Black People Matter
NOTE: The slogan, Black Lives Matter, has become the battle-cry of all of us who stand against racism. And I hold to what that phrase means down to my very soul – and will defend it at all cost. That said, in this blog I use the phrase, Black People Matter, because, after reading the BLM web site, I cannot, holding to a biblical worldview, support all of their Guidelines. In addition to racial equality, the BLM site also calls for affirmation of the LGBTQ community. This is a separate issue, having nothing to do with race. Please neither misquote me, nor confuse hate with disagreement. The lives of those representing the LGBTQ community are as precious as every other life on planet earth. For a solid explanation of my worldview, please see Sean McDowell’s excellent words on the issue here.
All of this said, I have no doubt that many people are as unaware, as I was, of the official BLM Guidelines and, as such, use the phrase, Black Lives Matter, as I have: to address racism and human equality.
Lastly, please don’t assume Black People/Lives Matter does not mean “all lives matter.” I already mentioned I unswervingly hold to a biblical worldview. Regarding human life, the Bible clearly teaches that life begins at conception. So, if I were to begin a campaign using the phrase, Unborn Lives Matter, no one (thinking logically) would conclude I was insinuating that all lives do not matter.
So, with all of that out of the way, let’s talk about the current climate of racism.
I have learned much these past couple of weeks.
One thing I’ve learned – and I told my wife this – “I really don’t have a clue about modern-day racism. My heart is broken and I am sick to my stomach.” This statement came on the heels of listening to a friend of mine share what his black family endures – right now in 2020 – on a daily basis. I was aghast, appalled, and righteously indignant.
I know history i.e. slavery that prompted the Civil War; the 1896 Supreme Court decision, “separate but equal,” (that was finally overturned in 1954); and the Jim Crow era. But, as I recently visited with black friends I was unprepared for what I heard. I can’t comprehend treating a person less than human – regardless of skin color. What I heard made me sick. More importantly, it makes God sick.
Black Lives Matter does not mean “looting, arson, anarchy and defunding good law enforcement.” My black friends will tell you that. It means, “Hear me! I am hurting! Notice me! Understand me! Value me! Help me affect change!”
Never in my life have I been looked at by another person with disdain or judgment solely due to the color of my skin. White Privilege is a phrase that, upon first hearing it, was offensive. But, the more I learn, the more I understand what it means.
It should be noted before I continue: as Martin Luther King preached, reverse-racism is as toxic as racism and accomplishes nothing. A white friend of mine told me recently, “I have been cursed and screamed at since Mr. Floyd’s death for being white. What was I doing? Riding my bike around the neighborhood.“
The NYC cop in this now viral video is spot-on. “We are not Derek Chauvin!”
I am a white man. But I am not those who believe in, or have demonstrated, racist behavior. Attacking me does nothing but cloud and slow our collective mission to change the world.
Further, I am convinced that the media (not all, but some) is stoking a message of ‘widening separation’ and hate rather than unity. Of course, you are free to disagree. Further, the media appears to be manipulating people who have altogether abandoned thinking for themselves. Once upon a time, the new conglomerates told us the news. Today, they tell us what we should think about the news.
Fortunately, I have read much recently from the black community who decry continued hate and violence. I recently saw on social media this powerful photo:
Even my black friends would tell you, “Sure, there are some (persons of all color) who will use times like these as opportunities for crime and political grandstanding.” But, my friends, don’t allow the reckless few to overshadow the message trying to be communicated by our brothers and sisters throughout our nation.
For those who would scoff at, or mock, this post, you are contributing to the problem. Trust me – I have been “yelled at” on social media, and judged unfairly by some who know little or nothing about me or my past. I attended middle and high schools where most of my friends where black and hispanic. I don’t remember ever seeing color. If you could track down those friends they would tell you the same. Further, one of my dearest friends in ministry- he pastors a huge church in Las Vegas, NV – is African-American. I took my youth choir to sing at his church in the early 2000’s. It was epic. We were all one family with one faith worshipping one God.
Nonetheless, because of being so unfairly judged by those who enjoy hiding behind their device and unloading toxic anger at me, I decided I would not post another word on this topic. I quickly grew weary of the self-righteous cheap shots by those who had no interest in engaging in civil discourse.
Respect is earned, regardless of the topic.
If you want your otherwise worthwhile message to get lost and become meaningless, by all means articulate that message in anger while assaulting the character of another person.
However,…. I’m giving it another run. Why? Because Christ told me to. Quite clearly. He told me, “Nick, they were angry at my Son for telling the truth. They hated Paul for the same reason. Don’t expect to be treated any differently.”
Any hint of racism goes against the very heart of the gospel of Christ.
I continue to “shout from the rooftops” our only hope is in Christ. One person criticized me for this because they had no clue what the phrase represents. This biblical truth is not a cliche or wishful thinking, as that person assumed. It is the truth. Let me explain:
The only thing that is truly systemic (according to the Bible) is sin i.e. the inherent wickedness of the heart of mankind. Racism and hate are merely fruit produced by that root.
Want to change the fruit? Change the root.
Protests can bring acute awareness to the fruit but they are impotent to change the root. Only Christ has the power to do that. Only Christ can forever uproot the poison that fills the heart of mankind. And only when people turn to Christ will society truly be transformed.
Do you want the “same-o-same-o” i.e. the present crisis passes and the nation returns to “business as usual” where racism is concerned? Then, please, leave Christ out of the equation.
Or, would you like for the real root of racism to be eradicated for the long haul? Then, as African-American Christian artist, Andraé Crouch, boldly sang: Jesus is the answer.
I have preached against racism all of my life. (Just ask anyone who has ever been in my youth ministry.) I preached against racism here at my church as recently as this past Fall, when racism was nowhere in national headlines. I will continue to do so and pray that God would use me to change the world, one person at a time.
Dr. King was spot-on. “Only love [Christ’s love] can drive out hate.”
“For we overwhelmingly conquer through him who loved us.” The apostle Paul; Romans 8:37
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick