Racial dissension has been a part of this country every since its inception. From the disgusting way Native Americans were treated upon the arrival of Europeans, to our history of slavery, to every other injustice done to minorities, America indeed has a checkered past.
Like every other device the enemy uses to drive wedges between humanity, racial tensions seem to ebb and flow with time. Racial tensions also seem to vary depending on what part of the country you find yourself in.
I’d like to take just a brief moment to encourage Christians of color. It’s very easy to get swept away in a torrent of emotions when the topic of mistreatment of minorities rises to the surface. I personally don’t know anyone of color who has not experienced some sort of mistreatment to a greater or lesser degree based on race.
We as Christians cannot allow ourselves to become distracted into thinking that white people are our problem.
There is a spiritual force behind the racial climate at work in the world today. When we as people of color allow ourselves to become distracted into thinking that white people are our problem, we have allowed the enemy to blindfold us and encourage us to fight a fight that cannot be won.
There is no power or authority higher than God’s Word
In polling any particular segment of society, it’s virtually impossible to get a 100% consensus on any query. However, I’d like to submit to you an exception to that rule. If I were to say to any Christian group, “There is no power or authority higher than God’s Word”, I’ll go out on a limb and say that 100% of Christians would agree with that statement.
However when the hot button of race is pushed, the emotions and ill will of being treated unfairly in the past can cause us to lose sight of the power of God which lives within us. If we can so readily agree that there is no power or authority higher than the power contained within God’s Word, we must also acknowledge that the power of God to overcome all of what comes against us….including issues of racial injustice lies within us.
Properly Identifying our Enemy
Ephesians 6:12 tells us that the fight we face is not against flesh and blood. In order to make any headway in the fight against racial injustice, we must first acknowledge the fact that flesh (regardless of what color that flesh is) is not our problem. The spirit operating through the flesh is our problem. To have any hope to right the wrongs of racial injustice, we have to attack the source of the problem, which is spiritual in nature.
When I was a kid, we used to play a game where one kid would sneak up behind another kid and slap him in the back of the head, then quickly duck out of the way and blame someone else. If done correctly (and fast enough) the kid who got hit would take out his anger on the kid who was blamed for the hit and the one who actually pulled the prank would walk away, chuckling under his breath.
The same thing happens when we find ourselves fighting racial injustice. Our enemy thrives off of distractions and deceptions. If he can deceive us into spending our time fighting someone who he is using to come against us, he’s like the kid who started the fight yet walks away chuckling under his breath as we take out our aggressions on a people who have no clue that they are being used by the enemy.
Overcoming the Racial Divide
Having established that the source of racial dissension is spiritual in nature, we must ask ourselves what God’s Word says about who we are and what we have in Christ. Ephesians 6:16 tells us that our shield of faith will quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Luke 10:19 says that we have been given authority (or mastery) over all the power of the enemy. Isaiah 54:17 tells us that no weapon formed against us shall prosper and every tongue that rises up against us shall be condemned. Proverbs 16:7 tells us that when a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He will make even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Be a Christian, not a Doormat
Please don’t get me wrong. While we do have promises in God’s Word that we can stand on when it comes to the devil coming against, we also have legal rights that have been afforded to us as citizens of the United States. There may come a time when protests are appropriate. There may come a time with boycotts are appropriate. There may come a time when lawsuits are appropriate. I am in no way advocating that we lay down our rights as citizens.
What I’m saying is that we as Christians cannot allow ourselves to become distracted into thinking that a white man is our problem. What I’m saying is that we cannot allow our emotions to rise up and cause us to lose site that it’s the force behind the man that’s our problem, not the man himself. To see a race of people as our problem more that the spirit behind the individuals being used to cause the problem is to fight a battle that cannot be won. It’s like getting hit by the guy on the right and turning to fight the guy on the left.
We are in the world. Jesus said we would suffer tribulation while in this world (John 16:33). But in Christ we can have peace. Why? Because our God has overcome the world! Yes, even where racial issues are concerned.