According to Truth

I’ve witnessed, on more than one occasion, testimony that an investigation was initiated by confronting a person in a high-crime area or for their suspicious appearance. These were evidence of a potentially illegal (unconstitutional) stop for lack of a valid, reasonable suspicion of an actual crime being violated. Drill down a little further and the motivation for the stop was race. It’s safe to say that there were other times that these types of reasons were not mentioned in testimony as the witness knew better, so a different reason for the stop was stated.

Now, this is out of thousands of cases so the examples of times that I can recall which were blatantly illegal profiling were very few compared to the legitimate, legal purposes for an investigation. Still, it happens, and any thought that it doesn’t is naïve. There is no question that our nation was born with a race problem that was perpetuated legally for centuries following our inception with the residue persisting for decades since the legal remedies were put in place. You don’t fix centuries overnight.

The modern argument against culpability, for as long as I remember, has been that “we didn’t do it” but our forefathers did. The logical conclusion of this argument is that those who have been victimized need to get over it as the guilty parties have long been dead, the laws have been fixed and (more recently) a black man has been elected to be the President of the United States. There; the playing field is level.

The problem with this argument is that it doesn’t account for the damage to the soul of a man whose fathers were damaged for the centuries that preceded the instant man. It doesn’t allow for healing where there has been hurt. Most importantly, it doesn’t stand as True as compared to Truth, according to Jesus.

“And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets” (Matthew 23: 30-31).

Agreement that one’s forefathers did it to another’s forefathers is testimony towards conviction, and makes the generations accountable. Accountability leaves only one of two options; repentance or rebellion based in pride. Repentance is simply changing your mind; acknowledging wrong and choosing right . . . on behalf of the generations.

There is a need for open and public confession with repentance to bring about healing, according to James 5:16. Or there is the other option of rebellion based in pride; “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:23).

The healing and solution to the racial divide in our nation is not solely dependent on those that have been victims. The prime catalytic opportunity rests with the descendants of the initiator of the plague. The Church is the only segment of society positioned to initiate this move into healing, for which God has given us the blueprint. Repentance with open confession towards reconciliation will initiate healing. It’s time to choose wisely, starting now.

5 thoughts on “According to Truth

  1. Scott, I hear your heart and agree that what some of our forefathers did was wrong but please remember, not all white people were for slavery and once they began to be educated and really understand the wrong in it and God spoke to them, they are the ones who fought the fight to end slavery. For years since, white man has done so much to help them to overcome their plight. Have there been some that still looked down on them? Of course, but more and more every day and year have bent over backwards to help. They have the same opportunities as we all do, as many foreigners do that come over here so I don’t want to hear anymore excuses and them continuing to use the race card when I see so much afforded to them. I don’t judge a person on their color, only on their actions and if they are walking down the street with their pants half down, cussing, etc., I don’t care if they are white or black…it’s disrespectful and I have a right to not like this type of behavior. If they are tired of being judges with disrespect, then they need to stop acting disrespectful. Respect is earned, not just given out of charity. I base my friends on their morals and integrity, not on their color and I think most people feel the same these days. The healing needs to come in everyone’s hearts, but it needs to be a two way street. People are judged on their morals, their actions and not on their color as so many accuse white people of doing. I personally am tired of having this pinned on me like I am ignorant and cannot judge a person rightfully, like I am immediately judging them on their color. We have several people also in our church who are black and are welcomed with open arms, but it is them who are also making an effort to reach out…as it should be.

    • Thanks, Gina. I know that this is a difficult propostion.

      As far as I can tell, the only productive way forward is some way different than what we have experienced or are currently experiencing. There is a great outpouring of anger and frustration from an entire community of people. If we won’t/can’t recognize that emotion as sincere, then we are stuck right there. If we do acknowledge that there is a feeling of anger that is heartfelt, then we have to also recognize the anger is a secondary emotion, coming from an underlying source. That underlying source has to be addressed prior to just wanting the anger to go away. Repentance is a posture for reconciliation. Not guilt, not shame, just repentance and acknowledgement that others have legitimate feelings.

      I recognize that this is an uncomfortable proposition and unnatural compared to our sense of personal responsibility. Jesus pointed to the sins of the fathers and the Bible talks about the curses of sin as well as the blessings of righteousness being generational. This is a generational opportunity; not a “I didn’t do it” position. Only by grace and humility can any of us step into such a powerful posture.

      There is no question that forgiveness has to be granted in order for healing to be received. I can’t control how repentance is or would be received, but it is not my responsibility to dictate the behavior of others. Somebody has to go first . . . I am just saying that I will and there is an opportunity for others to follow. Things can be different, but not by doing the same things.

      This is a invitation to the Body of Christ – those that call ourselves Christians. “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

  2. Pingback: According to Truth | He tells me to sing...so I sing...

    • Scott –

      You clearly have a much deeper understanding of the lessons of Christ and the Bible than I do. I mean that sincerely, because what you say makes sense to one as myself who has a relationship with Christ, but not nearly enough knowledge of all he taught or application of those teachings in my life. That is a continual challenge for me. That being said, as a white man in America who has black and white friends alike that I love and respect, at what point is “repentance” acknowledged as being enough? What is the measurable there? Slavery ended at the cost of so many white lives who believed in that cause. Laws have been passed to allow minorities to gain equal footing in every part of our society. The Civil War and subsequent (although slow developing) laws since then have been a result, in my opinion, of White America’s repentance. I feel we have repented for our father’s sins at this point. When it is left to the ancestors of the victims alone to determine what is repentance and what is not, than I do believe there will never be true reconciliation. There are many blacks who believe the score is settled and they have taken control of their own lives. There are also many blacks who will never feel the whole thing rectified no matter what outreach has been done. I agree that we should always seek answers and guidance from our Father. The struggle for me is this…when is repentance considered complete, and forgiveness gets in the batters box and not “on deck”?

      • This is a difficult idea, not conditioned by limits in the words of Jesus. It’s not about others, only ourselves, and only as deep as we’ll go within our own hearts, compassion and grace. Great reward for every step we’ll take, even when we have our doubts. I don’t have answers to how far and how often, I’m just acknowledging that I can go further and deeper.

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