Bursting the bubble of the ‘post racial society’ illusion: An open letter to my white brothers and sisters in Christ Part 1
AN OPEN LETTER TO MY WHITE BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST
“The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the people of the whole earth were dispersed.” Genesis 9:18-19
The 1st people group that I ever identified with was that of African Americans. Years later, after growing up in America and experiencing the joy and pride of my 1st community as well as a mixture of love, acceptance, prejudice and racism from those of the majority culture, I became a follower of Christ, and I was now identified with another people group. Both my original identifier and my newfound one were groups of people who had experienced extreme persecution and oppression historically, and had been victimized by others worldwide. My now identifying with Christ and all of his followers, as well as praying for them and grieving with them as believers faced persecution in my life time, did not cancel out my being a part of the people group that I was born into. My joining in the fight for equal treatment under the law for African Americans, and bringing to light injustice in this country does not cancel out my being a follower of Christ. But I have found that in the eyes and hearts of many, that’s exactly what it does.
I have shared news recently that greatly impacts the body of Christ and I have also shared news that greatly impacts the African American community, and I am realizing more and more that these two can be treated as if they are totally unrelated. They are not, as we are not. Where my white brothers and sisters in Christ, for the most part, can sympathize with the persecution of other believers and even empathize and grieve with/for them, many either cannot, or choose not to empathize or grieve with their African America Christian counterparts when given the opportunity. And if any grief is momentarily shared, it has a time limit attached to it. That being said, I am a believer who is black. Go figure.
(almost totally unrelated sidebar; the historic account of the Ethiopian Eunuch found in Acts 8 points out that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was not unknown to the people of Africa. We will come back to this later.) “And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah.” Pagans and savages did not do that.)
As such, I share a lot about news stories that stand out to me in the hopes of making people think, and to challenge world views that are held that do not line up with what Christ taught. I share posts voicing my opposition to abortion and the fact that Margaret Sanger designed Planned Parenthood to get rid of black people….to kill them before they were ever born… but I do not hate those who are pro-choice. I share posts standing for the Biblical definition of marriage, but I do not hate homosexuals. I share posts exposing racism and hatred based on skin color and exposing the evil of the justice system in this country, and the systemic criminalization of Black people, but I do not hate white people. As a result of my many posts exposing and challenging views about racism (and there have been many), there are those among my white brothers and sisters who have now labeled my family racists, and do not want to see my family at church anymore. There are those who say that the recent (3 months) worth of posts have been exclusively “Black this and black that” and they are sick of it. They are tired of seeing it in their newsfeed. There are those who believe that all I have shared is negativity. There are those who have unfriended my family and labeled us as now preachers of hate and not preachers of the Gospel. All of this and more because of news stories shared on Facebook. Does anyone other than me see a problem here? We have not changed as a family. The current issue that we happen to be confronting is simply a more difficult one for people to come to terms with. As Christians, for the most part, we can agree on the issue of abortion. For the most part we can agree on the danger of ISIS and the need to pray and stand against that. But sadly, we do not agree on issues of racism. My life experience has given me a different perspective than some of yours, and I share from that perspective partnered with what Gods Word teaches us, and many are increasingly, overwhelmingly uncomfortable. So I am called names. And my family members are called names. And I receive hate filled messages. Because somehow it is still not understood that we are the same. Now, understand that when I say that we have not changed, I am referring to our faith and commitment to Christ. It has not wavered or diminished. We have not changed. But what I am realizing is that many just never got to know us as well as they thought they did in those 2 hour a week services. We still love God. We still love people. We still stand and speak out against injustice, but we now realize that what we view as injustice is not what many of you view as injustice. What we feel passionately about speaking out against, you do not feel passionately about speaking out against. Our
goal as a family was to wake people up. Our goal was to raise awareness to what we viewed as the senseless murders of unarmed black men, and the systemic abuse of black people that has remained the status quo in America during and since slavery. Many hold to the belief that the Civil Rights Act did away with all of that, but as I have often said, you can’t legislate the heart. The Civil Rights Act simply gave the white citizens of America whose hearts overflowed with venom for the African American people, boundaries on how far they could go legally in their efforts to rid the “stain” of brown skin from this country. It did not remove the venom. Do you understand? I need you to see and know that horrible evils still take place in this country to the people who look like me, and you need me to see and know that things are not like they used to be, and you need me to understand this while I watch an unarmed black boys body lay in the street with part of his face blown off and his brains oozing out from gunfire by a police officer, for four hours. You need me to understand while I watch an unarmed, black, father of six and grandfather being choked to death, and then see the police walk away without penalty. I want you to stand and fight with me for things to continue to change, and you want me to acknowledge that there have been changes and IF progress is still needed, I just need to understand that it takes time. But how much time? Today marks the 59th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and a young black boy was found
hanging in NC a couple of months ago.How much time is still needed?
