By Ray Turner
In my case a Christian man. Racism . . . the devils great deception. If he can divide us, he can weaken and destroy us. And he’s alive and well in Americas social structure. In the first church, Acts 2:42-47 the Christians were of one accord, united, sharing the Word and caring for each other and others in the community. But Satan has managed to divide our nation. In this article I would like to share a great attitude to racism that was revealed in an old 1967 movie starring Sidney Poitier. Also some of my own thoughts.
RACISM . . . THE MOST PRIMITIVE FORM OF IGNORANCE
Ignorance doesn’t mean dumb or stupid. It means the lack of knowledge or education. A particularly noxious byproduct of ignorance is racism, bigotry, and intolerance.
In my parents generation many left school early to work or get married. Many were farmers and ranchers and felt that the ability to read and write, and to have basic math skills were sufficient. They didn’t discuss racism in the public schools or churches. And they didn’t have television to inform them on daily social issues.
However, the Bible that was studied and taught from at any time in American history, was the same as it is now. It is a mystery to me, how anyone that had access to the Word, could have believed in slavery, that it was alright to own another person, or to deny them the same rights that God had given them, the freedom to worship and to receive an education. And why was it not addressed from the pulpit or in the Sunday School classes. Surely the preachers understood what was right, and what was wrong. And what was wrong according to the Bible a thousand years ago, was wrong at the time of slavery, and is wrong today. And will be wrong tomorrow. The Bible never changes.
IM NOT A BLACK MAN . . . IM NOT A WHITE MAN . . . I’M A MAN
Recently my granddaughter and I were watching an old movie I hadn’t seen since I was a teenager. “Look who’s Coming To Dinner”, starring Sidney Poitier. I think in 1967. It was a story about a black man, a prominent doctor, and a white woman from a well-to-do family, with plans to get married. Both dads were strongly against the marriage as they visualized the persecution they knew their children would be put through.
The most telling scene was between the black father and his son. The father began by demanding his son honor his request to stop this relationship, reminding him that he was colored. He continued, reminding his son, “What are you thinking? I may just be a letter carrier, but I worked hard days, and your mother and I sacrificed many material possessions enabling you to become a doctor that is looked up to, bringing you respect, and wealth. And you think this qualifies you to break the color barrier. You have to remember that you are colored, and I demand that you stop this relationship right now. You owe me and your mother.”
The son’s reply was quick and to the point. “I love you, but I don’t owe you anything. You are my father and it was your responsibility to provide for me every opportunity that would make my life better than yours, as it will be my responsibility to my children (However he did owe his father respect). The difference between you and me is that you think of yourself as a colored man. I think of myself as a man. Until your generation, that thinks your way is gone, there will be no hope for our freedom.”
As my granddaughter and I watched this movie, I remembered my thoughts as a naive teenager, watching this movie at the theater in the late 60’s, and thinking, “In my lifetime I’m going to see a near color blind society. “I think of myself as a man”. What a great solution to racism.” I believe the racist, both black and white, understood that too.
I believe that time in history presented America it’s best opportunity in this century to create an environment of acceptance between races, a time when bigotry was being exposed and challenged. However Satan intervened and decisions were made by both black and white leaders and citizens that determined the degree of racism in America today. And we all failed miserably. As a result the nation has become more divided.
The self proclaimed churchless black preachers such as Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton didn’t accept the “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”, and began under the premise that they were God’s mouth piece, to teach hatred and revenge, instead of love and forgiveness.
If there is any blame to be given. It should be given to the Christian churches. The black and white churches stood quietly by, content to let the government become the fathers, providers and teachers of our children. Providing little or no resistance to the false prophets, traitors to their own people, whose agenda was not spiritual, but to gain political power and wealth, and now dominates public opinion in most of the black community.
Many black preachers have allowed their emotion of love for their people to deceive them into leading their flock in the ways of the world, giving material possessions precedence over the teaching of the Word of God, and eagerly sends them to the polls to vote against the teaching of the Bible, which has brought us where we are today. A society weak in moral standards, content to accept abortion, homosexuality and separation of God from our schools and civil affairs, as a trade off for material and financial security.
God must be very angry with us. Racism can be mostly abolished, if we want it bad enough. And if the nation can learn it’s importance. Though we often speak of it’s importance, there’s little attempt to teach it. The Word of God shows us how.
The twins, racism and bigotry have been around almost as long as pride has been around. It dates at least as far back as Cain and Able. That qualifies it as the oldest and “The Most Primitive Form of Ignorance”. The Bible tells us that “pride goes before destruction”. It is the root of racism and bigotry, and if allowed to flourish will bring about our nations destruction.
The following simple scriptures are well known by all Christians, and most non-Christians. If practiced by the majority of just the Christians, it would eliminate most of racism, bigotry, crime and major problems in the world.
Matthew 22:37-40 “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
1 Peter 1:22 “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth (The Word) so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.”
The Church has failed both God and society. True Christianity shows no racism or bigotry. It teaches forgiveness and unity through Christ. Perhaps that was one of the purposes of Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
By Ray Turner – Retired school teacher from Oklahoma State University’s School of Technical Training “Communications”. Website dedicated to encourage and teach others to find God’s gifts in their life, and to use them to bring others to Christ. [http://thebridgetochurch.com].
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