I started this book with the premise that racism was a spiritual issue, a spiritual force of wickedness connected with the devil and the powers of hell. I believe we will have to contend with the spirit of racism in the earth, in America, until the return of Jesus Christ. The Bible speaks of an “end” time in 1 Cor 15:24-28 when Jesus will “put down all rule and all authority and power,” “put all enemies under his feet,” “subdue” all things:
“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”
1 Cor 15:24-28
To say that racism no longer exists is in direct contradiction with the teachings of the Bible. To say that racism can be subdued by politics, economics, sociology, academia, even some aspects of organized religion, is to exalt the power of man and man-made things above the Word of God and the powerful return of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Can it be that even the Church has been seduced to think that it is possible to permanently put down one of the forces of hell before the return of the Lord? If so, let us also subdue the spirits behind theft, rape, and even murder.
I feel that a good portion of the Church in America has been lulled to sleep by its president. The president says there is no pandemic, don’t wear a mask, and the Church follows these words with the same fervor as if it were the Word of God. The president says that systemic racism doesn’t exist, and again the Church follows. I feel that the words of Eph 5:14-16 are appropriate here. As it pertains to the operation of the spirit of racism in America, “the days are evil”:
“Wherefore he saith, awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
In MGA (Vol 1), in a chapter entitled, “A Ringing Endorsement by the Church?” I said, “The president has turned back the clock of the racial climate of the United States. In the name of supporting other issues, Christian Trump supporters knowingly or unknowingly turn a blind eye to racism and the widening racial divide caused by the president. It is the blind spot that has existed in the Church since the time of the Founding Fathers.”
In that same chapter, I shared, “Historically, in the name of preservation of the Union, the Church turned its back on slavery. Similarly, civil rights for African Americans were delayed because they were not a priority for the national leaders in the Church at that time.” I feel that history is repeating itself. In a time when matters of race have resurfaced to crisis levels, many of the national leaders of the Church feel that it’s not a “priority.”
Finally, in the same chapter that challenges the Church in America to look closer at what it’s “endorsing,” I said, “God had to raise up a new Church leader, in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., outside the established Christian leadership, to move forward His vision, His ‘dream’ of racial unity in America.”
I’d like to close this book with Dr. King’s words and his prophetic vision for America. There is no Christian leader in America’s history, whose words and actions have done more to reconcile America across its racial divisions. I believe if Dr. King were alive today, he would say that we are closer to the “dream” of America that God gave him, but we are not there. I believe he would say that though black people have got the same right to vote as whites, the right to go to the same schools, work in the same jobs and even hold the highest elected office, that they still lack equal protection under the law.
I believe Dr. King would call America’s attention, her conscience, to police brutality and the inequities that still exist in how minority communities are policed and specifically to the differences in how black people experience the police.
I am not Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I do not have his eloquence nor his magnificent literary abilities. I further acknowledge that I also may not walk in the great grace that he had when addressing the subject of racism. As I read his writings, however, I am convinced more than ever that he saw a spiritual component in the battle against racism. He patterned his attack against the manifestation of racism after the example of the Lord Jesus Christ. Everything in Dr. King’s nonviolent response to racism points back to the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Dr. King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, said this about his efforts, “Martin always pleaded for positive, constructive action. The triple evils of poverty, racism, and war were his concerns wherever they were found in the world. He devoted his life to the process of uprooting them.”
In this book, I have tried to address the spiritual aspects of our nation’s racism crisis. Again, on the topic of racism, Dr. King is America’s greatest Christian orator. I do not approach the brilliance with which he addressed it. In any way that I may have written anything outside the leading of the Holy Spirit, I offer my apologies to God and the reader.
I have been profoundly impacted as I have researched the history of racism in America and its enduring legacy of brutality towards African Americans. It would be dishonest to say that it has not impacted what I have written. To the best of my ability, however, I have relied on the spirit of God, and God’s grace, to write this book despite my strong emotions on the topic.
In light of my shortcomings, I felt the best way to end this book was with the words of Dr. King himself. I close not only with his all too familiar “I Have a Dream” speech, but with several other quotes from him that may inspire and provoke the reader in ways that I may have been unsuccessful. I have taken all of these quotes from a book entitled “The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr., as selected by Coretta Scott King: (King, The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr. Selected by Coretta Scott King, 1983)
“The majority of white Americans consider themselves sincerely committed to justice for the Negro. They believe that American society is essentially hospitable to fair play and to steady growth toward a middle-class Utopia embodying racial harmony. But unfortunately this is a fantasy of self-deception and comfortable vanity. Overwhelmingly America is still struggling with irresolution and contradictions. It has been sincere and even ardent in welcoming some change. But too quickly apathy and disinterest rise to the surface when the next logical steps are to be taken. Laws are passed in a crisis mood after a Birmingham or a Selma, but no substantial fervor survives the formal signing of legislation. The recording of the law itself is treated as the reality of the reform.”
“A religion true to its nature must also be concerned about man’s social conditions. Religion deals with both earth and heaven, both time and eternity. Religion operates not only on the vertical plane but also on the horizontal. It seeks not only to integrate men with God but to integrate men with men and each man with himself. This means, at bottom, that the Christian gospel is a two-way road. On the one hand, it seeks to change the souls of men and thereby unite them with God; on the other hand, it seeks to change the environmental conditions of men so that the soul will have a chance after it is changed. Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums that dam them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them, is a dry-as-dust religion…”
“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgment. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?”
“In the final analysis the white man cannot ignore the Negro’s problem, because he is part of the Negro and the Negro is part of him. The Negro’s agony diminishes the white man, and the Negro’s salvation enlarges the white man. What is needed today on the part of white America is a committed altruism which recognizes this truth. True altruism is more than the capacity to pity; it is the capacity to empathize. Pity is feeling sorry for someone; empathy is feeling sorry with someone. Empathy is fellow feeling for the person in need—his pain, agony, and burdens. I doubt if the problems of our teeming ghettos will have a great chance to be solved until the white majority, through genuine empathy, comes to feel the ache and anguish of the Negro’s daily life.”
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others. In dangerous valleys and hazardous pathways, he will lift some bruised and beaten brother to a higher and more noble life.”
“Many people fear nothing more terribly than to take a position which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion. The tendency of most is to adopt a view that is so ambiguous that it will include everything and so popular that it will include everybody. Not a few men who cherish lofty and noble ideals hide them under a bushel for fear of being called different.”
“To develop a sense of black consciousness and peoplehood does not require that we scorn the white race as a whole. It is not the race per se that we fight but the policies and ideology that leaders of that race have formulated to perpetuate oppression.”
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