Choose...A Radical Response to Racism
Someone has well said, “Repetition is the key to learning!” This is certainly the case as we look out on the face of an American culture shaped and shattered, torn and tormented by the repeated assault of an insidious trichotomy of individualism, consumerism and racism. It is apparent, in this season, that racism is the dominate head of this three headed beast. This aberrant enemy of humanity, Racism, is the most vicious while the other two (individualism and consumerism) lap up the remains that lie in the wake.
Racism is a learned, programmed, FALSE paradigm that deceives humans, destroys community, distorts identity and denies hospitality. God offers humanity a better paradigm and way to live. God gives love.
“Those who are loved by God, let his love continually pour from you to one another, because God is love. Everyone who loves is fathered by God and experiences an intimate knowledge of him. The one who doesn’t love has yet to know God, for God is love. The light of God’s love shined within us when he sent his matchless Son into the world so that we might live through him. This is love: He loved us long before we loved him. It was his love, not ours. He proved it by sending his Son to be the pleasing sacrificial offering to take away our sins. Delightfully loved ones, if he loved us with such tremendous love, then “loving one another” should be our way of life!” 1 John 4:7-11 TPT
Love acts to disciple the image bearing follower toward true celebration of ‘identifiers’ (physical difference), the intentional practice of friendship and neighborliness, while radically initiating hospitality and care for the whole being.
Our identity is not in our identifiers, yet, the programing of racism distorts the two and would make a physical difference equal to the person. That is not of God. God gave humanity identity by making them in His image and likeness. Additionally our intentional practice of friendship and neighborliness is the cornerstone and foundation for civility. We become the continuation of Jesus on this planet as we intentionally practice friendship and community. Finally, our practice of initiating radical hospitality toward the world is the means and platform for the systemic programming of racism, and any other ill to find a safe place to be reshaped. This is what God calls love!
“Anyone can say, “I love God,” yet have hatred toward another believer or another person. This makes him a phony, because if you don’t love a brother or sister, whom you can see, how can you truly love God, whom you can’t see? For he has given us this command: whoever loves God must also demonstrate love to others.” 1 John 4:20-21 TPT
Make the choice to Love. Choosing love denies the culture’s influence and the sin-sick, deplorable thinking of racism. Choose LOVE! Racism, even at the subconscious level is demonic and evil at best. Choose LOVE! Don’t be colorblind. See and celebrate the bouquet of humanity, celebrating God’s creation is the only way to enjoy God’s “wonderfully made” human family. Choose LOVE. Don’t be reactionary and hypersensitive to your context. Remember, those who are sick with racism have been programmed (often without even knowing as much) and, the enculturation of American racist thinking results in racist behaviors.
Choose Love and thank God for the mission of making strangers your neighbor and neighbors friends. Choose LOVE!
Thomas Thomas brings unique qualities and gifts to enhance the effectiveness of ministry training. He is a dynamic preacher but also a scholarly teacher who is sound in faith. His positive experience in evangelism and growing congregations will help to equip future preachers and missionaries for their task of expanding the borders of the Kingdom.