The Real Solution to Racism!
Pastor John Soshea
So here it is right? Wrong! This is the most recent attempt by our well meaning city to try to staunch the stench of racism, bigotry, and discrimination in our world! The city that I live in – Duluth, Minnesota, is a mid-sized city in the upper midwest that is, how shall I say, not the most culturally diverse city in the land. Add to that fact that I am a fair skinned, blue eyed, slightly above middle aged male, you may be tempted to say…?He just doesn?t get it.? But, before you are so quick to judge, please hear me out.
Some might ask, ?So what are you saying preacher, that there is no racism, or that it doesn?t matter, or there is no use in trying to fight against it?? Absolutely not. I applaud the efforts, and the ideal that desires to rid our world of the awful effects of this evil that has plagued ours and so many societies since the fall of mankind. But truthfully, it falls short. You see, any time we try to appeal to the heart of man, it falls short.
The scriptures tell us in Jeremiah 17:9 ?The heart is deceitful above all things, And is desperately wicked…? A pretty grim synopsis for the prospects of touching our hearts and heads and bringing about meaningful change with a billboard.
I however can only really speak with authority from one perspective, and that is mine.
So here is where I am coming from. I have many friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who are of other ethnicities than I, that I genuinely believe do not simply view me as a blue eyed white guy, but see me as a friend, a mentor, a pastor, or just a man that loves them no matter what color they are. The truth is that I do not want to define them by the arbitrary characteristic of color, any more than I feel that I should be judged to be judging them negatively because of my color. I genuinely desire to be color blind as I relate to others.
I so love the quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?s speech which says… ?I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.?
So let me close with this. As well meaning, as wonderfully intended, as deeply desiring to rid our world of this scourge of evil, I believe we fail, until we allow the Spirit of the Lord to have His way.
What we really need is not a change in the way that we think, but a change of our hearts. The scriptures tell us that if we enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ he will take this stony, hard hearted nature and change us at the deepest level of our being.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we are told of just how profound the change is. Paul writes, ?…old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.?
When we begin our life in Christ, the words of the great apostle empower us to destroy the very roots of racism where it still abides, deep within the fertile soil of the heart…Paul had it right when he wrote…
Col 3:11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. ??NIV
When we learn to love one another with a pure heart that has been changed by His Spirit; racism, bigotry, and discrimination will no longer have a place to grow.
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