“It is linguistically incorrect to call myself a black Christian” — Tony Evans
In 1986 during a sermon Rev. Tony Evans gave this statement. He explained that by calling yourself a black Christian or a white Christian means that black and white become an adjective and Christian becomes a noun.
And since the noun must conform to the adjective, your blackness or your whiteness dictates what your Christianity should look like.
Yet, when you allow your race to determine the extent of your faith how much of a Christian are you?
We have to stop letting societal peer pressure dictate how we behave as Christians. Instead, we must be leaders. We must stand on the values of our faith and not our race. We must show love instead of hate.
In order to heal the racial wounds of this country, it’s going to have to start with putting God first and choosing to love instead of hate.
Pick Christ Instead of Picking Sides
You’ve probably heard the quote “Be the change you want to see”.
It’s such a simple statement but it requires a ton of action.
Being the change you want to see isn’t a cakewalk nor is it something that can be done overnight.
Being the change you want to see requires that you do things you wouldn’t normally do; things you wouldn’t necessarily want to do.
Hard things like changing your mindset to that of a higher calling when it’s so easy to adopt the mindset of the masses because it seems so right.
It’s easy to look at every police officer with hatred. It’s easy to call the police on innocent black life. It’s so easy to blame white people for all the racial problems in this country. It’s easy to look at all black people as wild animals. It’s easy to hate Trump.
Because on a societal level all these things can be justified. With a simple chant of Black Lives Matter, certain things can be held to the status of a heroic effort to create racial equality. Due to a prejudiced president, a white person feels comfortable being racist.
However, if we are to do the things listed above aren’t we doing the same things that got us here in the first place? After all, everything listed is founded in hate the root cause of this country’s racial dissonance.
Thus if we continue to do what is easy how will we ever be able to take such a difficult journey towards racial equality?
During these times many of you are segregating yourself from each other. You claim that you belong to one group over another.
Somewhere in your mind you are contractually bound to your black or white brothers and sisters or anyone who agrees with you.
However, picking sides only causes you to disassociate yourself from the rest of the country because you put race before humanity.
Yet in order to be the change you want to see, you must not continue to put your blackness or your whiteness first but put God first.
At the same time, you shouldn’t chant “All Lives Matter” because until black lives matter just as equally as white lives all lives don’t matter.
Instead of screaming chants at the other side, we should look to scripture as to how we are to live in harmony (Romans 12:16–18).
Instead, we are to look to scripture as to how we are to treat those who hate us (Ephesians 4:29–32).
Instead, we should look to scripture as to how we are to show love instead of hate (Luke 6:27–28).
Love Not Hate
There should be no such thing as a black or a white Christian because your Christianity should never be dictated by the color of your skin.
After all, how could you let your race dictate your behavior when Christianity is a lifestyle, not a religion?
You see when you signed your life over to Christ, you signed up for a new identity.
“Anyone who is joined in Christ is a new being; the old is gone the new has come” — 2 Corinthians 5:17 (GNT)
When you accept Christ your old self no longer exists. When you accept Christ you retired the person you used to be to take on a new creation in Christ.
You are charged with being a person; you were charged to take the responsibility of living according to God’s word.
What some people don’t realize is that Christianity is a lifestyle choice. It’s not a religion that starts and ends on Sunday. It’s not something you can pick up and put down when you feel like it. It’s not some 30 day challenge.
Christianity is plastic surgery of the heart.
Christianity is tying the tubes of one’s old self.
Christianity is gender reassignment from a man of the flesh to a man of God; a woman of the flesh to a woman of God.
Thus, your Christianity should show out when a Karen decides to harass you because you’re black. Your Christianity should show out when you think about hurling that racist slur because they did something you didn’t like.
Because as a Christian you’ve been transformed. As a Christian, you were commanded to love even your enemies.
“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you…If you love only the people who love you, why should you receive a blessing? Even sinners love those who love them!” — Luke 6:27–32 (GNT)
It’s easy to love your family, it’s easy to love your friends, it’s easy to love those who love you. However, the true testing of your faith comes when you can love those who hate you.
A true indicator that you are living out your Christian walk is to show love to those who have no love for you. A true sign that you are living according to God’s word is when you can love the racist people trying to tear you down.
As a black or a white Christian, it will be impossible to do this because you have committed to your race instead of Christ. As a black or a white Christian, this will be impossible to do because you look at the other side with hatred.
Yet if you put God first, you will then be able to love your enemies.
And I’m not saying it will be an easy task. Yes, it will be hard.
However, if you can love those who hate you maybe you can help solve the racial division that is tearing apart this country.
Though this race war may stem from the prejudices of yesteryears, I believe we can reach a solution if we change our mindset.
You can call yourself Christian first and race second but none of that matters until you start putting Christ first. How you address yourself doesn’t matter until you start to live it out.
Until we start to treat each other equally until we start to put Christ first and until we begin to show love to our enemies this country will not be able to solve its racial dilemma.
Instead of fighting against each other lets fight for each other. Instead of picking sides lets be on the same team. Instead of being partial with who we love let's show impartiality with our love.
Thanks for reading