Life is about perspective, but perspectives change all of the time. We hear good movie reviews and decide to see it. Then we hear some really bad ones and decide to wait until it comes out on dvd. Our perspective on whether or not we should spend $54 (for our family) or $15 was impacted by information. How often have we lived to see our perspectives change? But in this area…racism and it’s lasting effects on this country, on the church, I have found that many of my conservative brothers and sisters hold their position. I don’t understand, but I do not harbor hatred. My perspective on the current events we are facing on this front are not what they were a year or two ago. They have continued to grow, and evolve. While I don’t blame you for holding to a perspective that I disagree with, I pray that yours will not remain the same in this crucial area. At the same time, I believe that the descendants of slaves have proven over and over again in this country, that we patiently wait and hope for change, understanding that some changes take more time than others.
I have always been a person who believed that prayer (our communication with God) and the sharing of perspectives and information (our communication with each other), changes things. Sin is a human condition. It knows no color and does not operate within the parameters that our flesh has established. It is not black, white, or brown. To continue to insist in word or deed, that one people group is inherently superior to another based on racist ideology is a huge fallacy that many who name Christ fall for daily. Following are just a couple of areas where perspectives of white and black Christians seem to differ substantially. I will be discussing these topics in upcoming posts.
The sanctity of the flag and US Constitution
The ‘sovereignty’ of American soil
The value of the descendants of slaves (human beings)
The presumed guilt of black people
I will also be covering, for the sake of sharing historical information, as well as assisting in the development of empathy and compassion, posts about the following subjects;
Brief historical overview of Black Economics
Brief historical overview of the Black Family
Brief historical overview of Black Education
Brief historical overview of Black Politics
Brief historical overview of Blacks in Prison
Gods word tells us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Let us begin to do this together in the area that is currently dividing our nation again. Remember, communicating about the issue is not what causes division. Ignoring the issue is.
Ukali and I began the week praying for the families in Connecticut, and thinking about an interview we saw with the father of a Columbine student who said that after losing his son in that horrible occurrence, he would never send his younger children to public school. He later adopted two children and they are being homeschooled by he and his wife. While I am a huge advocate and encourager of homeschooling, I do not believe it is the answer to all of life’s evils. Whenever a shooting occurs it seems as if the nation, and even the world stops in its tracks and we are all united by our grief, as well as the sheer horror that follows a real-life incident that proves that such evil exists. What I want to point out in this post is that not only does real, horrible, violent evil against children (and all of humanity) truly exist, it has existed almost from the beginning.
“Then Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, gave this order to the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah: “When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver. If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.” But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king’s orders. They allowed the boys to live, too.” Exodus 1:15-17
“After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.”Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the star’s first appearance. Herod’s brutal action fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:
“A cry was heard in Ramah—weeping and great mourning.Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted, for they are dead.” Matthew 2:3-18
While we grieve and mourn this catastrophic event that amounts to the slaughter of the innocent, let’s not forget that in this country, the innocent are slaughtered everyday. Where Pharoah and Herod ordered the murder of children after they were born and the sex was determined, which in itself is absolutely horrid and inconceivable, we order and legalize the murder of any child, prior to birth, if their existence is viewed as a potential inconvenience, or they are deemed imperfect. Where is the horror…where is the shock……where are the tears…where is the Presidential address to a mourning nation…where
is the dismay? There is a quiet acceptance of abortion, even in church circles. There are some who cry out. There are some who protest. there are some who pray
A total of 827,609 abortions were reported to CDC for 2007. In 2008, approximately 1.21 million abortions took place in the U.S.
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml… / http://www.abort73.com/abortion_facts/us…
When we look back at all of the school shootings that have taken place (for a list of shootings in the US check out http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0777958.html), we realize that these are horribly violent incidents that occur and shock us out of our visually impaired slumber of indifference. Not only are countless unborn babies the victims of violently brutal attacks, dismemberment while in what is supposed to be the protective womb of their mother, but our school-age children are violently brutalized daily…hourly. They are being gunned down by sinful, Christ-hating worldviews every minute of every day. An overstimulation induced infatuation with sex, a satanic attraction to idolatry, a disrespect for authority, profane communication, temptation and involvement in drugs and alcohol, and a life that is the result of the generational blaspheming of God are the primary weapons of choice. This is what every child is exposed to in the public education system…in the world at large. As parents, we cannot continue to blindly believe that our children are not impacted greatly by ungodly worldviews, and by the culture’s hatred for God and all things holy!!! We can deny it all we want….God told the nation of Israel not to interact with the very people we send our kids to school with… the very ones who impact and influence their thoughts and shape their worldviews, because if they did they would take on their ways! And that’s exactly what has happened…we have done just that… We send our children to these indoctrination factories where they learn how to justify evolutionary teaching and ungodly views which lead to the development of mindsets