As of late I've constantly found myself at a loss for words, understanding and how to move forward. All the emotions, opinions, experiences, stories, news, past, present and thoughts about the future have been overwhelming and constant. Who do I listen to? What do I do? Should I stay silent? Should I stick with like minded people? Do I make a statement? Should I take action? Lots and lots of questions have passed through my mind. At times I felt unsettled, confused, off balance. Can anyone relate to this?
How are we as believers called to act in "unprecedented times" or when there's "political polarity" or when people are saying "we can't breathe" because of oppression or injustice?
We recently finished our Book/Video Study of The Color of Compromise as a church. Those who participated met last Saturday to discuss final thoughts and next steps. I wanted to share some thoughts and next steps discussed as we concluded this study and look ahead to the future.
1. We Are Called to Be Anti-Racist. The definition of Anti-racist is simply taking a stand against racist attitudes, words and behaviors that discount or disqualify a person based on the color of their skin. To be anti-racist as a Christian means three things:
- You acknowledge that every person regardless of ability, race, background, choices are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27)
- Remember our battle is not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). You choose to respond not react with the checklist of love to situations and people who may be racist. And choose to not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing and good (1 Peter 3:9, Romans 12:9-21).
- Being Anti-racist is more than choosing to not be racist in your thoughts or actions towards others, it also means taking action when you see it happening through the interactions of others or in systems (James 4:17)
2. YOU are the Church. Have you ever thought, "The church should really do something about that"? I think we all have at some point. But it's time we realize that when that thought comes, it means we should consider how I WILL DO SOMETHING about that. It might just be that Holy Spirit is highlighting something that HE is inviting you into (Hebrews 3:15). This is not to say we are alone in invoking change, but we also need to consider our part and take the steps we need to rather than assuming someone else should do it instead.
3. Next steps. The book ends with very thorough, practical steps that can be taken to help each person get involved in ending racism. Among some of which include educate yourself. Get to know people different that you. Commit to not just knowing people of color, but to also using your spheres of influence to evoke change in systems and institutions that continue to be racist. Here are a few upcoming events to participate in:
Unity Revival March: Merge Twin Cities is co-hosting this march with Unity Revival Movement on Saturday, August 8th at 11 AM. Those interested in joining can meet at K-mart on Lake St and the march will end at Phelps Park.
Pray on MLK: Pray on MLK is an example of holy activism— a two hour, nationwide prayer and worship protest located along every Martin Luther King Jr. street or memorial in the United States (and around the world). Happening THIS Saturday, August 8th from 6:01PM-8:01PM. Click HERE to signup.
This conversation is important. If you have thoughts, questions, comments feel free to reach out. We, as a staff, are here to journey alongside each other as together we grow, mature and attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.