Posts tagged ‘racist’

March 28, 2012

Justice

by pastortimfowler

Justice.jpg

According to dictionary.com, this is the definition of Justice: the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness. It does not mean do what you think is right. It does infer that there is a higher authority that determines what is right. I believe that higher authority is God. Otherwise that leaves the whole idea of right and wrong in the hands of mankind, who has the tendency of injecting feelings over facts. I have written about right and wrong and where we get the idea of what they are. It has little to do with feelings, but few will admit it. Justice is a word being tossed around by many in cases like I wrote about yesterday. Justice in America is accomplished through a system of laws and courts and civil authority, not random groups who feel like they have a better way.
Before I go any further I want to respond to one comment from a reader about yesterday’s blog. I said that clergy needed to speak out about the threats of taking the law into your own hands and this person said that there are no black pastors or churches that were not racist or had the guts to speak out. This is one of those times that I would like to slap someone who reads my blog. You could not be more wrong. The only reason I feel that I can speak out on such a sensitive subject and be as bold as I am is because my friends know my heart and know me. They know that the truth sets us free and not our opinions. Many of my friends are black and pastor churches full of people who love God and other people, regardless of race. While I appreciate your opinion, I take offense at your racist comment about my friends and brothers in Christ.
Now back to justice. The goal of justice is to make things just, or right. Right and wrong were never meant to be subject to feelings. They were never meant to be gray areas or ambiguous. There is a difference between and law and right and wrong. A law can be something that is totally based on feelings. For instance, the current health care law is a feeling that everyone has a right to health insurance. I can find no place that ever gives us a clear-cut right or wrong concerning this. If the law remains, it will be wrong not to follow the details of the law, but it is still based on a feeling.
Right and wrong is where there is a clear-cut determination, regardless of feelings. Murder is wrong. Stealing is wrong. Sexual abuse is wrong. These are things that almost every civil society in the world agree on. It is something that comes from the very moral fiber of humanity, which I believe comes from God. It is right to help the poor, but how, is left open for interpretation. It is right to work for what you have and to provide for your family. It is right to love and protect one another.
But justice is the process of taking a wrong and to the best of the ability of the legal system, making it right. That may mean to those who have stolen, that they give back. To those who have hurt another that they lose the ability to hurt again. The process most often takes time, and because of the human element, can sometimes make mistakes. That still does not give anyone the authority to take this into there own hands. We must first give the justice system time to work. In America we are innocent until proven guilty. We are protected from those who would take vengeance into there own hands and given a method to defend ourselves against all accusers.
The bottom line to this whole idea of justice comes down to God. He is the only righteous judge. He is the only one who knows the hearts of man and has promised that no sin will go unpunished. He did not limit those sins to the ones that we feel are worst, but to all sin that has separated us from Him. He made a way for the punishment for sin to be given to another. One who would be our sacrifice and take the wrath of God so that we may receive total forgiveness. Not based on who we are or how good we say we are, but totally based on His love for us and His hatred of sin that causes us to be separated from Him. God can do this because only a righteous judge can bring true justice with no influence from human imperfections. God has done this and will do this for those who repent.
Although His justice is firm and final, He has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ, our advocate, the Savior of humanity. Vengeance is Mine says the Lord. His judgment is true and His mercy is greater. Justice will prevail.

September 14, 2011

Racism

by pastortimfowler

Tonight is the first night of a city-wide revival that has been planned for several months now. I have had the privilege of working with about 10 other pastors in trying to put this together. Our goal was to get black, white, and Latino pastors together with their churches to address racism and how the church can help overcome this stress on society. As it turned out there are 9 black pastors and me, who just happens to be white.
I can’t help being white, I was born that way. It runs in our family and many of us have had other white children. My wife’s mother came from a family that had 12 white kids and so far all of our children have been white and now our grandchildren are white too. So this seems to be something that we are stuck with.
I do not believe that I am racist. I grew up a Navy brat and was always around other races of people. I don’t remember my parents ever using derogatory words to describe folks of different color and it wasn’t until I was in the third grade that I remember hearing the word “nigger”. When I did hear it, I thought that the person was uneducated and could not speak proper English, or well, in this case Spanish, because I thought that they were trying to say negro, the Spanish word for black. Little did I know that it was such an offensive word to those who were black, or negro. It is funny how one man’s stupidity can be another man’s butt kickin’.
I am of the opinion that racism is a choice that we make. I believe that as long as we are willing to meet people for who they are instead of the color of their skin, that we can get along just fine. I also believe that the color does come with cultural differences and differences can cause misunderstanding and misunderstanding can cause division. But, where there is difference and misunderstanding there is a great opportunity for communication to bring forth understanding and unity. If I don’t like a person who happens to be black, I am not a racist. If I don’t like a person because they are black then, that, makes me a racist.
God says that He has given His church the ministry of reconciliation. It is our service to others to reconcile differences and spread the love of Jesus Christ. God is not a respecter of persons. He does not see color, He sees a helpless sinner in need of a Savior. When Christ died, He died for the human race not a specific race. That means that those of us who proclaim to be Christians should be willing to lay down our differences in order to reach anyone in need of Jesus.
I am perfectly fine with a church that has all black or all white people as their members as long as it is not a purposeful effort. We certainly have churches who are all from the country or the city and that is not a problem. But I want to know that if a white church has a need and a black church can help or the reverse, that no one sees the color before they see Jesus. We are one body, the Body of Christ.
I pray that we can make a stride over the next few days to help people see that racism is wrong. I believe that it is a sin against God who made one human and from that one human we all are related. But even greater than that blood line, we who are of the Body of Christ ,also have a common blood line; the blood of Jesus, and through that blood we are all reconciled to God