Fusing the Great Divide with Racial Reconciliation
Racism has always been present in this country, and as a ministry, we have sought to confront it from a Biblical perspective. In 2020, cases of police brutality and injustices were brought to light with the murder of Goerge Floyd. The response to injustice not only swept the nation but the entire world. After the incidents and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, Rev. Bacon was asked how he could be a part of a movement like Black Lives Matter because of its alleged affiliation with Marxism. Marxism has been associated with being anti-government and a threat to democracy. Rev. Bacon responded that he is not a Marxist and probably 99.9% of people who participated in the marches last summer probably aren’t Marxist either. The goal of the Black Lives Matter movement is to bring awareness to the fact that people of color are disproportionately affected by social and racial injustice.
People of color are disproportionately incarcerated based on population. A Black person is more likely to be stopped without just cause than a white person. African Americans and Hispanics make up 32% of the U.S. population while making up 56% of the incarcerated population (source: https://www.naacp.org/criminal-justice-fact-sheet/ ). Reverend Bacon states that “All people are created equal, and every soul is modeled after the image of God. It is a given that all lives matter, but it is essential to address the social injustices in this country.” Genesis 1:26 says “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky”. From the beginning, all humans are created in the image of God. For this reason, we must respect the dignity of all people.
As Christians, we must not get distracted from promoting the cause of Christ and sharing the gospel. We are called to love one another as Christ did. John 13:34-35 says “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” The Bible is our guide on how to follow God and support each other in love. This is the mandate we must follow.
As Christians, we are citizens of Heaven. Philippians 3:20 tells us “ But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.” However, we are also citizens of this world. Romans 13:1-6 explains the role of the government and how it is ordained by God. It has its purpose to handle wrongdoers and maintain justice. When police and law enforcement are not upholding their purpose there is a reason for concern.
Although as a society we have come far, we must still acknowledge the realities of racism today. It exists on both personal and systemic levels. Rev. Bacon has his own personal experiences of how he and his family have been targeted and treated. Everyone has their own testimony and should be heard.
The future of young people is in our hands. As Christians, we must aim to create a society where everyone is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. As believers, we are called to walk as children of the light. In doing so, we will aid with the despair of racism in our society.
Supporting, the cause of Black Lives Matter does not mean supporting its every mandate. Rather, we must support the mandate of scripture. Galatians 6:10 says “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” As Christians, we are called to do good to all people. We must show our love with actions in truth as we are called in 1 John 3:18. It can be easy to be swept up in dogmas and mandates established by men, but we must intentionally return to God’s word for every action in our life. Supporting one another in love is a direct result of obeying the great commandment and the great commission. The commandment in Matthew 22:37-39 states “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” While obeying his commandment, we must also fulfill the great commission in Matthew 28:19 which states “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. Caring about racial and social injustice is a way we can obey the Lord’s command. The past year’s events are opportunities for Christians to share the love of Christ with others through intentional action.