Devout Christians: The Pastor Must Address Race.

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( Racism is America is older than its founding. It is very difficult for the conversation to be had objectively, and openly. Unfortunately, there is denial and silence that also plays a part in why we can not move on as a nation. Some would argue that one’s spiritual faith should not be convoluted by racism…or the race card as some would call it. There are those that feel they can support the extreme right conservative position, as we know it today, and still be on par with God. Black congregation members have to deal with passive aggressive positions that would shame them in church, silence that is complicit, or silence as though we can move on without addressing the elephant in the community in the sanctuary because we live in a post racial society. The truth is all of it is out of order. There is so much misinformation regarding race in Church that it pacifies some, silences others, encourages evil, and runs some away from their faith as the pain is just too deep.

Devout Christians: The Pastor Must Address Race.

There is no societal ill that should not be addressed at church. It is where we go for guidance on how to live, and if there is evil in the fabric of our society or culture that needs to be address. How to speak against it, why we should stand against it, encouragement of one another as we face it, and healing when it breaks us are just a few things we should be able to receive at church. In addition, ways by which we can navigate everyday life in a manner pleasing to God should always be at the forefront of the lessons we receive. Unfortunately, some of us are sitting in congregations whereby race is not properly addressed…or not addressed at all.

For Black people church use to be the one place we could go, and sometimes the only place we could go, whereby we could discuss how we were going to continue to fight racism and still honor God. The biblical understanding that God doesn’t want us in shackles of any sort, and dispelling the lie that God sanctioned our slavery and inhumane treatment us to be the responsibility of the clergy. Unfortunately, too many of us are sitting in hush spaces. Our leadership wants us to feel comfortable, and race is not addressed. The country could be in racial upheaval and some of us are met with silence on Sunday morning. How can you help to spiritually lead a people that you won’t comfort and help direct in a very present time of trouble?

Have our leadership in all of their modern ways forgotten the teachings and sacrifices of their elders? Before you say we’re in a post racial society and addressing racism isn’t needed as yourself what you think you would need mentally and spiritually is George Floyd was your immediate family member. No one is saying that race should be weaponized and hatred should be taught in the sanctuary…we have enough of that. I’m saying we can’t be silent.

During the trump administration several Black Americans found themselves sitting in what had to feel like dangerous spaces as their white pastor’s passive aggressively agreed with the racial suffering of our people or dismissed it with silence. Before you try to tell yourself, you don’t want to judge anyone…we won’t that is for God to do. However, we will judge the silence and the damage it causes. Many were disappointed when they had to back away from church to assess what was not happening. The country is in uproar, there is protesting, and dead Black bodies in the street for no other reason than that they are Black, and church is silent, or dismissive. How uncomfortable and disheartening must it be to know the people you are worshiping amongst might not see people that look like you as human? Furthermore, they don’t seem to understand that it’s their dismissiveness that is inhumane. To think when you try to go to a counseling at church to speak about your feelings, they are met with you playing the race card, or “we don’t see race”. That is painful, it feels like betrayal, and it can be spiritually damaging.

We need our pastors to properly address race in the sanctuary. Some have anger so deeply rooted in them from the racial injustice they have witnessed and/or experienced that they find it hard to sit in church knowing that the spiritual need will not be met. They know the bible will be weaponized against their very person, and they feel as though no one will say anything. We do not live in a post racial society. Racism is still deeply rooted in this nation, and it is still the main undoing of our people. We need our spiritual leadership to continue to lead in this area. If you are sitting under leadership that will not address the evils of society you might need to reconsider where you worship.

Staff Writer; Chelle’ St James

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