that are tolerant and excusatory where sin is concerned. Mindsets where abortion and homosexuality and lying and fornication and angry outbursts and unforgiveness are all ok! These schools teach white children that black kids…my kids were born defected…feebleminded…unfit for life or any kind of success because their skin is dark. You disagree? Look into evolutionary teaching that exists in every government run school for yourself. It teaches them that there is no God, because we are God, and as God we have the power and the right to choose who deserves to live, die, eat and feed their children. We created ourselves and we are in control! If we look at Biblical history, the children of Israel were not educated in schools taught by pagan cultures. Babylonian captivity brought forced indoctrination, that 70 years later some decendants of Abraham would find themselves loyal to, and choose to uphold and teach their own children voluntarily. The adults were not strong enough to remain faithful but for some reason today we think that our children are…. (check out 2 book…Already Gone and Already Compromised)
Now, I know that there are some readers who desire to homeschool but do not for several reasons. For some, our husbands may not be in favor, while for others, we do not believe that we are capable of educating our children. And for others, we truly believe in the virtues of government education. Whatever the reasons, all I ask is that this homeschool thing is something that is sincerely prayed over. As a mom whose kids have attended public school and are being homeschooled, there is no judgement or condemnation here against those who do not homeschool. But there are some things I want to encourage all of us to think about. As the violence against our children, born and unborn, rages more and more out of control, many agree that homeschooling may become the only viable option for families. There are many Herods…there are many Pharoah’s, and it would seem that a decree has gone out to kill our children. With this in mind, as violence against children grows, the amount of time we spend seeking the Lord should grow! As violence increases, so should the amount of time we spend on our knees crying out to the Lord for direction where the safety of our children is concerned!!! While this violent act stopped our nation in its tracks, I pray that it won’t take another one to bring us to our knees.
During the early years of our marriage, my husband worked at a bank. He shared with me that when the bank tellers were being trained to recognize counterfeit money, they had to spend hours and hours studying, not the fake money, but the real one. The logic behind this was that if you have studied and learned to recognize the truth when you see or hear it, you will not be fooled by the lie when it tries to sway you. I began to think about this in regards to discipleship and this blog. I am relatively new to blogging and am still working to develop a voice within Joyfully Submitted. This morning, as I was reading in Proverbs, I came across these scriptures again and decided to pause here. When I started Joyfully Submitted, it was with the intent (and still is with this intent) to interact with women of all ages who have struggled or are currently struggling with the whole ‘submission’ thing. I have been particularly sensitive to this area because I used to be one of ‘those’ women, and at times, if I am not very careful to guard my heart, I will find that I am still one of them. In my heart and mind I had envisioned myself writing/blogging about the horrid impact of the feminist movement, and the many wars we have to fight in our own hearts to rid it of the poison that’s ben infused into our lives via the media, and the movement. I planned to confront the lies that we’ve been told a lot with the Truth that we have heard very little. And I planned to present a gracious, loving, compassionate and straightforward view of my own struggle and journey to this place called ‘Submission’. But I haven’t done that, at least not the way I imagined. But then I began to think that if I invest all of my time discussing and seeking a better understanding of all of the things that are in opposition to God’s Word, and write about that, we will all be better equipped with the knowledge of the lie, than we are with the knowledge of the truth. But if we want to be genuinely equipped with the truth and how to defend it against the lies, we must study Truth. Doesn’t that make sense? If Christ is Lord of our lives, shouldn’t we study His Word more than we do the words of any other?
Let’s take a look at the topic of submission in marriage in light of this. Could it be that the reason we struggle with submitting is because we have the world’s definition of it in our minds and hearts and not the Lords definition? The picture painted by His Word is beautiful, and peaceful, and joyful. But when we come at our marital relationships from the wrong direction or with the wrong viewpoint, we end up with something that isn’t pleasing and is full of contention, dissension and despair. On the contrary, in a Godly marriage, we see hearts genuinely grow closer, and two truly become one over time. However, in a marriage, even a ‘Christian’ one, that does not have a Christ-centered worldview (I know, how is it then classified as ‘christian’?) of marriage, we see bitterness set in and hearts become cold and distant over time. What would it look like if we applied more of the Truth to our marriages than we do the lie? What would our marriages look like if we sought to emulate the character and the heart that Christ has displayed towards us towards our spouses? I know the answer! They would look different than they do now!!!! They wouldn’t look like the relationships we see in the world that lack victory over sin!! They would look like God’s Word says they should…we would look like God’s Word says we should…We would look like OVERCOMERS!!! What about the parenting of our children? What would that look like if we applied more of the Truth of Scripture to that process and to the understanding and methods that we implore on our journey towards Godly parenting? WOW!!! Can you imagine? I can… And this is what I want to blog about…the Truth…and how it applies to ALL aspects of our lives. We can be Joyfully Submitted to our husbands when we are Joyfully Submitted to the Lord. But how do we do that every day, and in every situation? God’s Word is KEY…and not just reading it, but applying it. I pray that you enjoy the posts on this blog, but I pray more that you are encouraged and challenged in your relationship with God and others. Please let me know if this blog has an impact on your life. 🙂 I would love to hear what God is doing in your life…how He’s helping you to become more like Christ. Until next time, enjoy being Joyfully Submitted!