Posts tagged ‘White’

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

 

May 9, 2011

Black, White, and Shades of all

by pastortimfowler

I have been asked to participate in the planning of a city-wide revival in Rock Hill SC. The goal is to have black, white and Hispanic churches come together to show unity and Christ’s love to all. I am really excited about this and a bit overwhelmed at the task. I know that with God all things are possible, but I also know that with man all things can get messed up.
I love church. It is the heart of Jesus after His heart for those who are lost. Jesus said that He would build His church and nothing, not even Hell would stop Him. Then He goes and puts me in the middle of things as a pastor, and now part coordinator for this event. I know that He knows everything and that He would never ask me to do anything that He doesn’t plan on being successful, but wow, this is big.
In everyday life, white people, black people and other shades of people are really different. Many whites don’t like blacks and Hispanics, many blacks don’t like whites and Hispanics, and many Hispanics don’t like blacks and whites. Those are the stupid people. (Lighten up, I am not talking about you). It is sad that many of those who don’t like others who are a different color go to church on Sunday and claim to be Christians. That is hard to understand because Christ died for all colors of people and not just the color of our choosing.
I love that churches do have such diversity. Some are black, some are white, some are Hispanic, and some have shades of all. I love the black churches that I have preached in. I love the Hispanic churches I have preached in. I love the white churches I have preached in. I love the multi-colored churches I have preached in. What do they all have in common? I preached in them. I guess that just says that I love to preach. But I do love the people in each one of them. And I know that they all showed me a lot of love.
The problem that I see is that once church is over we get caught up in life. An life says that we are different and no one can deny it. Differences are often turned into right and wrong instead of an appreciation of the differences as God’s creation and appreciating them. False assumptions often fuel the fire that one color hates the other color and in the end people see a church divided instead of a Savior that loves them all.
God is going to have His way. We need to understand that we can be part of His way or moved out-of-the-way and become insignificant. I want to be used by God in any way He sees fit. Of course I would often like it if He would check with me and get my input before we do anything. (Like that’s gonna happen).
I do love the church. I love people who make up the church and I would love it if we could get together and pour out God’s love from every color of person God has created. Please pray for this event. Pray for wisdom and blessing to make it happen. Pray for people to come together in unity and God’s love and forget about skin color for a little while.
On Sunday we can have an all white or black or Hispanic meeting. But when church is over Sunday morning until we meet again, everyone who was not in one of those churches Sunday needs to see Jesus, not a person of any specific ethnicity. Jesus died for all sin and for all people and he loves black, white, and shades of all.