We Need Honest Discussions About Race in the Church
Racial unity is a topic that I’m glad to see more churches in our country addressing. Still, there’s much work to be done. I agree everyone needs Jesus and that makes all the difference. Yet many whites and blacks who do love Jesus with all their hearts feel alienated from each other when they hear one another talk about race. So salvation, which is purely by God’s grace, is a beginning, but must be followed by sanctification which gets complicated because it requires work on our part, especially when it comes to difficult things like racial unity.
In a blog post, Isaac Adams shared an example of a white and black pastor at the same church having an open discussion about race in front of their church the July weekend after two back-to-back tragic killings by police, followed the next day by the murder of five police in Dallas. Though the 45-minute audio conversation Isaac shares in his article took place several months ago, I think it’s a timeless example of how black and white pastors can model honest conversation about race in front of their churches.
Not only is the content great, what I also love is the model of how churches can openly discuss these things. And if a particular church has no white pastor or black pastor, combining two churches for a weekend with the white pastor from one and the black pastor from another would be great. Who knows what it could lead to? (Of course there’s value in Hispanics, Asians, and other races being included, but the greatest historic divide in America is between whites and blacks.)
Related to this topic, I also highly recommend Benjamin Watson's thoughtful and well-written book Under Our Skin.
In our churches, may we experience the joy of unity, a foretaste of the perfect unity in a place yet to come!