BE THE CHANGE
The sin of racism has been happening for some time and is still at work in our day. Racism hasn't gone anywhere; it has become more sophisticated and systemic. For generations, countless Black lives have experienced injustice, oppression, and pain all at the hands of racism. Families have lost sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers due to racism. This isn't just history; it's happening now.
As followers of Jesus, we can't be silent on this issue. Racism is not a political issue; it's a biblical one. Racism is failing to love our neighbors as ourselves. It is failing to recognize that every person has been created in the likeness and image of God, no matter how light or dark their skin may be. The Bible says in Revelation 7:9, "After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb."
As the Church, let us be advocates for justice (Isaiah 1:17). Let us be advocates for love. Let us be advocates for unity. As the Apostle Paul mentions, let us as pastors and leaders in our communities, be ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:19), showing how Jesus has torn down the dividing walls of hostility, even the wall of racism.
How Can I Make a Difference?
1 Find a Friend - find a friend of the opposite race that will speak truth & honesty to you
2 Be a Safe Place - be someone they can have a real & vulnerable conversation with
3 Be Coachable - carry a spirit of humility and willing to be coached & challenged to think different
4 Educate Yourself - go beyond a conversation & make the committment to put the time in to study
5 Be Committed to the Journey - change doesn't happen overnight, but change will come
Many films, books and conversations surrounding the battle of racism, particularly in the United States, contain language and visuals that are not easily digested. Seeing videos such as that of the murder of George Floyd is traumatic for all, but especially those who endure these oppresions. The reality of the oppression of black lives in America is this: Black people have endured physical, verbal, mental, emotional and spiritual abuse for hundreds of years. So, while these resources are difficult to absorb at times because of their graphic nature, it is important to understand that these are simply the truths lived by black Americans. Our prayer is that you take the time to learn and truly search your heart for any ill intentions and join us in the fight for equal rights..
Films to Watch?
13th explores the history of racial inequality in the United States that was perpetuated by the 13th amendment. The film focuses on the fact that the nation's prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans because of the clause in this amendment.
When They See Us (Netflix)
When They See Us is based on events of the April 19, 1989, Central Park jogger case and explores the lives of the five suspects who were wrongfully prosecuted on charges related to the sexual assault of a female victim, and of their families.
Just Mercy (Free on Amazon)
Want to learn more about systemic racism? This film tells the true story of Walter McMillian and Bryan Stevenson—a young man wrongfully convicted of murder and the defense attorney determined to find justice.
See You Yesterday (Netflix)
This is a good one to watch with the kiddos. See You Yesterday follows the story of two science wiz kids who invent time travel and attempt to use it to bring back someone they love who was killed by police brutality. Instead, they'll learn that history repeats itself.
Selma (Free on Amazon)
A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.
Literature to Read?
The Third Option by Pastor Miles McPherson (Amazon)
Miles McPherson, founder of The Rock Church in San Diego, speaks out about the pervasive racial divisions in today’s culture and argues that we must learn to see people not by the color of their skin, but as God sees them—humans created in the image of God.
I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown (Amazon)
From a powerful new voice on racial justice, an eye-opening account of growing up Black, Christian, and female in middle-class white America.
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.
Social Media Accounts to Follow?
@berniceaking - https://www.instagram.com/berniceaking/
Bernice is the youngest daughter of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King. She has used her platform to continue the work of her parents and is active in the fight for equal rights for all people, including black lives.
@latashamorrison - https://www.instagram.com/latashamorrison/
Lastasha is the founder of Be a Bridge Builder, and organization constructed to come alongside those on their journey to understanding racism and bring a new lens to view thru.
@Beabridgebuilder - https://www.instagram.com/Beabridgebuilder/
The organization started by Latasha Morrison.
@dhariusdaniels - https://www.instagram.com/dhariusdaniels/
Dr. Dharius Daniels is the Lead Pastor of Change Church and shares many of his thoughts as a black pastor on racism in our country.
Messages + Conversations From Pastors?
The Bridge: A Conversation with Pastors Steven Furtick and John Gray
Bible Reading Plans?