race relations


Fighting For Unity in A Culture of Chaos (updated)


With the white nationalist rally and domestic terror incident in Charlottesville, race and racism is once again in the headlines. It is easy to respond in a couple of different ways. First, ignore it. But here’s the thing, John Stuart Mill is right, “bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”

If you have chosen to be silent, because you believe folks know you aren’t like them, maybe you aren’t but that should be all the more reason you are moved to action. Make no mistake, church, the world is watching to see how we respond to those claiming white supremacy under the cause...

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White supremacy at odds with Scripture; time to actively reach across racial divides


The staff of the Christian Life Commission condemns the hateful and violent ideology and actions put on display by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend. We also call Texas Baptists to address the less inflammatory aspects of racial division and rhetoric persistent in our culture.

The people who marched in Charlottesville proclaiming messages of white supremacy and hate toward non-whites are speaking against the truth of God as revealed through Jesus Christ and recorded in Scripture.

The Bible says:

-- All people are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27);

-- In Christ, all persons, no matter...

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White like me


A picture in the news this weekend showed three white men holding black shields and black flags. It occurred to me that, though younger, they looked like me. Without their foolish garb, we could be mistaken as being very much alike. If I could hear them talk, we might even speak with a similar accent.

But I have little in common with those people. We may both have light-colored skin, but below the skin there is something different. They spew hate; I do not even silently feel that for those who are different from me. They portray an attitude of bravado; I would much prefer to sit and talk. They bear all the signs of being afraid...

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Old wolf of racism appears in alt-right sheep's clothing


Alt-right racism is both like and unlike the old racism. Like -- it sees the white race as superior and in need of protection. Unlike -- it is generally educated, secular, and young.

The Southern Baptist Convention brought the alt-right to centerstage last week when it initially failed to consider a resolution condemning racist aspects of the alt-right. Fortunately, wiser heads prevailed, and SBC messengers approved a revised resolution, which decried “every form of racism, including alt-right white supremacy, as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Messengers also said, “we denounce and repudiate white supremacy and every...

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7 tips for seeking peace with African Americans


As we think about our role as peacemakers in racial reconciliation, Ephesians 2:11-16 details God’s heart for unity within the body of Christ.

Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands) — remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

For he himself is our

...

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The importance of "Black Lives Matter"


It is hard for some people to understand the importance of "Black Lives Matter." They want to say, "All Lives Matter." A post by GeekAesthete on reddit.com helps explain it.

Imagine that you're sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don't get any. So you say "I should get my fair share." And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, "everyone should get their fair share." Now, that's a wonderful sentiment -- indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair

...

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Let Justice Roll Down


(Dr. Michael A. Evans, Sr., will lead a workshop titled "Let Justice Roll Down -- It's a Big Deal in Scripture & Today" during the CLC's Micah 6:8 Conference March 31-April 1 at Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio. He is pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield.)

One of the most prolific martyrs of the civil rights era, namely Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., reminded readers in his "Letter From a Birmingham Jail" of the prophetic words of the Old Testament prophet, Amos.

King wrote these words in the midst of a civil rights movement that had come to a stalemate, caught between pessimism among some of his early supporters, the...

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​In Search of Common Ground: Grand Jury Reform, Black Lives Matter and Pro-Life Advocacy


Our criminal justice system is broken in regard to grand juries.

Many people are familiar with the roles of law enforcement, judges, and lawyers in the criminal justice system. Most people are decidedly less familiar with the important, but often hidden role of the grand jury.

A grand jury is a group of 12 citizens of the county where the grand jury sits, able to read and write, not under indictment, etc. The most common role of the grand jury is to listen to the facts of a case and determine if probable cause exists for charges alleged against a defendant.

While both grand juries and trial juries are made up of lay people who must...

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MLK: God and God's people confront evil together


We Christians still have a problem faced by the first disciples of Christ. We have a hard time, a very hard time, casting out evil.

