Thursday, January 19, 2006

Yes, We Have Race Problems ... Yes, We Should Do Something About Them

(AgapePress) - I know of a church that recently interviewed a prospective pastor. The congregation was impressed with him and asked the superintendent to extend a job offer. The pastor declined, citing that church's obvious problems on the issue of race.

As in, we don't want them in here.

Martin Luther King, Jr., celebrations this week ought to spark, at the least, some questions in our minds about racial reconciliation in this country. As in -- do I really actively love persons of another race like God wants me to? When Jesus suggested that loving one's neighbor was one of the tandem commands that fulfilled the Law and the prophets, He illustrated that "neighborly" passage with a story about a man of a hated race (Luke 10:27-37).

Other questions: What am I proactively doing in my community to promote loving others of a different hue? What is my family doing? My church?

Typical answer -- not a thing. More

11 Comments:

At 5:45 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Matt,

Race is an interesting problem. I belong to a Conservative, Fundamental, and Independent Baptist Church. Before I begin, let me say that my adopted daughter is Hispanic; I am White although I prefer German American.

The comments of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin are typical, let New Orleans return to being a Chocolate City. It is my opinion that Black people for the most part want to be separate from whites. The music, clothes, language appear to be all different. I work and live in a neighborhood that has only 5 white families. We have Asians, Chinese, Japanese, Black, Hispanic families living there.

The only people in my neighborhood that won’t wave back at me are black. I have experienced more prejudice since I moved to Atlanta. I would love to invite them to church, but I am afraid our church not playing rock music or waving of hands would not appeal to them. You see I believe our church is Biblical in that it rests on the Bible and not on emotions.

It is very difficult not to feel prejudice as a white Christian. If I went around using words like Chocolate I would be labeled a racist. But when a black person does that it’s acceptable? Everything is African American or groups are labeled black student union or black reporters group. You don’t hear anything labeled white so in so? Why diversity in the media is is defined by how many black teachers there are? When did diversity mean more black people?

I am thankful that I can reach out to other ethnic backgrounds and be enriched by them. There culture adds so much to my life and it is nice to see them in our church. I wish I could say the same for the African American culture. I hope my daughter is not prejudice, well; she is only nine months old. If she reads the media and receives the same treatment that I do there is no doubt that she to will not feel a deep kinship with African Americans.

Bill

 
At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The comment of what are we doing - not a "d" thang!! I don't know about you, but I'm constantly crossing the line, one person at a time. What do I do? I talk to them, I do things for them...in a sense...I pass it forward. Just like the movie. Only I do it in real life. The best way I know to break down the barriers are doing things for others, no matter their race, gender, etc....just do it. You would be amazed at how people smile and start talking to me. The other day...I asked a Mexican gentleman if I could help him, by taking his shopping cart when he was finished, thereby he didn't have to leave it between the cars. He smiled and said yes, how can I thank you? I said...pass it forward. No matter who it is, they are your neighbor, no matter where, if you see them in need, help them. He said he could do that.

Jesus came to teach us how to live with one another, same as God has tried. We simply have to do it! Its not hard, in fact its relatively easy. Just do!

Go forth and be a member of the human race.

Lynda

 
At 4:56 PM, Anonymous Walt said...

Matt,
The double standard is what irks me. You were praising MLK. He was a womanizer, plaigiarist and took money from the Communist party. But that's OK 'cause he was black. If a white made remarks such as Mayor Ray Nagin did, you liberals would be out to burn his house and kick his dog. Here in central LA we had black evacuees who were insulting if they didn't get the brand of handout they wanted. Instead of being appreciative, most complained that what they got wasn't good enough. New Orleans is being built back by Hispanics because the blacks won't work but would rather take handouts. People elect their own kind. Look at that dope-head mayor D.C. kept electing mayor. Why don't you do-gooders ever point these things out?

 
At 6:00 PM, Blogger Matt Friedeman said...

To be called a "do-gooder" is a high Christian compliment. Thanks.

I have a daily radio show and a weekly column and am a contributing columnist for the state-wide daily (where I have written over a 1,000 columns).

I have said a lot of things, apparently, you have not read read from my archives. On the other hand, King stood tall for some biblical principles in the 50's and 60's and the white evangelical church, on the whole, let him and his race stand alone.

Mores the pity.

 
At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Walt said...

Matt,
You said MLK stood tall for some biblical principles in the 50s and 60s. I'm 65 years old. I remember those times from first hand experience and don't recall any biblical principle he stood for. King was for King. Period. He exploited his own race for the black adoration, extra- marital sex and money it brought him. You liberals seem to think womanizing is OK as long as a black does it. Womanizing is a sin, regardless of who does it.

 
At 9:51 AM, Blogger Matt Friedeman said...

Walt:

No one has called me a liberal for years. Got a chuckle out of that one.

Much of what MLK dabbled in was unquestionably sinful, The nation honors him for what was biblical about his life. He stood for justice of the oppressed. Few things are as central to Scripture as that.

Even so...the column was about you and me. What are we doing?

Matt

 
At 4:08 PM, Blogger michelle said...

to anonymous, aka lynda...That's great that you are stretching and reaching out of your comfort zone. However, I have a question for you. Why do you say that you helped a "Mexican" gentleman instead of just a gentleman and leave out the race part of it? Also, why is it a line that you have to cross to interact with other races? I understand what you are saying that we need to "pay it forward". Could we just leave out the ethnic backgrouds of those we help out?

