My grandfather passed away in the middle of the night on Christmas many years ago. When I woke up that morning, my parents broke the news. We had said our goodbyes the night before, but hearing he was gone brought a fresh wave of pain that early Christmas morning. As the day continued, I remember I started receiving Merry Christmas texts from friends who knew that I was in Iowa because my grandfather had been on his deathbed. In that moment, those Merry Christmas texts only served to deepen the pain because my sorrow had been met with silence from my friends; my painful reality was ignored for a more lighthearted one.
Many Black, Brown and interracial families have felt the exact same way in churches across our nation. The painful reality of the racial prejudice in our country has been ignored only for the Church to continue on with “status quo” conversations, sermon series, and ministries. Apart from our church that we attended while we lived in Waco, I can count on one hand the number of times I remember racial prejudice being specifically discussed in a Sunday sermon in a predominantly white congregation.
Even as I write that, I had to stop and let that sink in for myself. I’ve heard sermons on abortion. I’ve heard sermons on respecting authority. I’ve heard sermons on the need to evangelize lost communities in and out of our country. I’ve heard sermons reminding Christians to be involved in politics so Christian politicians “can fight for the Judeo- Christian rights that our country was founded on.” But a sermon or even a significant part of a sermon that calls the church members to repent of pride and bias in our own hearts and repent and seek forgiveness for the sins of slavery, oppression, and injustice? That topic is scarce on Sunday mornings.
I once would have said that race related issues are not universally affecting every church member and would be better served in private conversations. Yet, as I look throughout Scripture, I find the opposite to be true. In 1 Corinthians 6, Ephesians 6, Titus 1, Colossians 4 (and the list could continue), Paul writes to specific Believers or specific groups of Believers dealing with a specific topic. To argue that the church should only discuss things that are relatable to every member is not realistic.
Consequently, then we must ask ourselves, why as a Church are we primarily ignoring the subjects that affect our Members of Color more frequently? I know that the reasons for this will vary far and wide, yet the impact of silence is the same. The Church’s silence leaves our Believers of Color to conclude that their pain is not important enough, not valuable enough, or not realistic enough to be shared.
Your silence is deafening.
About Holly's Blog
Holly loves to write, and you'll find her blog covers all different topics!