2105 marked an incredibly sad and tumultuous year for my now home state of South Carolina with a racially motivated mass shooting at a predominately black church in Charleston and the subsequent removal of the confederate battle flag from the state capitol's ground.
Being in a racially diverse church myself I know that these things strike very close to home for many, and it is always a trying thing when Satan uses the attacks of inequality, injustice, and hatred to tear at the fabric of the unity of Jesus’ church.
Racism is not something new, as though South Carolina, the first state to secede, somehow invented the problem. The problem is as old as sin itself, from the fall when rebellion to God entered man’s heart and mind. Ever since then we have hated one another and looked for every opportunity for self-glorification, even if it means stepping on our fellow man.
This doesn’t apply to you of course; you would never do such a thing. But unfortunately you are wrong. And although sin comes in many shapes and sizes, and through a humanistic lens there are lesser and greater sins against man which have varying punishments, if we are honest with ourselves we would admit that we are capable of far more evil than we like to imagine.
In the book of Galatians Paul speaks extensively on the issue of racism and tribalism, rebuking the understanding of the Jewish Christians there and their unwillingness to embrace their non-Jewish believing brothers and sisters (Gal 3:28) but I wonder if we have settled for this exact thing in the Church now in our day? While it is very difficult, and often painful, we must fight with the power of the Spirit to maintain His unity and peace (Eph 4:3) with one another and not allow any division from our sinful nature to enter in.