Our country continues to respond in grief and outrage to the murder of George Floyd. His name will not be forgotten and is added to a long list of African Americans who lost their lives at the hands of people who abused their power and privilege. The list goes back decades, centuries, tracing a long line of racial intolerance and unjust discrimination. Racism is a sin.
I believe we are in a time of “revealing”. God is the one doing the revealing. God is pulling back the curtain and showing us the sin in our nation. God is removing the veil and showing us the sin in our hearts. I believe this “revealing” has just begun. Corruption, injustice, wicked intentions, and harmful acts will be exposed for all to see. A just God will continue to show where evil is lurking, and it will not be pretty.
In my Pentecost Sunday sermon, I spoke about America’s need for a new Pentecost – a new awakening. Our nation thirsts for a fresh outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit – the next great religious revival. Some Christian leaders believe the next great awakening is right around the corner while others believe it has already begun.
Every spiritual awakening, whether individual or corporate, is preceded by a “revealing” of sin. Sin must be exposed, repented of, and removed. God reveals sin and evil in us and in our land. It is ugly. It repulses us. We are horrified and disgusted and we should be. The revealing of sin in ourselves and in our nation should lead us to repentance. We repent for ourselves. We repent on behalf of others. We repent for our nation and its ugly racist history.
What happened to George Floyd on May 25, 2020, was evil. Racism is evil. Hate, abuse, violence, and murder are evil. Systemic injustice is sin. The misuse of force leading to unjust harm or death is sin. The misuse of power against the powerless is sin.
Unfortunately, discrimination, racial stereotyping, and racial bias are still alive and well. We thought we dealt with that decades ago, but the ugly truth is that it remains. The sin clings closely and evil intentions pervade the next generation. Those of us who are white cannot fully understand what it is like to be African American, endure prejudice because of the color of our skin, fear violence at the hands of authorities, and worry that our children will fall victim.
We grieve. We lament. We are broken over our own brokenness. Racism breaks the heart of Jesus and it should break our hearts too.
As Christians, we believe that all human beings are of sacred worth and deeply valuable to God. Christians cannot remain silent, unmoved, or unresponsive when another human is mistreated, abused, or murdered. We renounce all racial discrimination and we strive for full equality. The work we must do is critical. American Christians must demand, commit to, and work together for the abolishment of racism once and for all. We cry out with the Old Testament prophet Amos, “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:24)
Dr. Jan Davis