What does destruction, looting and “occupying” have to do with racial problems? It’s terrible to see such evil.
A: Yes it is. Just as there are always bad apples who spoil the bushel, demon spirits of destruction, looting, lawlessness and murder have mixed themselves into this important moment in American history. Our citizens and our God are seeking to proclaim justice and equality for all people. We have made great strides in healing our nation of racism, yet the peaceful protesters of today are raising an important point: If Black men are still dying in such brutal ways, we have not yet arrived at a place of peace as a nation. There is a terrible evil threaded through our ranks and we must do something about it.
James, the brother of Christ Jesus instructs us: “Your calling is to fulfill the royal law of love as given to us in this Scripture: ‘You must love and value your neighbor as you love and value yourself!’ For keeping this law is the noble way to live. But when you show prejudice you commit sin and you violate this royal law of love” (James 2:8, 9, TPT). The scripture he was quoting is a teaching from Jesus himself. Christ boldly addressed the issue of bigotry in a time when slavery was commonplace.
Some of us grew up in a rural community where racial diversity was non-existent. In my Christian household, thankfully, my parents did not teach prejudice toward any skin color either. I grew up, like many white people in rural areas, without a context or reference for the tensions plaguing the urban cities or southern states. My experience with other races didn’t occur until I went to college. To some, my ignorance is a crime in itself ... that I should have been more aware of the oppression and strife whole cultures of people were held under, and in some ways, still are. How can you live in America and not know what’s going on? I’ll tell you: we didn’t have internet, we had lack-luster education standards in our schools (to say the least) regarding American history and in my household, TV was scarce (cable was nonexistent) and the newspaper reported mostly local events. It was easy to get lost in the cornfields of Indiana and forget the rest of the world.
Last night, the Lord brought a film across my cable TV screen that changed my life, however. It’s called “Emanuel: The Untold Story,” a documentary about a horrific massacre that occurred in 2015 at the oldest African American church in the nation; Mother Emanuel, Charleston, South Carolina. The terrible truth is that I don’t even remember hearing about this event on the news at the time. I had no idea this diabolical, hideous crime had happened. As I watched, I wept and repented. The Holy Spirit convicted me of the fact that it is inexcusable to be a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people while having such little understanding of the plight of other races. The movie explained to me exactly why our nation is in an uproar of continual protest, proclaiming and crying out for the equality and acknowledgment of our brothers and sisters of color. “Emanuel” is a must-see for every American citizen.
The destruction and looting and violence of our cities in response to the death of a Black man is simply trading evil for evil. Yet the root of why our nation rages against racism is as necessary as the signing of The Declaration of Independence. God is allowing the racial pot to boil over because we must embrace one another, truly. The cancer must be cut out; the boil lanced. Because we’ll all be in heaven together, for starters. And we don’t need to wait until then to bring heaven to earth.
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne; and to the Lamb’” (Revelation 7:9, 10, NIV).
Please pray for one nation under God ... just as it is in heaven.
Do you have a question or comment for Pastor Adrienne? Send your inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to P.O. Box 214, Harrison, OH 45030. For more information, please visit www.adriennewgreene.com or tune into the “Ask Pastor Adrienne” YouTube channel.
Ask Pastor Adrienne column: The national rage of racism