I am angry. My heart remains heavy as I still try to process the events from last Saturday in Charlottesville. The displays and touts of white supremacy are sinful and pure evil. Yet, I am not only angry. I am disturbed. I am distraught over the response of some white brothers and sisters in Christ. What follows is not meant to condemn but to rebuke and correct. This cultural moment calls for Christian unity, not political pairings.
When Colin Kaepernick chose to protest and sit during the National Anthem, some of these same white brothers and sisters were vocal about their disagreement with it. Whether you agree or disagree with Colin’s stance, the reality is it was a matter of free speech. What happened last Friday evening into Saturday was not. The actions of the Alt Right were blatantly sinful. Their hatred for other groups and races reveal the wickedness in their hearts. The proper response to such a malicious mindset is to speak out against it and to name racism for what it is: sin.
The Wrong Response
I am grateful for those who have spoken up on behalf of others in the body of Christ, particularly standing with their black brothers and sisters in Christ. At the same time, I am grieved by what I see from some who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ. In this cultural moment, their response to this tragedy is to get political. In the face of racism’s display, their stance is to argue about the statutes and to stand up for the president at what seems to be no matter the cost, even when his words fail to forcefully denounce such a sinful mentality. Don’t misunderstand me: we need to be praying for our president. However, that does not mean we have to affirm everything he says and does.
To Remain Silent is Sin
I want to be clear and say I am not calling my white brothers and sisters in Christ racists. But I feel I must say a word to my white brothers and sisters in Christ: we cannot remain silent. I believe to remain silent on this issue is sin. The Word of God from James 4:17 reminds us, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” Two chapters earlier, James exposes the Christian to the sin of partiality. So, for the one who calls themselves a Christian, knows racism is sin, but never speaks out against it, they are committing sin.
My Confession of This Sin
In transparency, I write these words as one who has committed such sin. In the past, my apathetic heart was not overly angered at the real issues going on. While I never would affirm or support racism, I failed to speak up for my brothers and sisters in Christ of other races. While I have shown private support for my black brothers and sisters, my public proclamations fail to mirror the unity I have with them in the gospel. To that neglect, I say “No more!”. I confess my apathy and my fear of speaking up. I ask for forgiveness from my black brothers and sisters in Christ. I repent of remaining silent when I know the right thing to do is speak up.
The Supremacy of Christ for the Joy of All Peoples
So, hear me my white brothers and sisters in Christ: We must speak out against the sin of white supremacy and denounce racism. We cannot live in a way which denies racism still exists or that downplays the problem we face. We all have been made in the image of God and are equal in dignity (Genesis 1:26-28). We must speak up and stand with all our brothers and sisters in Christ, showing we are one in Christ. When we do, we show the power of the gospel and witness to the world the supremacy of Christ. Because when Christ is supreme, our primary response to such events will not be political but spiritual, calling out sin. When Christ is supreme, we will be willing to listen to those who are of a different culture and color than our own instead of shutting them out with our preferences and presuppositions. When Christ is supreme, we will not seek to justify every word the president says but we will live out the Word of our God and Redeemer. Because when Christ is supreme, it is for the joy of all peoples (Revelation 5:9-10, 7:9-10).