Race Relations

March 19, 2015

                                                                                                    Race Relations

Altogether too often we are seeing people respond inappropriately to discrimination. They rush to the streets shouting obscenities, cursing and stirring up hatred. It often ends with a riot and sometimes businesses and personal property are burned to the ground. A much better response would be for whites and African Americans to march together through the street shouting “Follow us and we will show you how to love one another.”

We need healing instead of hatred. We need unity and harmony. It will never come to pass by means of the response we most often see today. The exact opposite is the response. Hate doesn’t bring people together. To the contrary, it separates them.

I have never been part of a church where African Americans would not be accepted. If we are faithful followers of Biblical teaching, we will find it difficult to discriminate against someone because of skin color. In the past I have had some good friends who were African Americans. For a time we lived in the colored district of Minneapolis. I was studying in college. We were pressed financially. It was cheaper to live there. We had a good relationship with the people there.

It can’t be denied that there are cultural differences between African Americans and whites. When we lived in the colored district we noticed that they took more pride in the car they drove than in their houses. They didn’t take as much pride in the neighborhood. That isn’t sufficient reason for having a bad relationship with them.

African Americans are having some serious problems. Instead of criticizing them, we need to offer to help them. They have serious problems in marriage and family relationships. Those problems always cause suffering. Perhaps we need to help them get Bible believing churches started. In some of their communities there are good churches. We just need to help them evangelize and get more people in the churches. Bible believing churches teach people to love their spouses and children. They encourage parents to raise their children with good moral values. Broken homes and unstable family relationships contribute to crime. That is true regardless of skin color.

The solution for hostile race relations is to promote harmony, cooperation and love. Few are the voices that are calling for that. There needs to be a change of attitude. Your skin color doesn’t make you superior to anyone else. We are all the creation of God. He made us the way we are. We are all different; not just in our skin color, but in other ways. We need to accept one another the way we are. We need to put the emphasis on the things we have in common; not on our differences. We might be surprised to find that for every difference we have 100 things in common. Be careful how you use the word hate. Just because we don’t agree on some things doesn’t mean we hate one another

There can be unity in diversity. Promoting racial violence should be considered unacceptable behavior. It is a vice, not a virtue. A punch for a punch is the law of the jungle. Let’s get out of the jungle and live in a society where there is harmony, love, and respect for one another. United we stand. Divided we fall. Let’s work together to improve our country, our government, and our social relationships.

Hate, arrogance, a thing to flout

They drew a circle and left me out.

Love and I had the wit to win,

We drew a circle and took them in.

Things African Americans can do to promote good race relations:

  1. If you hear someone on the job use the “n” word, be the first to forgive him. Perhaps he doesn’t know that he shouldn’t say that. Look for a way to show him respect and appreciation.
  2. Don’t brand every act of discrimination a “hate crime.”

Things whites can do to promote good race relations

  1. If you live in an all-white neighborhood and you hear that an African American couple bought a house in your neighborhood, be the first to welcome them when they move in. Bake or buy a pie and take it to them. Offer to help them in any way you can.
  2. Teach your children to love, respect and make friends with African American children.

The Christian response to bad racial relations

  1. We should consider ourselves all one in Christ. “Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:11). “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus”(Galatians 3:28).
  2. Jesus wants all God’s people to be one. “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me”(John 17:21).

I have been in a number of churches where the membership consisted of both African Americans and whites. They loved and accepted one another. That may not be true in all churches, but it is in many.

Let’s make a snow ball and call it “good racial relationships.” At first you can hold it in one hand, but if you keep pushing it, it will get so big that you can’t push it any farther. When that happens, solicit the help of your friends. It will get so big that others can’t ignore it.

If you have questions or comments you can send them to the following address:  rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

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