Charlottesville: Reminding Everyone That Racism Is Alive and Ugly
A lot of good things, and some not so good, have been said and written since the tragic events in Charlottesville last week. None have been much better, in my thinking, than what Russell Moore wrote. I appreciate this for its biblical base, prophetic nature, and clarity:
White supremacy angers Jesus, but does it anger his church?
As we watched the televised images of the noxious, violent white nationalist protests in Charlottesville this week, many of us felt our blood pressures rise. Many of us were, and are, angry. Many of us have been for some time about the resurgence of white supremacy and anti-Semitism we see all over the world.
In a time like this, Christians might ask whether we should, in fact, be angry. Should we not instead just conclude that this is what a fallen world is like and pray for the final judgment to come? If you are feeling distressed and heated, you have reason to be. White supremacy makes Jesus angry.
One of the many remarkable things about the picture we get of Jesus in the Gospels is how relatively calm he is. When his disciples are panicking in a life-threatening storm, Jesus is asleep. When villages reject the message, the apostles are angered but Jesus is not. Threatened with arrest and even execution, Jesus meets his accusers with tranquility. The Scriptures show us two things that make Jesus visibly angry: religious hypocrisy and racial supremacist ideology.
I also recommend Ed Stetzer’s article #Charlottesville, the Christian Response, and Your Church’s Call and Kevin DeYoung’s blog post It Wasn’t That Long Ago.
Racial unity—fostering interracial understanding, partnership, and unity in the Body of Christ, and in our greater communities—is one of the things close to our ministry’s heart. We highly recommend John Perkin’s ministry, The John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation, Justice & Christian Community Development, one of those we support with our book royalties. John’s example of love, forgiveness, and Christ-centeredness has touched my life deeply, and I recently shared my foreword to his excellent new book, Dream With Me.
In a past blog post, Brotherhood and the Color of Our Skin, I highly recommended Benjamin Watson’s book Under Our Skin. Ben is an NFL tight-end with the Baltimore Ravens who spoke powerfully at January’s March for Life in Washington, D.C. Under Our Skin is a terrific book on race relationships. It’s now my go-to book on this subject, and I have read many.
For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility (Ephesians 2:14).