Strive for racial reconciliation
Friday, February 9, 2018
As we approach Racial Reconciliation Sunday on Sunday, Feb. 11, I’m thankful for the strong stands and statements against the sin of racism that have taken place within our denomination, particularly during the past year.
North Carolina Baptists were among at least five state conventions that adopted resolutions denouncing racism during their respective annual meetings last fall, joining Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma and the Southern Baptist Convention of Virginia.
Those measures on the state level came just a few months after messengers attending the national SBC annual meeting last June in Phoenix, Arizona, passed a resolution “On the Anti-Gospel of Alt-Right White Supremacy.” Resolutions that were adopted in North Carolina and other states affirmed the sentiments expressed by the resolution adopted by the SBC.
In written comments made to Baptist Press, Russell Moore, president of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), said he thanked God “that our denomination has committed itself to opposing the satanic scourge of racism and to promoting racial unity.”
I am glad that our state and national conventions have let it be known that racism in any form or expression is antithetical to the very gospel of Jesus Christ that we proclaim. Yet even as these resolutions were adopted, we saw ugly incidents and demonstrations across our land which showed that racism is still alive in our nation and underscored the reason why such statements need to be made by our denomination.
Although we have made good strides in our nation and even in our own denomination related to racial reconciliation and race relations, there is still a lot of work that remains to be done. While I applaud the resolutions that have been adopted and statements that have been made, I know that no resolution or statement about race or any other issue can change a person’s heart and attitude. However, God can and He is willing to do that so you can change your behavior.
Consider the question that John the apostle asks in 1 John 4:20 about how can we profess to love God when we do not love our brother? I encourage us all to prayerfully examine our hearts both individually and corporately and then repent of any of the sins of racism that the Holy Spirit exposes to us.
Ask God to help you love individuals you have not loved because of their ethnicity. Reconcile means to come into a new and positive relationship with another person. Establish new relationships and show mutual respect to all people.
While I am thankful for a day like Racial Reconciliation Sunday, let’s strive for racial reconciliation every day and not just one day.
“If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” — 1 John 4:20 (NKJV)