The sin of racism has been happening for some time and is still at work in our day. Racism hasn't gone anywhere; it has become more sophisticated and systemic. For generations, countless lives in our nation (Black, Hispanic and Asian…just to name a few) have experienced injustice, oppression, and pain all at the hands of racism. This isn't just history; it's happening now.
As followers of Jesus, Victory Church can't be silent on this issue. Racism is not only a political issue, it's a biblical one. Racism is failing to love our neighbors as ourselves. It is failing to recognize that every person has been created in the likeness and image of God, no matter how light or dark their skin may be. The Bible says in Revelation 7:9, "After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb."
What John sees while under exile in Patmos is a picture of eternity and what is to come. It is a picture of the Kingdom of God in its radiance, splendor, and beauty. It is a multiethnic picture of people gathered under one name, Jesus. Once again, we cannot be silent on this issue at the expense of seeing injustice continue. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in his Letter from Birmingham Jail, said, "Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection." Dr. King's letter was an indictment and a call to action to white brothers and sisters in Christ, who were often critical of his voice while doing little to nothing to advocate for the voice of those oppressed. Let that not be said of us in this crucial moment.
God has positioned Victory Church for such a time as this. As a church filled with people from different backgrounds and ethnicities, we have the opportunity to boldly come against the sin of racism and present to the world God's beautiful picture of His Kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. For this to happen, our church must be willing to be honest about racism and examine our hearts to see our blind spots that would cause us to be dismissive or insensitive in this area. This involves us being willing to have difficult conversations that we may have never engaged in, confessing our shortcomings, and repenting of our sin. Reconciliation can't take place without there first being repentance and remorse over the sin of racism and the injustices it has caused. If we steward this moment in time well, we can be a voice of healing and reconciliation.
As the Church, let us be advocates for justice (Isaiah 1:17). Let us be advocates for love. Let us be advocates for unity. As the Apostle Paul mentions, let us as pastors and leaders in our communities, be ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:19), showing how Jesus has torn down the dividing walls of hostility, even the wall of racism.