Racial injustice is a verified reality in every aspect of American life. Its effect is seen in racially categorized social indicators. These indicators of wealth, employment, education, homeownership, criminal justice, health, and others are symptoms of a pathological system that hurts everyone. It is not a passing common cold.
The pathology was sown into our culture by individuals who sought to establish a culture that would sustain the dehumanization of certain people for the purpose of exploitation. These cultural drivers include the perversion of religion, the distortion of history, and science, and an assurance that those who conform to the ideal would experience privileges in society. This idea that some call "White Supremacy" has savaged our societies and people of all ethnicities.
At Hope United CDC, we are busily working to foster and support racial healing through increasing awareness, learning, and action.
A Letter to The Church
March 17, 2021
I greet you with the joy of Jesus Christ amidst the 2021 season of Lent. I pray our faith and devotion to the Lord is growing as we intentionally resist the enemy of our souls and incline our ears more attentively to God. This is year two of lent within a covid-19 environment and, although year one was challenging and presented tough hills to climb, we are now surrounded by mountains of national debt, political polarization, child poverty, chemical abuse, homelessness, and even civil war. These major concerns demand our attention, and the good news is that we could overcome them. Jesus instructs us to have faith in God, and to believe that what we say in faith will effect the change we desire.
It is written in Mark 11: 22.
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.
Now, I want to submit to you what I believe is a revelation concerning this truth we just read. The revelation came to me as I have, in recent days, wrestled against a burgeoning cynicism that the challenges we are facing are intractable and that, for example, deepening racial division in America is inevitable. I have even heard prominent prophets and other leaders declare that a civil war will occur in America. Well, to me, that is a mountain and I believe we are mandated by the Lord to say “No” to that mountain. We cannot acquiesce and abdicate our prophetic positions. We must say “no”. I believe God will move the mountains that we, as His disciples, condemn. I have never failed to believe that God has all power, yet I have wondered why the mountains still stand. I want to share with you the revelation.
The Lord says to us that the mountains we see will not be moved until we condemn the mountains in the spirit. The visible manifestations of wickedness are not the primary concern; of greater concern is the cause of the mountains. In other words, these massive issues, including the threat of deepening racial hatred result from underlying conditions. We are speaking to the visible mountains, but not the cause. That is what this letter is about; the underlying conditions which must be acknowledged and condemned by the single, harmonious voice of diverse members of Christ’s Body.
Physical mountains are created by the collision of two of the earth’s seven major tectonic plates. When those subterranean plates clash, the earth is shoved upward forming a mountain or range of mountains. We have an entire range of sociological and economic mountains because of underlying spiritual faults. Sociologists, government, economists, educators, artists, entertainers, and business leaders work within their sectors to “right the wrongs”, but the best they can do is move chairs on the deck, so to speak. These responses to the mountains we see do nothing to address the underlying, foundational premises and ideologies that have clashed with the foundation of justice and righteousness that Psalm 89:14 speaks of.
God is reminding His disciples, principally the Church, to speak to the underlying, foundational premises and ideologies that fostered American racism and the division in our congregations, denominations, institutions, communities, cities, and nation. If we speak to this mountain without doubt, fear, and pride, God will hear our prayers and move mountains. The Lord has shown me that there is nothing more important for the church to engage in, during this season, than reconciling ourselves to this truth. For many years I have believed this is most dear to Our Heavenly Father’s heart. The Bible declares it eloquently in such passages as John 3: 16-17, John 13: 34-45, and John 17. I would like to mention a few of my own personal experiences with God and observations of God’s heart for unity, but I will not prolong this letter.
Let it suffice for us to stand together on God’s Word, including God’s invitation to pray (2 Chronicles 7:14) and to wage wise war according to Ephesians 6: 10-18.
Finally, I do not hear God calling believers to abandon the work of racial healing, and justice, or equity. These works are good and necessary. Tutoring our children is necessary. Helping those who need help is a part of our duty. But no good deeds or wise words outweigh the necessary work of a united, cross-racial condemnation and repudiation of the sins that informed, established, propagated, and perpetuated white-supremacy. We can do this in love, and God will do the rest.
Rev. Richard H. Coleman
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