Why racial issues are so difficult for God’s people

“Work for the welfare of the city where I have sent you…and pray on its behalf. For as it prospers, you will prosper” (Jeremiah 29:7).

America is having a racial crisis.  Again.  Or, perhaps more accurately, the same crisis we have had for decades continues to the present day.

Here are some thoughts on the subject regarding the Lord’s people….

1) If you and I are of different races, we will see racial matters differently.

2) If your racial group is dominant and mine is in the minority, expecting us both to feel the same about racial matters is unrealistic.

3) When a racial incident breaks out, mature Christian people should measure their words and actions very carefully. None of us living hundred miles away know all the facts and anything we say is likely to be hurtful.

4) Every racial divide in America will attract its extremists of both sides.  No matter which side they represent, they tend to have loud bullhorns and play to the media, and are given more airtime than those with well-reasoned out viewpoints.  These are ironclad rules.

5) Agitators thrive on this kind of conflict and have a vested interest in stirring it up and keeping it going.

6) When an incident first arises in a community, the grownups on all sides of the issue should be first to rush to deal with it, rather than backing off and leaving it for the trouble-makers.  Agitators love a vacuum.  So, let’s not leave one.

7) Healthy relationships between the races should be established in good times when no conflicts exist and communication is easier.  Otherwise, without a healthy base, when something erupts anything could happen.

8) Christian people should know the difference in speaking in the flesh and responding in the Spirit.  In a crisis, those who do not know the difference–or who cannot restrain their flesh–should go home and be quiet and let the mature believers have the floor.  In most cases, this will require more strength of character than they can manage.

9) When Christian people find themselves being swayed by a so-called preacher who is counseling them to act in an unChristlike way, they should get up and leave immediately.  Such charlatans cannot be reasoned with and you shouldn’t even try. The best way to get their attention is by letting them suddenly find the room they are addressing to be vacant and their audience non-existent.

10) During quiet times, God’s people should reach out to others of good intention of other races and establish healthy friendships.  Then, if and when an incident breaks out, these friends already have a trust relationship with which to work.

This is one of many good reasons why pastors of various races swapping pulpits (and choirs) occasionally can be good.  Bringing the two congregations together for a shared meal is also a good idea, as is a leadership forum for both churches.

11) Leaving this to others–other pastors, other teachers, other parents–is a huge mistake. Anyone who cares can take the initiative and reach out to a counterpart of the other race.

12) Let us pray always for one another and love each other in Christ.

13) Doing this–any of it–requires getting out of our comfort zone. This does not come naturally or easily.  We like our own circle of friends and do not enjoy putting ourselves in uncomfortable settings.

14) Taking the initiative to reach out to someone of another race may subject you to verbal opposition and slander by the immature and carnal.  You may pay a price.  The best response is to continue loving them and to do nothing in retaliation.  A soft answer turneth away wrath. Trust the Lord to bring them around.

15) In reaching out to friends of another race to establish a friendship, be prepared to listen as well as to speak.  Do not have an agenda of your own.  Guard against paternalism.

16) Doing anything is better than doing nothing.

17) When meeting with an interracial group, if you know a great story that has racial overtones–even if you believe it is ideal and would be well-received–do not tell it. Someone will not understand.

18) Pray for yourself, your church and its leaders, and the churches around you, of all races.

19) In your city and county, elect thoughtful officials who are gracious to everyone.  Let them know of your expectations.  Stay informed as to what is going on locally.

20) Do everything you can to support your local law enforcement agencies, as far as you can.  Build a relationship with the leaders to make sure they know of your concern for justice and righteousness.  Do not tolerate brutality and do not condone unfairness.

21) Write letters to local officials when they get something right. Likewise, if they seem to be transgressing, find a way to express your concern to them.

“You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:13,14)

2 thoughts on “Why racial issues are so difficult for God’s people

  1. Another “reality” for pastors in the rural South is that if they initiate any such interracial meetings, they will be praying for a pulpit committee because they will be dismissed from their present place of service. I can think of three good men who went through this. It’s tragic and wrong that such things should happen, but they still do.

  2. Dear Dr Joe Mckeever
    Calvary greeting in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
    I came across your articles when I was searching for sermons about the true Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The fact that you have been in Ministry for over 50 years made made me wanna learn more from you especially to a young minister like myself from an Islamic background.
    My name is Mohammed Saeed born in Mozambique but raised in Zimbabwe and Sudan. My father is serving Allah as an Imam in Sudan. over 12 years ago I had an encounter with Jesus Christ and I accepted Him as my Lord and personal Saviour of my life. I was rejected by my own family ever since I gave my life to Jesus. After giving my life to Jesus I had to ran away from Sudan to South Africa since the radical Muslims terrorists wanted to kill me because of my faith in Jesus. I have visited many churches but I have been rejected because of either my skin color or the tribe I come from. If you know the history of South Africa you would know about Apartheid, how blacks, coloreds, and Indians were not allowed to live in the same areas with white people.
    Blacks were separated into different homeland according to their own tribes, cultures and languages, same applied to coloreds and Indians.
    Although South Africa is now a democratic country but the legacy of apartheid is still living with us because racism, tribalism is still raising its ugly head unfortunately even in the Church. Since I am living in a foreign country as refugee I have been to different churches Churches and I have seen it all. I was blessed when I read your article about the Sin of racism, because not men white Pastors are willing to talk about it and condemn it with strongest terms as you are doing. I realized that because of my background I might be able to formally go a Bible College since I do not have anyone to support me however I will not allow what I do not have to break my spirit and hinder me to fulfill God’s call upon my life. The Holy Spirit has given me an idea to look for sound second hand Christian books written by Pastors and authors from Baptist Churches, Anglican, Presbyterian because pastors from these Churches have a sound doctrine which Christ centered and Bible based. I am here to learn from your 5o years of experience.
    A. I have a desire to preach the pure Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with our people in Africa { Africa has over a 1 billion people} but majority of our people have never heard the pure Gospel preached by the Baptist because many of our people are only exposed to the heresy of the so called Prosperity Gospel which emanated from America via Tele-Evangelist whose job is only to give the poor masses of our people false hopes in the name that all that God is concerned about in this life is health, wealthy and prosperity
    B. Leadership development is very critical in Africa as over 95% of the Pastors in Africa do not have any formal Bible College Training. However to bridge this gape I have a vision to establish Mobile Training Centers in both rural villages and cities in Africa.
    C. Children’s Ministry is one of the greatest needs in the black churches in Africa since children are neglected in our black Churches because very few Church leaders have received a training in Children’s Ministry
    D. Supporting emerging Missions: The Church in Africa needs to be trained in Missions to reach the remaining the unreached and unengaged tribes in Africa
    E. Church- planting: There is a needy to train more nationals to be able to fulfill the great Commission by planting healthy-churches that plant churches
    F. Empowerment projects : For Africa to get out of abject poverty it needs partners who will come along with the nationals to assist them to start income generating projects in the area of farming eg Vegetables gardens, Fish farming, poultry etc. Africa needs to be empowered so that she may be able to feed herself rather than relying on handouts.
    I will share more about my testimony on via email.
    I am grateful that I found your website Dr Joe.
    I pray that God may continue to give you good health so that you may continue to be blessing to our generation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.