When is our racial pain and tragedy going to stop? Not until our racism gets healed.
Racism despises, marginalizes, belittles, judges, feels superior to and eventually hurts other human beings simply because of skin tone, ethnicity or culture. How does that kind of heart mess get healed? Several thousand years of history proves that education and training programs and break-out sessions don’t really work. Neither do laws or fines, sanctions or prison terms.
So, what to do? If I say that Jesus Christ is the only One who can “heal the broken hearted and set the captive free” which includes the brokenness and prison walls of racism – you might say, “Yeah, I agree. But still, what to do? What needs to happen to bring His healing to the table?”
I can tell you what was supposed to happen. The community of Jesus followers – the church – was commanded and called to lead the way to healing. When Jesus left the planet, He said that until He returned, we would “be Him”, stepping into the brokenness and healing in His name.
So, since we are called to “be Him” – what about Jesus’ lavish, indiscriminate love for anyone and everyone do we not understand? And what do we not understand about his last words in John 17, “Father, I pray that they all may be one…that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
And what do we not understand about Jesus follower Paul’s words in Ephesians – “Christ reconciled us all to God in one body through the cross, putting to death all that divided us…”
Or his words in Galatians – “For you are ALL sons and daughters of God through faith in Christ Jesus. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ….”
This isn’t rocket science. The main reason Ferguson type tragedies are still happening is because the church hasn’t done its job of “being Jesus” to the world – of living out the relational healing He called us to and for which He died. The REAL Jesus called us to show the world that the hatred and division CAN stop…by displaying in the church that it HAS stopped. By staying “segregated” in church – we’ve said to Jesus, “Screw you. We’ll do what we want.” By staying “separated” in church along racial, economic and even denominational lines – we’ve said to the world, “There’s no hope.”
And so, Ferguson keeps happening. Because instead of a supernatural community where relationships, differences and wounds can be healed in Jesus, all the church has given our broken world is a plethora of segregated religious clubs hiding behind a false Jesus dressed up in their particular robes and rituals.
In other words, until the church gets off its spiritual behind and obeys Christ and shows the way to deep heart healing in Him, racism will continue and the tragedy of Ferguson will repeat itself. You can count on it.