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Contending with Whiteness and Racism

“Is the focus on whiteness the 
best way to combat racism?”

President Joe Biden said in a speech that “White supremacy… is the single most dangerous terrorist threat in our homeland.” Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate Chuck Shumer wrote on his X account “The definition of white nationalism is not a matter of opinion…it is racist down to its rotten core.” Dr. Michael Emerson, a national expert on race, told a denominational gathering of the Evangelical Covenant Church in a presentation that, “Two thirds of white practicing Christians are not followers of Christianity. They are followers of the religion of whiteness.” (Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash)

In recent years there has been a growing focus on “whiteness,” with its many related terms. It has trickled down from academia into politics, business, education, media and in the church.  

Why? In part, because of the very real injustices of white Americans and Europeans upon people of color. In America, the African slave trade and the treatment of Native Americans are just two glaring examples of the past.  

But can I ask, is the focus on whiteness the best way to combat racism? To answer that we have to ask, where does racism and antisemitism come from? Does it originate from institutions? Are its roots found in someone’s skin color? It is deeper. The seeds come from the curse of sin, which has dwelt within every human being since mankind’s origins. It is a curse that causes all of us to do lawless, evil and immoral things. It is written, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”, and the Lord God says, “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind…” (Jeremiah 17:9-10)

How government, groups and individuals treat one another is evidence of this wicked curse. And unfortunately, this has been a tragic part of human history from nearly the beginning. Every racial group and ethnicity has dark periods in the past where they senselessly oppressed and victimized others. Even today, the cries of oppressed people can still be heard throughout the world. 

There is only one answer to this inherited evil that has ravaged humanity. The solution is not found in addressing the problems of a single race, but rather what is beneath that skin. The human Heart. There lay the problem! The white man’s heart must be changed. But so must the heart of the Black, African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander. All of us must be changed!  

And where can that change begin? With you and me. And how can we receive that transformed heart? First, admit to God any prejudices that you have toward others. Second, be willing to accept others despite racial or cultural differences from you. Third, by faith believe in Jesus and His willingness to cleanse your heart and give you supernatural love for those whom you once rejected. Your heart problem cannot be cured through your own efforts, but only through the miraculous power of Jesus Christ. God once said, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you…” (Ezekiel 36:26)    

But then what? After transformed people are truly touched by the power of God, they begin to live differently. They show the world what the Kingdom of God is really like, for the Scriptures say, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne.” (Psalm 89:14) Changed people reach out and love those different from them. They forgive and make peace with others. They become a voice for God and speak up against the unjust treatment of people. They become conduits of justice advocating for the repealing of laws and policies that oppress others, and for new ones that promote the fair treatment of all. For the foundation of a more just society flows out of hearts that have been transformed by the power of Jesus and is guided by His Holy Word.        

A prayer for you – Lord God, we pray for the racial division within our nation. Let our eyes be lifted above skin color, and toward you. O Lord, cleanse our hearts from any prejudice toward others. Help us to love others different from us, and speak up against oppression, wherever it may be found. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

This post first appeared on Proclaiming Truth, please read the originial post: here

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Contending with Whiteness and Racism


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