The current culture and media have highlighted a number of reports, which they claim prove a resurgence of racism in America. In particular, the emergence of Black Lives Matter and other protest groups have propagated an increasingly exploitive narrative, which asserts that racism has gotten worse, not better. And that, among other things, Black men are under siege. If this is an accurate assessment of the current times, the question is: how should the church respond? Alternatively, if this is a false narrative being spun by those intent on perpetuating racial unrest: how should the church respond? Or, if it’s a combination of the two: again, how should the Church respond?
One of the most painful blights in American History is that of Slavery. Next year, 2019, marks the 400th year anniversary of the arrival of 20 African slaves brought to the British colonies in 1619 who landed in Jamestown, Virginia via Dutch traders. In any discussion on racism, slavery has always begun the debate. Slavery will provide the starting point for our discussion as well.
To challenge the Church, in general, and the Black Church, in particular, to move beyond racial labels and stereotypes established by secular society, and to begin to see ourselves as God sees us—as God declares who we are as the body of Christ, the brotherhood, and sisterhood of believers and the beloved community.
1. To call into question commonly held myths and proffer a biblical solution for perceived “Racism in America” in six major areas corresponding to the R.I.S.E. Principles and a Biblical Worldview.
2. We intend to cause a paradigm shift in the way in which the problem of race and race relations is conceptualized by both underscoring the role of the Church as advocates and change agents.
3. Create opportunities to work collaboratively towards reconciliation and change.
We propose the production of a television special with TLN with a series of segments examining issues where racism is thought to be present. This special would air on Christian TV (NRBtv, TLN, BrioTV, The Word Network) and possibly a cable channel. After each segment of the series airs, we will suggest that there be a discussion in local churches of the material presented when possible. There is also thought of creating printed material to supplement the video presentation.