Dear Lighthouse Trails:
Thank you so much for writing that booklet about Critical Race Theory. This is very badly needed. I had been hoping you would find somebody to write something about this.
I plan to send some pastors links to it. One of them is a black Baptist pastor whom I have known for a number of years. He recently replied to an e-mail of mine telling me how he has been hurt by racism. And I’ll bet you what the SBC did (in adopting critical race theory) is the reason why he did that. I wrote him and shared some thoughts with him that I thought perhaps your readers would benefit from too regarding this issue of racism.
Sincerely Maria Kneas
Dear Pastor _______,
Jesus was despised and rejected. Therefore, when men reject us, we are sharing in Christ’s sufferings. And that gives us a greater understanding of what Jesus went through in order to save us.
Our value is NOT determined by what men think of us. Only Almighty God (our Creator) has the knowledge and authority to determine our value. And the Lord Jesus Christ was willing to die for us – which means we have tremendous value in God’s eyes.
I understand something about rejection. When I was young, I was shy and plump. And the kids at school teased me mercilessly, including doing some nasty things to me. One time they put dog doo in my desk. Another time they broke into my locker and tore up my school books. When I was in high school, I was walking down the hallway and a boy came up to me and grabbed both of my breasts. (At that point, I had never been on a date, and I had never even held hands with a boy.)
Looking back on it, I’m grateful that I was an outcast because as a result of that, I’m able to think independently instead of following the crowd. And instead of partying, I spent my time reading and learning to play the piano and the guitar. The independent thinking and reading helped me become the first Christian in my family.
I’ve been on the receiving end of some racism. Back in the sixties, I lived in Washington, DC. My family befriended a young man from Kenya who came here to get an advanced degree. He was also working on a project to help his people. I helped him with his project. One evening, after a long day of hard work, we decided to take a break and get something to eat. So we went to a restaurant in Georgetown. While we were eating, a white man came over and spat on me. And then he yelled at me, calling me a whore (plus some other things that I didn’t understand).
That was an education. Definitely nasty. However, it didn’t stop me from working with that young man to help him with his project. I kept on doing that, and we probably ate together on other occasions. We were not about to let somebody like that stand in our way.
My mother’s family was Jewish. Mom told me stories about the Holocaust as far back as I can remember, and when I was a girl, I met a Holocaust survivor. So I know something about what it means to have a group of people be treated badly by their society.
Christians should follow the examples given in the Bible. According to Jesus, there are only two kinds of people: children of God and children of the devil. Therefore, if Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior of any man or woman, then that man is my brother in Christ, and that woman is my sister in Christ. And it doesn’t matter what they look like, or what language they speak.
The word “race” is not in the Bible—except in terms of athletics (running the race). The whole concept of race is not biblical. That came in with Darwin and his theory of evolution.
Why do people look different? Look at the huge differences in animals, and birds, and flowers, and trees. Our God is very creative. And He can make things be beautiful in quite different ways. Why should it be any different when it comes to people? God is not into cookie cutters (making lots of duplicates of the same kind of thing). Instead, He is into creating many different kinds of beauty.
And that goes beyond physical differences. There are also differences in temperament. For example, the British are quite different from Germans or French or Italian. And as far as that goes, New England is quite different from Texas.
Nobody who is truly racist will be able to truly love Jesus. (The real Jesus, as opposed to paintings drawn by artists who used local models.) Jesus was a Mideastern man who lived outdoors most of the time—walking huge distances and sleeping by the roadside en route. Therefore, He was exposed to the sun a lot. So His skin would not have looked like modern-day Jews who live indoors. Rather, it would have looked more like that of an outdoor Arab.
In other words, Jesus was too dark-skinned for a white racist to accept Him. And He was too light-skinned for an anti-white racist to accept Him.
Our primary relationship should be with Jesus. And in terms of Jesus, our real family is people who truly love Jesus. That is far more important than physical blood relationship.
Our primary citizenship is that we are citizens of Heaven. Our homeland is Heaven—not the United States. Down here, we are just passing through on our way to our homeland, which is Heaven. We are pilgrims. Sojourners.
The primary problem of this nation is that we have turned away from God. And unless we turn back to Him, nothing and nobody will be able to fix this mess.
And it’s not just the secular people who have turned away from God, either. A lot of people who call themselves Christians go to church for social reasons or out of tradition and things like that. But they don’t take God seriously. They don’t read their Bibles, and they aren’t serious about trying to live the way that the Bible tells us to live. Their dinner (or their job, or sports, etc.) feels more real (and more important) to them than the things that the Bible talks about.
There is only one cure for the problems we have here. Even though it is not talking about America, we can see the principles God is laying out in 2 Chronicles 7:14 for a nation that turns its back on God.
If my people,
which are called by my name,
shall humble themselves,
and seek my face,
and turn from their wicked ways;
then will I hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin,
and will heal their land.
Later in that chapter (verses 19-22), God describes the judgment He will bring on the nation of Israel if they turn away from God, and reject His commandments, and serve other gods. These statements are about Israel, but those principles also apply to God’s people who live elsewhere.
If people want to think in terms of race, then we need to remember that all of us are members of the human race. And we are literally blood brothers, because we are all descended from Adam and Eve. If you want to put that in more modern terms, we are also descended from Noah and Mrs. Noah, because everybody who survived the Flood is related to them.
If people want to think in terms of “us versus them,” then for believers, “us” should mean anybody who is a born-again Christian, because every true believer is our brother or sister in Christ. And “them” means people who don’t know Jesus yet. In other words, people who have the potential to become our brother or sister in Christ. Obviously we should treat all of our brothers and sisters in Christ well, because we are all members of the same family. But we should also treat non-believers well, because if we show them the love of God, then that may help them become believers.
Maria Kneas is the author of two Lighthouse Trails books and a number of LT booklets.
(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission; design by Lighthouse Trails)