I’m a follower of Jesus, I’m a husband, I’m a Father, I’m a son, I’m a brother, I’m a combat veteran Marine, I’m a white male, I’m a Pastor, and I’m a racist.
I do not want to confess that last one to you, but it’s true.
But before you lump me in with all that is wicked about that word, or generalize that I am the problem with all that’s wrong in the world, please grab a mirror for your own soul and realize this…
You are a racist too!
Here’s how I know:
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.—1 John 1:8 ESV
For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.—James 2:10 ESV
Your response may be that you do have sins that you admit to, but that you are sure: Racism is not and has not ever been one.
That’s not true.
To say that there is a sin which you don’t commit violates James 2:10. If you commit one sin, that is evidence enough that you commit them all. Hence we are “accountable for all of it.” And 1 John 1:8 then condemns us further that if we hold to the position of our lack of sin, the truth is not in us.
Let me further explain what I mean.
I have often preached that there is not one humble person on the planet. There are only prideful people, who by grace are seeking humility.
The corollary as it pertains to race is…
There is not one non-racist on the planet. There are only racists, who by grace are seeking to love their neighbor.
This confession is the only first step on the path to stemming the tide of hatred and bloodshed we have seen recently and been seeing for a long, long time. This step must come before the cries for peace and calm. This step must come before the peaceful protest. This step must come before the interfaith and interracial displays of unity. All of these should take place but they must come after we humble ourselves before God, confess our own sin, receive the forgiveness that Jesus purchased for us and beg God to change us into a lover of neighbor.
If we will individually, and then communally confess our common sinfulness, in the presence of God first, and then with one another, that is the ONLY means by which reconciliation can come. Skip this step and the power of God we must have to love our neighbor and work together will not come. And to think we can be different individually or collectively apart from God’s grace, the salvation of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit is once again evidence of human pride.
We are both racists.
Let’s be racists who repent of that fact and seek by grace to love one another.
Jesus, please help me and us.
– Eric Creekmore, Lead Pastor
(Photo: New York Times)