I remember the first time I heard a racial slur. I was an adventurous 6-year-old who loved to make people in my kindergarten class laugh. So far the year was great; everyone got along and was having fun. My neighborhood was predominately African American and Hispanic. I didn’t know anything else and looking back, I am so thankful for that environment. Recess had ended and we were headed back into class when a few 5th graders walked by and they called my friend Samson a “stupid,” word that started with "N". Samson was livid and starting yelling at them. They walked off and Samson settled down. I asked Samson why he got so upset at the word and what did the it mean? Ill never forget his response, “it is a low down dirty word that no one should ever use, even my own people.” I didn’t think much into it after that, I just knew it was a word I didn’t want to be called or call someone.
The second time I heard a racial slur was by my dad. He grew up in a Jewish background in the 50s and many of us don’t need a history lesson to know the persecution the Jewish people have faced from generation to generation and the 50’s were no exception. I was in middle school when he told me a story of when he was 8 years old and a bunch of teenagers tied him to a tree and beat him up and called him a name with the letter K. If you have never heard of it, it is a low down dirty name that no one should ever use.
Even today, I continue to watch news, read on facebook and hear about the hate and division that
racism brings. I hear a theme of oppression from one race to another. There is rage caused by pain. There is hatred caused by fear. There is sadness caused by hurting people who hurt people. Either way, I see a great brokenness in this world. Even more so, a great evil.
When I think about the story with Samson, it wasn’t another race that he experienced an oppressive evil from. When I look in my life I have been oppressed and probably out of pain have oppressed others of my same color. If oppression doesn’t truly come from racism then where does it come from?
Satan is the Hebrew word for accuser. His job is to go around and create lies and accuse people of things that aren’t true. Lies that say one race is superior over another. Lies that say one generation had it figured out more than another. Lies that say anyone other than Satan is the enemy. Oppression comes from deception. As a pastor of a multiethnic church every week I get to see all of God’s children come together, not concerned with race, praising our Savior from death. I am not saying that the pain caused by evil should be brushed under the rug, I am saying that it is never been about right versus left, black versus white and old versus young. The real fight is against Satan.
The hope we have is he has already lost and there is victory in Jesus Christ. At Cross Culture Church, I hope to start a movement of restoration and not oppression. I hope to call attention to the real enemy and shout out where unity and victory is. Jesus Christ!
See you Sunday,