"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16 is famously used at events and quoted, but arbitrarily lived. "For God so loved the world…" Not the "white" world, "black" world, "Hispanic" world, "Asian" world, or any other cultural group that lives on the Earth. Jesus is the Universal Savior that gave his life over to all people, so all can be embraced in love. Racism defined as "prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's race is superior." It is demonstrated by explicit acts of hatred and implicitly expressed by gestures, messages, blogs, photographs, and posts that are culturally insensitive that may offend and hurt another. In all forms, racism is contrary to the message of the Gospel and disgraces the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
The body of Christ is to be a beautifully, intertwined tapestry of many colors proudly worn. It is to be the envy of the government and organizations that seek peace, favor, love, and blessing. Those that bear the name of Jesus Christ must not fan the flames of ignorance, hatred, violence, foolishness, prejudice, and injustice. We are called to extinguish them by standing in God's love, showing sensitivity to our brothers and sisters that we break bread with.
We must be sensitive to the fact that those who have suffered systematic injustices and who have carried and continue to carry the heavy burden of freedom and equality are not a distant memory but a present soul. They agonize with the memory and scars that they have endured only a generation ago. Those who have lived through Jim Crow and the aftermath thereof are now grandparents telling the stories that define the struggle of a people that endured great atrocities, leaving traumatic scares and imprints that an entire group of Americans must look through. We should never question "Why" a march or protest. For many, they are still fighting the hatred in the deepest regions of another man's heart.
We must be sensitive to the fact that the movement toward equality and justice for all was and still is supported by all groups of people that see hatred as being wicked. From the abolitionist that fought against slavery to the clergy that marched alongside the persecuted in the streets of Selma, Birmingham, and Washington. We must be sensitive not to place the sins of grandfathers and fathers on the sons of today (Ez. 18:20). We must not assume that all persons of a particular race or profession are prejudice, hate-filled, and racist.
Trauma and hatred distort perception. Unfortunately, our society must not only fight reality but perception as well. Ignorance births hatred, hate begets injustice, and injustice begets anger. Here lies the pivot between unity and disunity, order from chaos. "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath" (Eph. 4:6). We must be sensitive toward the emotions of the hurt, never denying the right to cry aloud while not allowing emotions and rage to get the best of us. Anger unrestrained begets violence, violence reaps polarization that leads into tribalism, tribalism breeds ignorance, and the cycle is repeated.
The cycle of injustice, ignorance, insensitivity, and violence continues because laws are meant to restrain the behavior of men; the law is for the lawless (1Tim. 1:9). Laws deal with actions and behaviors that restrain hatred and covers it with cliché terms as "accountability," "transparency," and "human resource." The law is impotent to solving hatred, for hatred is a tumor in the heart. Only Jesus can remedy that, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh" (Ez. 36:26). How can society have justice without submitting to a just God? How can society have peace when it cannot bow to the Prince of Peace? How can a society preach love when it rejects the God of love?
Thus, it is incumbent upon believers to lead the way. To be sensitive toward all cultures in action, speech, Tweet, blog, instant message, and post. Do not fan the flames that incite disunity and tribalism but be a peacemaker. Be understanding, show compassion, express love, protect one another, reject words and expressions that can hurt your brother and sister in Christ that is from a different culture that make a mockery of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Be the light. Be the voice of reason. Be the example. Be the love.