We understand that people enter into conversations about race and racism from different perspectives, which are based on their experiences, values and environments. Growing in our understanding of our own cultural identities and those of others helps us to fulfill the second part of the Great Commandment: loving others. We don’t have this conversation because it is “trending,” but rather because it’s important to God and affects our witness as the body of Christ.
When entering into conversations about racism — the individual and collective posture towards people and misuse of power that results in diminished life opportunities for some groups based on arbitrary reasons, including the creation of race — it’s important to understand that while the Bible doesn’t mention racism with the words we use today, it teaches clearly about the overarching ideas, behaviors and characteristics of racism.
We recognize that this topic can be painful and frustrating for everyone because we all have different understandings and experiences. Some have been hurt directly, some have seen it from a distance, and some don’t see a problem. It is important to approach this conversation with a humble heart, knowing that no one fully knows or understands it all.
The first step to moving forward is to pray that God would expose anything in our hearts that is not pleasing to Him (Psalm 139:23-24) and to ask Him for wisdom (James 1:5). Then, we need to be honest with God and ourselves about our shortcomings, frustrations and lack of understanding. To thoroughly understand and repent, it will be necessary to learn about our history. We have to understand our past before we can understand our present and make changes for a better future.
No matter where we are on our journeys toward oneness, God loves each of us and meets us there.
Below, we have resources for people approaching this conversation from four different positions. Select the statement that best describes where you find yourself on this journey:
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