have to believe in today’s world, where there is a will, there is (usually) a way. Yes, some people are physically or mentally handicapped, not taught a good work ethic, or have other severely handicapping issues, but I’m speaking of the majority of people in general. As I stated before, you paint with too broad a brush! Not everything is about black vs white. The individual is still almost always the most important factor.

        As to what the “white church” is doing, we do the things I stated in my first paragraph. Is it enough? If everyone did it, I think it would be. Can I, or any particular group of people, suddenly fix the world? No. But I think we influence best by example. Though it aggravates me to feel that I must even explain to you, I will nevertheless tell you that I try to combat any lingering racism by how I live. As two examples, my oldest granddaughter, a ninth-grader who isn’t quite old enough to actually date but has a boyfriend, has a black boyfriend. He is a good person, so we are all fine with this. In a few weeks (I am now a widow), I’m going on vacation with two of my fellow retired teachers and best friends–one white, one black. I will add, the three of us have frankly discussed racial issues and have each learned a lot about the other’s background and culture. My black friend’s father was the pastor of a very small church; they did not have much money but worked hard and even back then, were able to buy their small brick home. She was actually able to attend college with a good bit of financial help from her family in addition to grants, graduating at age 22 and starting her teaching career. She also (as I) was later a divorced mom, but had a long and successful career as a teacher, eventually earning her master’s degree, as did I. Her daughter, an only child, graduated college with much more help from my friend than I was able to give each of my three children, but I’m glad that she could–that I couldn’t do as much to help mine was in no way their or anyone else’s “fault”. Her daughter now has a very good job. Of course, we both remember the days of segregation and inequality, and are glad things are much different now and we can so easily be friends. (One experience she recounted especially saddened my heart. One of the local (at that time white) funeral homes used to have a live Nativity scene at Christmas. The three of us were talking about how pretty it was, and how we wished they still did it, but she said they (black people) couldn’t go up and see it up close. How sad! But that was 50 years ago; it’s different now. And in many parts of the nation, nowadays a Nativity scene would result in accusations of bigotry and in lawsuits. That’s also sad, and that is in 2016, and getting worse.) To her credit, she doesn’t blame me for past injustices of which I had no control or part. Respectfully, I’m not sure I can say the same for you. Please forgive me if I’m mistaken on that. I just wish you’d get a narrower brush.

        My church welcomes people of every ethnicity and usually does mission trips every year to racially mixed low-income urban areas. This year, though, they went to Uganda with a mission team from a larger church. Our community outreach programs serve all races. We conduct a summer reading program that serves a primarily black neighborhood in my former school district. We are a Biblical church and therefore believe in loving all our brothers and sisters, and so state that. Perhaps this is not enough to satisfy you, but in reality I don’t know what else we can realistically do with the limited resources we have. As you undoubtedly know, churches are limited in even what can be said from the pulpit. Also, as a Southern Baptist church, we are independent financially and organizationally. While loosely affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention especially regarding doctrine, each church stands alone and is governed by its congregation. Unlike some denominations, there is no larger entity of which our little church is a part. We do what we can.

        I totally agree with you that racism is a very bad thing and a gospel issue, still exists in some people but thankfully not nearly to the degree of the past, and is sinful, along with many, many other sins (some criminal, some legal) that take place every day. That we can’t immediately and totally fix it, nor that it is the sole issue with which we are concerned, does not mean that we don’t care. I’ve been lengthy, and I don’t know what else to say to you. A “white” magic wand doesn’t exist, but in my experience the vast majority of white people and white churches do very much care.

        God bless you for your stand on this issue and hopefully on other gospel issues as well.

      • ec says:

        A thought just hit me that’s too applicable to your post (re racism vs abortion) to not share, and perhaps it will be of some small comfort to you regarding your question about the actions of “the white church”. (Honestly, shouldn’t it just be “the church”?)

        I’m so very glad you did not question me as to what my church is doing to combat abortion!

        Honestly, other than of course teaching the Christian doctrine that every life is from God and that God has a plan for every person, I can’t think of one other specific thing that our church does that directly and actively combats abortion. I’m sure some of our outreach programs happen to help pregnant women who might be considering abortion, and/or the children of those who chose not to abort them as babies, but those programs also help more people of all races than specifically those who are/were affected by the abortion issue. It’s mainly just an abortion-is-wrong-there-are-better-ways attitude of most of the congregation, and the resulting effects of such an attitude in each person. I guess that means that regarding abortion our church really is “just talk”? (And not much specific talk of abortion, even then.) Food for much genuine thought.

        Of course, our main mission is the gospel issue of winning souls to Christ as we also try to live Christian lives, but that’s not the topic of this discussion.

        In any case, we actively do much, much more that in effect fosters racial harmony than we do on any other social, cultural, political issue, considering the related and inseparable issue of helping those of all races who are in need. Lest you assume the white church is too focused on abortion at the expense of racism…Most definitely not!

  2. Lon Hetrick says:

    Agreed. Black lives matter to Jesus just as much as any human life. More to the point, black lives matter as much to Jesus as my white life does.

    • TC Robinson says:

      Lon,
      Amen and Amen. Thanks, brother!

    • ec says:

      I also totally agree. We are all equally God’s creations, made in His image, and all lives matter.

