What more can be said than has been said? – The state of our country is devastating. When we look at the physical, financial, and emotional trauma of the coronavirus, it felt like a crippling blow. Yet without hardly a breath between, we then witnessed the murder of George Floyd, and a pent-up frustration exploded across the nation.
We should in no way condone looting and rioting, but the protests bring before us something long simmering on the backburner that we must confront in all its forms: racism.
I understand that there are many out there who are turned off by what they’ve been seeing, and there are many who read politics into the situation. I, for example, fundamentally disagree with defunding and villainizing the police, and I disagree with the idea that America is inherently racist through-and-through. However, that is a different discussion. The reality is that while we may not be sitting in the 60s or the era of slavery, racism is alive and well, and it is an evil that corrupts everything it touches.
To be sure, there are few things that stand so directly opposed to the gospel more than racism. When the Scriptures opened by detailing God as Creator over all, and then telling us that mankind was created in His image (Genesis 1:27), it definitively put to rest any idea that one human could in any way be lesser than another. What gives us worth and value is not skin color or wealth or social standing. Rather, what gives us inherent worth is being “fearfully and wonderfully made” in God’s image (Psalm 139:14).
The pain and division coursing through our country right now is deeply heartbreaking, and for this blog I simply want to say two things. The first is that the racism that can sit in the heart of all humans should cause us to mourn and grieve. All politics aside, both racism and the rioting, looting, and destruction we're seeing are antithetical to everything Scripture commands. As such, I urge you to pray. Pray for unity in this country. Pray for healing, but a healing that comes from God. Pray for the Church to speak decisively into this pain, but that we will eagerly listen and learn how and when to speak. Pray that God will crush racism and racist ideas, for even a whiff of racism stands completely opposed to the gospel. Pray for our government, but pray that the Church will be active in supplying a place of grace and healing. Finally, pray that God’s will is clearly visibly throughout even this.
Our hope is not in a unity structured by borders and leaders, but a unity established by the blood of Christ. “9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen’” (Revelation 7:9-12).
The world does not need our politics or opinions; it needs our Savior.
My name is Bryan Lanting. I am a graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary, and I am presently serving Mt View CRC as their pastor. I am married to a wonderful wife named Sydney, and both of us are loving life, loving Lynden, and loving the Lord!