As a Christian, you would think that things would change when you come into the church. Jesus fills us with His Holy Spirit and begins a work to transform us inside out. Many of the ways we grew up slowly goes away and in its place comes a love you can’t experience any where else. But, however, even in 2021, that’s not always the case.
We bring our traits, traditions, characteristics and sometimes even our upbringing and some of these beliefs don’t go away easily or at all. I’m a woman of color and honestly I didn’t experience racism growing up in Chicago. And, what’s crazy about that is I was born in the 60s, grew up in the 70s and I was of mixed race so my skin color was lighter than most but I can’t remember anyone treating me weird. I also didn’t learn to look down on someone different than me. I attribute that to the wonderful teachings of my mother.
She was an incredible woman. She embraced everyone and only judged them by their character. She loved to listen to Barbra Streisand sing and had many of her records and she would say how she loved her pretty eyes and the on the other spectrum, she loved the voices of Barry White and Isaac Hayes. She’d watch movies and didn’t care if the majority of the actors was Caucasian, Black, Asian, Hispanic or any other race. To her, that never mattered.
She taught me and my younger brother to embrace diversity and to thrive but also to yearn for it. Could it be that God had already placed His heart for equality for all mankind so that I could learn that at a young age? I believe so. And, so as I went to school I wanted friends of different races. I never wanted to be in an all-black school.
My actual first encounter with racism didn’t happen until I moved to the South. And again, it was a weird experience for me. The Black people that I came in contact with throughout my career would keep their distance from me because I didn’t enunciate my speech the way they did. I talked like a “white girl” was the comment and I was deemed an “oreo” (black on the outside/white on the inside; nevermind that I’m also 1/3 Caucasian and 1/3 Native American).
On the flip side, only some Caucasian people on my jobs would treat me funny but most embraced me. This was so strange to me and I didn’t know how to handle it. It changed me forever. Suddenly, I cared about the color of my skin.
Then there was the church. I expected that it would be different when I joined my local assembly. But to my shock it was not. There were cliques, and what Dr. Tony Evans deems “Elitism“. This includes class but also race too. I visited and joined several churches that treated people differently based on their ethnicity or by how much money they made. So, there were two sets of rules of how certain people in the congregation would be treated and it was pretty evident what was going on. I was, at the time, extremely confused and often depressed.
How could this be going on with the saints? We’re supposed to be different when we come to God. There’s John 13:35, where Jesus says others will know we are His disciples if we have love for one another. How can we properly witness for Christ then, if we don’t even love each other?
God created all of us and if He had wanted us to all be one race, wouldn’t we be? Seems to me, He loves all the differences in us. The world would be boring if we were all the same.
The worst case scenario for me came when I fell in love with my 2nd hubby and he with me. The church he belonged to for more than seven years and had hopes would marry us, instead condemned us because we are a mixed couple… Keep reading >>