Admittedly racism is a charged, tough-to-talk-about, subject in American life and culture. However, I believe the Church cannot ignore it. Nor can we talk about building healthy churches without addressing it on some level. The fact is racism has contributed to the systematic segregation of local churches throughout the United States for well over one hundred years.
It is commonly believed that racism, or racial separation is an innate part of human nature; but this is not the case. In fact, in addressing this topic, it’s worth noting that racism is a relatively new phenomenon.
Consider the following quote by Dr. Perkins: “Social oppression based on human groupings has always been part of our societies. But until recently, this oppression has not generally been linked to notions of physical distinctions. If we define racism as creating or maintaining racial group inequality and justifying that inequality, then racism may not have begun to develop until the emergence of the Atlantic slave trade”.
It’s unsettling to understand how modern racism developed from the Atlantic slaves trade. Nevertheless, such understanding can be helpful to us in learning how racism can be overcome through the power of Christ that works with us.
These are some practical truths: