Skip to main content

Sticking Up for Someone Who Doesn't Look Like You


I stumbled across something on Twitter that has got my mind going.  There was a book recently written and published by a prominent pastor on the topic of American slavery and racism.

That's good right?  We need more voices within the church speaking Biblically into these issues.  But there might be a problem - this book was written by a white guy from Idaho.  I say might because being a white guy from Idaho doesn't necessarily disqualify you from writing about slavery and racism.  I would think, however, that it makes the topic a bit more difficult to write about in a nonacademic way.  I'm sure Idaho has its fair share of racial strife and history, but I'm betting it is not quite the same there as, say, Montgomery, AL.

One of the things I read about the book was a blog post written by a black pastor of a church in Tennessee called Fellowship Memphis.  In the post the pastor challenges the perspective of the book's author and comments on how the tone and content of the book seem to point to the fact that there was very little authentic relationship and influence from an African American point of view.  Then he writes this, which hammered me right in the chest, as it relates to the relationships in my own life,
How does racial insensitivity continue to flourish, especially in the evangelical world? We just refuse to get to know the Other
You know what saddens me as I write these words? Once again, it’s a black man who is crying for help here, wondering where my white evangelical advocates are? Maybe conversations have already taken place and Pastor Wilson has been confronted. Maybe, the circles that he runs in- very prominent ones I might add- those who sit on those boards have told him to knock it off. But the fact that I don’t know these things, that I as a black man in 2013 am wondering where my white brothers are who will have my back here tells me we haven’t come as far as we can. 
I just…I just want someone to care enough to stick up for me. Someone who doesn’t look like me.
I added the bold in those comments to highlight what was most striking to me.  Having grown up in a white town, gone to a mostly white college, and now living again in a prominently white town, it has always been quite easy for me to form opinions about race and racial issues without ever having deep meaningful relationships with 'the Others' in my life.  

To my black brothers, I confess that I have been mostly ignorant of your history and have spoken things without first considering the influences and situations in own life that may have formed those thoughts.  I have worked hard in the last few years to intentionally build relationships with people of color at my place of work.  I want to get to know people different from me by being authentic and real.  This can get a little awkward sometimes but I think it is the call and example of Christ.

Brother Loritts, I'm working to become someone who cares, who advocates, and who will stick up for those who don't look like me.

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

5 Reasons I Won't Let My Kids Wear Clothes with Skulls on Them

Yesterday I threw out a poll question on my Facebook and Twitter pages.  The poll question asked, "Should Christians wear attire with skulls on it?"  I received some great comments from people with a variety of opinions.  You can read the comments on my timeline from 8/8/13.

My opinion is that Christians should not wear clothes with skulls on them.

I don't have one specific Bible verse that I can use to prove my point.  Jesus never said, "Thou shalt not wear clothes with skulls."  I do however think there are number of conclusions that can be drawn from Scripture that support my opinion.

1.  Jesus does care about the clothes we wear.
I don't believe God's people are free to wear whatever they want.  From the Old Testament all the way through the New Testament you can find Biblical language related to clothes.  There are laws in Leviticus about clothes.  God instructed the OT priests on what to wear don't believe God's people are free to wear wh…

How Stephanie and I Celebrated 15 Years of Marriage

Yesterday Stephanie and I celebrated 15 years of marriage! 
To kick off the festivities, on Wednesday afternoon Stephanie bought a new car from Harry Browns in Faribault. She said good goodbye to the minivan and bought a 2014 Dodge Journey. She picked out a great new vehicle and her dad Ralph channeled his inner New Yorker to haggle us a great price.
We started the day Thursday driving to St. Peter to pick up Isabelle from the "Gustie" Basketball and Leadership camp. She spent 4 days there learning, practicing and having a blast. We celebrated together as a family with some Godfather's Pizza!
After getting back to Northfield I dropped the kids off at some friend's houses so Stephanie and I could be alone together. Having great friends who help with the kids is such a blessing. 
Stephanie had the idea that we should get tattoos together. She didn't have to work hard to convince me! After asking for recommendations on Facebook we decided to check out  Guns and Nee…

Lessons from Mt Everest

It would be great is life was all fun and easy and exciting like glissading down a mountain side.  However life is actually much more like climbing up the mountain.  It is difficult, painful, dangerous and exhilarating all wrapped up into one.
Last Sunday I preached at a church in Northfield and I shared some thoughts about this.  I compared lessons I've learned studying mountain climbing to lessons I've learned living life.  Here are the five things I talked about, along with some accompanying Bible verses.
1. You have to have a goal and you have to work hard towards achieving it, sometimes for a long time ---> Jer 29:10-14  2. You have to expect setbacks (injury, weather, enemies, catastrophe) and roll with them ----> 2 Cor 4:8-10  3. You have to push yourself beyond what you thought possible ----> Phil 4:13  4. In most cases, you need others to help you (guides, logistics, cheerleaders, friends, expedition leader) ----> Heb 10:15   5. You have to acknowledg…