      • TC Robinson says:

        EC,
        I appreciate everything that you have to say. It is not my intention to paint with so broad a brush as to indict every white person that I know. In fact, some of my closest and trusted friends are white. I’m only asking white churches to do more. I believe that if they do, we will see greater and faster social changes. This is my belief. I believe people are blessed to bless others.

        I believe that there’s such a thing as white privilege. While not making light of the challenges you had to overcome as a single mom, your experience is vastly different than that of people of color – who are already marginalized and pre-judge just by the color of their skin.

        Our social and economic thinkers and scholars all can’t be wrong when they conclude that there are still huge economic and social disparities in this nation, all having to do with race.

        Of course the black community needs to do some soul-searching and do better, but these disparities must end and real investments must continue to be made. For a start, the justice system needs to be reformed. There are more blacks in prison than anyone else – thousands of black lives systematically ruined. Again, all this is pointed out by the experts.

  3. ec says:

    Thank you for your response.

    With all due respect, my skin color had nothing to do with my accomplishments; any black person in a similar situation could have done (and many indeed have done) the same thing.

    I certainly agree that we must keep working to make the world, in many different respects, a better place and end disparities of all kinds. In today’s (admittedly imperfect, until Christ returns to earth) society, however, black people are no longer “marginalized and pre-judge(d) just by the color of their skin” nearly to the degree that you seem to think they are. Certainly there are instances of it still, but there are also instances in which people are marginalized and pre-judged because of other factors: being female, being old or too young, being handicapped, being overweight, being conservative or liberal, being from the South, being a Christian–the list is endless. But those are the exceptions, not the rule. Focusing on the exceptions instead of forging ahead to the best of one’s ability as an individual is counter-productive. I personally know far too many happy and successful black people to accept the notion that black people are by and large doomed to failure. It is not helpful to have a negative attitude and look backward instead of forward. Almost any person of any color who has a can-do attitude and is willing to work hard can improve their lives in today’s world, and that is fact. That doesn’t mean it’s easy for anyone to do, but it can be done as has been proved innumerable times The individual is still the most important determining factor.

    As far as people in prison, the vast majority whether black, white, or other are in prison because they committed crimes. I don’t believe the vast majority of juries (composed of black, white, and other, after all) deliberately convict innocent people on a routine basis. If you don’t want to go to prison, don’t commit crimes, no matter what your skin color happens to be. That, to an astounding degree, would take care of the future prison population. (Yes, in this imperfect sinful world there would still be some unfortunate rare exceptions, but they would be exceptions, and certainly not always due to race.) As I’m sure you can tell by now, I am one who believes in personal responsibility and accountability for one’s own actions. The fact that bad, unfair things sometimes happen in this imperfect world doesn’t absolve anyone of personal responsibility and accountability. “The people” are composed of individuals.

    As for “white” (technically there’s no such thing as a white church) churches doing more, first of all churches are legally limited as to their function and what they are allowed to do, as you know. That may or may not be a good thing, but it’s the way it is. Further, I personally know of no “white” churches that do not constantly and consistently promote love of one’s fellow man no matter who those may be. They have outreach programs and missions, to the degree their resources allow, that demonstrate that focus by actions as well as with words. The purpose, and rightfully so imo, of a church is to first love God and spread the Gospel, and secondly to love their neighbors, and in my experience that’s what the churches in my community honestly try to do. Those are the two great commandments and commission from Christ, the head of the church. I don’t know what else you would or even should prefer we do.

    I’m not sure you and I will ever see eye to eye on the best solutions to the world’s many problems. There’s been a lot of progress, but obviously, all people need to keep working on it.

    In a nutshell, I (all of us) need to demonstrate by words and deed that I love and value all people. And you (all people of every color) are equally loved by God and have equal rights as citizens, so take that and run forward with it from wherever you happen to be at present. That is what will best and most drastically change the world! Yes, you can–I’m not saying it’s easy, but you truly do have the power to do so. Proceed with that attitude, everyone, and see what a difference you can personally make.

    I’m sorry that black people, and others as well, were treated very unjustly in the past, and that of course not everyone today acts they way they should (on many, many issues of every kind). That said, the fact remains that I am not to blame for that, and neither can I magically fix everything instantly. That doesn’t reduce my responsibility to try, though. I do what I can, regardless of what you believe about me, and I think most others do that as well. We all have to be accountable for our own actions and do the best we can to live as God would have us to do, whatever our personal circumstances. We must focus on what we ourselves can do rather than dwelling on what others may or may not be doing. I wish the best for you and all God’s blessings, sir.

    • TC Robinson says:

      [“We all have to be accountable for our own actions and do the best we can to live as God would have us to do, whatever our personal circumstances. We must focus on what we ourselves can do rather than dwelling on what others may or may not be doing.”]

      EC,
      I enjoy reading what you had to say. A lot of positives. I love your perspective on the matter. Thanks.

      Yes, we will have to agree to disagree on some of these issues. But I believe we both desire the same end – racial harmony and equality on all fronts. Yes, we have come a long way, but we have a long way to go. Thanks for your best wishes. I wish the same for you as well.

      • ec says:

        I believe we desire the same things too, and it will eventually be done. May we all have the courage to stand up for our Christian beliefs and live according to them.

  4. ec says:

    Oh, and thank you for your good wishes. I believe you are sincere in them, as am I, and that means more to me than you know. I realize it would be easy for you to feel otherwise. God bless you always.

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