We started paying attention to and educating ourselves about the issue of racism about four years ago. While we aren’t the best or only people to listen to, it isn’t a brand-new issue to us and we may be a step ahead of some of you who are also ready to listen and learn. Let’s talk about why racism should matter to everyone by answering some of the questions you’ve asked us.
Q: “I care about abortion. We’re the body of Christ and we should care about different matters. Why is racism THAT big a deal? Why should this matter to all believers now?”
A: It should matter to all Americans, not just believers. The laws of our country are not equitable and they are not being administered justly. The color of your skin is the greatest predictor of your life outcome in this country. The administration of the law dictates this. That should bother all Americans!
Christians, specifically, should care because the Lord cares about justice and those in need. He tells us constantly that we should care for the widow, the immigrant, the orphan, the sojourner and the oppressed. Throughout the Old Testament, the prophets rebuke the people of Israel for not caring for the oppressed. Using power to not care for others is an affront to the heart of God. This is not who He is. Christians should care because God cares.
Q: What if someone feels “called to” or passionate about abortion or another issue. We can’t do it all.
A: To note: We care deeply about abortion and adoption. All three of our boys are adopted and we pour heavily into this system. We are absolutely against abortion. While we are all called differently, injustice isn’t a quota system. It’s not like we need one injustice elective and then we’ve met our quota! Think about the Good Samaritan. He wasn’t travelling around the highways looking for destitute people to help or for someone with a specific kind of need. He saw a need and responded. Your neighbor is whoever is in front of you.
If abortion is what you feel drawn to, this topic should be especially important to you because racial injustice is a keystone societal issue. Abortion is an economic issue the vast majority of the time and almost exclusively an economic decision in lower income and minority communities. Without savings, support, a present father, a knowledge of the truth that her life matters, it’s hard for a mother to believe that her child’s life matters. Racial inequalities lead to abortions. If you care about abortions, care about this issue!
Q: Is talking about this making the problem worse? I feel like this is making a greater racial divide.
A: People talk about being color blind or the idea of only one race, i.e. the human race. Remember that white or the majority culture in America has said that they want racial reconciliation. Many times, we confuse racial reconciliation with racial assimilation. We may actually want the differences to go away. We may actually want black people to be absorbed into white culture. We may want a multi-ethnic church that actually acts white, but has different skin tones inside. We want photo albums to be diverse, but not our culture.
This is our problem to fix because we created it. We’ve never owned enslaved men and women or said the ‘n’ word, but generational responsibility is real. Our spiritual brothers and sisters are very guilty even if your biological family isn't. Hebrews gives an example of generational responsibility. We have to take responsibility for what happened years ago and how it is still affecting others. Whether we intended to or not, we’ve benefited from other people’s pain. Let’s do business with this. It was our collective and cultural cause that created it.
We don’t think talking about abortion or whatever other issue makes it worse. We know that sin hides in the dark and is revealed in the light. The March for Life is a giant march. We see injustice and we act! We donate, vote, speak out.
Examine this impulse to not want to address or talk about racism. Maybe we don’t want to give up our power? Or maybe we don’t actually see a problem and talking about it just feels like the problem. This is part of what people mean by white privilege. It’s a privilege to be able to ignore this issue if we want to. It’s prideful to tell someone they don’t have an actual problem or no right to be pained. That’s what we're communicating when we don't want to talk about this. We have 400+ years of oppression stories from Black men and women. Have you been listening?
There is momentum here now. If we want change, which is step one, we have to care. Let’s jump on this train, combine our efforts and voices and act! Let’s press into this keystone issue and pray for and watch the trickle-down effect. Things won’t automatically be fixed, but talking and acting on this issue will play a significant role. That’s why the word systemic is used.
This concept should be comfortable to us as Christians. We believe in sanctification, we know we aren’t perfect. We’re constantly asking to be searched and changed. Our hearts are so hard! Let's admit it and pray for change. Pray for the courage to act, vision where we’ve been uncaring and a heart like Christ’s. Just keep taking the next right step.