In the New Testament, this is recorded in Matthew 17:19-20. The disciples could not heal a boy, and they did not understand why.

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it [an evil spirit] out?"He said to them, "Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of amustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you" (NRSV).

Martin Luther King, Jr., preached a...

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​Nonviolence became MLK's defining method of seeking justice


Many people know of Martin Luther King, Jr., as a champion of nonviolence. This was not new to African American churches.

William D. Watley said King's theological and ethical perspective, including the belief in nonviolence, "was founded on the bedrock of black religion and then shaped by his formal theological education."

King's first speech of the Montgomery bus boycott illustrates that the principle he espoused was not rooted in a secular or non-Christian philosophy. He did not use the word "nonviolence" in the speech, but he eschewed violence from of distinctly Christian perspective. King said:

And I want to say that we are not
...

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​MLK saw community as essential


Love was critical in the thinking of Martin Luther King, Jr., and it relates directly to the importance of community.

In King's treatment of love in Stride Toward Freedom, he connects love to community. He repeats "community" 13 times in one paragraph, thus pointing to the importance of community in his thinking. To cite most of the uses of the word and reveal how King viewed community, here is a portion of the paragraph:

Agape is love seeking to preserve and create community. It is insistence on community even when one seeks to break it. . . . Agape is a willingness to go to any length to restore community. It doesn't stop at the
...

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​New Testament love stood at foundation of MLK's work


The New Testament concept of agape love informed the civil rights work of Martin Luther King, Jr., as he became the voice of the movement in the 1950s and 1960s.

"Along the way of life," King wrote, "someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can only be done by projecting the ethic of love to the center of our lives."

King clarified that he was not speaking of "some sentimental or affectionate emotion," but rather as a connection that "means understanding, redemptive goodwill." He went to the Greek language to make his point, explaining the meaning of agape.

Agape . . . is an overflowing
...

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MLK offers insights that can still help Christians confront injustice


Every adult American can hear in their minds the voice, rhetorical skills, and moving words of the late Martin Luther King, Jr. He had the ability to move people with his spoken words in a manner possible of few people in history. He made the phrase, "I have a dream," forever a part of the American experience.

Behind King's powerful spoken words lay a theological and philosophical grounding that shaped him while growing up in the segregated South. The 1955-1956 bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, pushed King into the limelight at age 26. The particular talents and skills of King died with him in 1968, but today we can build on the...

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Moving Past #PrayforCharleston


Last Wednesday evening, a 21-year-old white man walked into Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, sat through Bible study and then murdered nine African Americans: State Senator and Pastor Clementa Pickney; librarian Cynthia Hurd; Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr.; speech therapist and mom Sharonda Singleton; Bible study teacher Myra Thompson; 26-year-old Tywanza Sanders who died trying to save his aunt; Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor; 87-year-old Susie Jackson; and, 70-year-old Ethel Lance.

Before the young man shot them, he stated he was shooting them because, "You rape our women and you're taking over our country." It has since been...

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​Living as a black man in Ferguson


In the summer of 2012, a 32-year-old African American man sat in his car cooling off after playing basketball in a public park. A law enforcement officer pulled up behind the man's car, blocking him in, and demanded the man's Social Security number and identification.

That's how the story begins. It's part of the U.S. Justice Department's report on racial discrimination in Ferguson, Mo. If those of us who are Anglo Americans do not understand why many African Americans distrust law enforcement, this story offers an example of why.

Without any cause, the officer accused the man of being a pedophile, referring to the presence of...

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Racism undermines justice and unity


"But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." (Amos 5:24)

A young man has been killed in Missouri. Michael Brown, an unarmed African American man, died from six gunshots fired by a white police officer. Race should not be an issue, but far too many African American men have died under similar circumstances. Black men simply face a different social calculus when it comes to interactions with the justice system in America.

The frequency of such incidents has led some African Americans to have an inherent mistrust of the justice system because it has not consistently protected the rights of...

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