 
At 10:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The definition of Genocide -

The destruction of a race of people, a religious group or political group.

[Either by starvation, death, or contraceptive, or biological]

-by forcibly transferrring children of one group to another - [forced busing]

causing harm to children [liberal guilt]

-- courtesy of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Why is it that White Christians cannot be considered Christian unless they are contributing to the biological genocide of the White race? Why do we have to intermingle our dna to achieve ...what?

I have fellowshiped with Christians of other races, and they are ALL racist in their affinity, affiliation, and attention to fecuniditity, except White Christians.

Acts 17:26- "For out of one blood God made the nations [ethnos for men to dwell upon the face of the earh. And set the boundaries of their habitations, and set their appointed times."

All identifiers are in plural. This means that God set the different races of people apart. Who am I, who are we, to gainsay God's will.

It doesn't mean to pick on one race or another, but it does mean that the liberal agenda is against God's implied will, as usual.

Please do not say or imply that White Christians aren't really Christian unless they kill off their own race. It makes me sick at heart when I see and hear that abominable screed.

 
At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's always interesting to me how much dialog and debate the issue of race elicits. I've lived in integrated communities and in neighborhoods where the homeowners were for the most part white. (By the way, why is it that we're expected - practically compelled by our PC society - to reference ethnicity when speaking of people of other skin tones, but we never say "caucasian" or "Euro-American" when we speak of white people?)

I recently moved from a community that was extremely varied in the ethnic backgrounds of its residents. People from just about all of the inhabited continents of the earth had migrated or immigrated there. One of my best friends there was of Hispanic descent, Puerto Rican by way of New York to be exact, and she and I had some absorbing conversations about this very issue. She said that the racism among her ethnic group aggravated her because her coworkers and friends didn't see anything wrong with being racist against other ethnic groups, even though she pointed out to them that they were behaving in the very manner that they spoke of with such condemnation. She identified with Michelle's view that we should simply leave race out of the equation when talking to or about other people.

My own view is that it's okay to ackowledge another person's ethnic background and culture as Lynda did in her post about the "Mexican gentleman," but that we have to be vigilant not to let ourselves fall into the trap of judging an individual based on the cultural stereotypes that pervade our society. It's disrespectful and hurtful to use a racial descriptive in a negative way, regardless of which ethnic or national group is being used in the description.

"That's the way I grew up" or "That's what everyone around me always said" is no excuse. I remember having a conversation with a woman of another race (which one isn't important) in which she used an expression referring to someone's love of a bargain as trying to "Jew down" the merchant. My spirit was troubled, and I felt compelled to lovingly point out to her that what she'd said was as offensive to a Jewish person as a slur against her ethnic group would have been to her. She actually thanked me and said she'd grown up saying it because it was accepted in her community, and she never thought that it might offend someone.

Like Bill, I've been on the receiving end of anti-white discrimination -- nothing blatant, just things like a refusal to return a wave, or lack of acknowledgement from a cashier that I'm standing in front of her. I actually had a cashier ring me up once while ignoring me and carrying on a conversation in her native language with the customers behind me because they were of her ethnicity. Not only is that racist, it's just plain rude. However, I resisted the temptation to address her in her native language just to get her attention. I decided to "bless those who spitefully use me," so I said a quick prayer for her and left with my purchases. I'm not sure whether I was more annoyed or amused at the situation.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that while we certainly should celebrate the cultural and ethnic differences God has allowed to develop over the centuries, we must also remember that every person is a being made in the image and likeness of God, with the same potential to come into relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, and therefore we need to treat everyone as a brother or sister in the Lord because if they aren't already, they have the potential to become one.

After all, Jesus told us to treat each other the way we want to be treated, not the way we are treated.

 
At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walt, do-gooders (as you so elecquently put it) don't have to point those kinds of things out...you'll do it for us. Why focus on the negative? Because that is all you will ever see. Your complaint can be said of "any" race Walt so please don't make it the song and dance that, "Black people are lazy" thing. It's been said and done before and is part of the reason you don't understand the plight of the African-American. God will still bless you though...

 
At 5:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said, "I guess what I'm trying to say is that while we certainly should celebrate the cultural and ethnic differences God has allowed to develop over the centuries, we must also remember that every person is a being made in the image and likeness of God, with the same potential to come into relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, and therefore we need to treat everyone as a brother or sister in the Lord because if they aren't already, they have the potential to become one" This is some excellent advice. If we respect and value our differences while celebrating the oneness we all have in Christ the world will see that race and ethnicty differences are of little concern to all, and love is what really matters. My fear is for the children I am raising who are Bi-racial, balck and white. My 3rd grade little girl ahs already faced the racism that will plaugue her life from both sides of the culteral realm, and it HURTS! The children did not ask to deal with such issues in their lives, but they are the pilgrims who must face it in order for a world to hopefully understand it is not about preserving our own races, but about building God's kingdom, one that I believe to be a colorless kingdom! Our white backgrounds are already varied, and few of us in the US are truly of one race, white, black, asian or hispanic, most of our families have some other cultural influence that has already been added. Even those of us who don't care to admit it!

 

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