Category Archives: Racial Justice

Black Lives Don’t Matter As Much As the National Anthem

by Ramone Romero.

It seems sometimes that in the national debate about #TakeAKnee the focus has become about “the flag” and “the anthem”, and it is often being forgotten that #TakeAKnee is a protest about the systemic injustices of law enforcement against people of color.

Yet even if that is forgotten in the news and chatter, this is still intensely about race.

The #TakeAKnee protests in the NFL (and spreading across the sports world) are offensive precisely because they began with black athletes.

The offense people are taking as disrespect to the flag, the anthem and to “America” itself comes because these are black athletes protesting.

How dare they interrupt the anthem?
How dare they not salute the flag in the way we want?
How dare they draw any amount of attention to themselves?
How dare they interrupt our holy moment of nationalistic worship?

Continue reading Black Lives Don’t Matter As Much As the National Anthem

6 Ways The Bible Was Hijacked to Support Racism.

I’ve been reflecting on recent headlines about the emergence or re-emergence of white supremacy.  I’ve been especially disturbed by how quiet my tribe is and by how defensive conversations around race are among my faith group.  I can’t speak for everyone but I can share about some of the myths that were commonly discussed when I was growing up.

I grew up in a rural/suburban mostly white culture around good hardworking people who went to church, loved their neighbors and were largely good citizens.  Most would never march or support a white supremacist cause or overtly try to hurt anyone.  In fact the unspoken rule was “don’t hurt anyone and be nice to everyone.” Nevertheless, racism was a part of the folk Christianity that I grew up with.  And I use the word folk Christianity because I believe these myths are aberrations and not a part of true Christianity.  I hope to refute these myths as simply as I can.

The first myth I encountered was the “Curse of Ham.”  The curse of Ham was drawn from the story of Noah found in Genesis 9:18-27.  Noah had planted a vineyard and made some wine and after an evening of drinking he became drunk and naked.  One of his son’s noticed that he was naked and told the others who walked in backwards and covered him with a robe.  Ham the one who found his father drunk and naked was cursed.  Ham founded the Canaanites.  As folk religion does, this text was applied to African-Americans who had come from Africa in slave ships to the US serving many years in forced slavery.  The curse implied that Ham’s descendents would serve his brothers Shem and Japheth.  Then I was shown a map of where each son of Noah settled and naturally the map showed that Ham settled in Africa.  It was inferred then that such people were cursed by God and destined for service to the people who settled in Europe and the Americas. Continue reading 6 Ways The Bible Was Hijacked to Support Racism.

Rick Joyner’s Daughter Won’t Have It With Her Father’s Trump Support

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Rick Joyner

Rick Joyner is Executive Director of MorningStar Ministries and a prophetic minister who has cooperated with various charismatic churches. He has in a recent Facebook video stated that “serious judgment is coming upon our media”, that “Trump has a divine purpose” and that nobody will be able to put him out of office because of that, and in yet another video claimed that Black Lives Matter is a hate group of the worst order and that the rise of white supremacy in America is Barack Obama’s fault.

These comments led Rick’s daughter, Anna Jane Joyner, to post a Facebook video of her own where she in tears apologized to her African American friends and promised to stand by their side:

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Anna Jane Joyner

She says:

[People like my father have] in the last couple of weeks not stood up for what Jesus stood for, and are perpetuating some very dangerous and hurtful narratives and ideas. I wish I could change it. I’m trying my best.

I just want you to know that you aren’t alone, and that I hear you… I’m absolutely standing with you in this very serious sort of battle for the soul of our country.

The video has gone viral, with currently over 70 000 views and almost 1000 shares. In response to this Anna Jane writes: Continue reading Rick Joyner’s Daughter Won’t Have It With Her Father’s Trump Support

What More Can I Say? On Charlottesville and White Supremacy

by Ebony Adedayo. Originally published on her blog.

After the Charlottesville riot on Saturday, I wrestled with the idea of writing a piece  that would convincingly urge my Christian brothers and sisters to respond. I first contemplated the idea of speaking to the need for the Church to condemn the protest and violence of white nationalism, but it felt somewhat shallow. I then thought about issuing some sort of prophetic thesis, outlining the biblical mandate of justice and love for one’s neighbor. This too felt inadequate. Finally, I concluded that the church in America needed to have a bigger presence in not only speaking out against Charlottesville but all the other displays of white supremacy and nationalism, manifested through police violence, discrimination, lack of affordable housing, poor schools, and the school to prison pipeline. This approach, similar to the other ones, seemed to be gravely missing something.

Scrolling through Facebook, I noticed friends and acquaintances of mine hammering out these same messages. Watching CNN, I saw pundits from both sides of the political aisle putting their own spin on these same perspectives. I suspect that clergy all across America, mounted their pulpits Sunday morning rebuking not only Charlottesville but every vestige of white supremacy in America. And business leaders, if for no other reason but out of concern of their bottom line, have also put in their two cents about these racist events.

And that is when I realized that there is quite literally nothing more than I can say that has not already been said. I couldn’t devise a more clever Facebook post, or a more profound tweet, write a more convincing blog post, or preach a more compelling sermon simply because there has already been an abundance of information communicated through nearly every medium possible. And that is not just in regards to this particular incident. No, whether it was through BlackLivesMatter, the Black Power Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the Abolitionist Movement, or in response to Charleston, Mass Incarceration, the War on Drugs, Jim Crow, or slavery, people have been speaking. Activists have been fighting, preachers have been raising holy hell, intellectuals critiquing, educators teaching, prophets prophesying, thought leaders proffering new ideas to get not only the church, but America’s people to pay attention to the disease of racism and white supremacy in our nation. Continue reading What More Can I Say? On Charlottesville and White Supremacy

What Kind of Pentecostal Am I?

by Sam Lee.

I have quite an interesting Christian life. Some of my fellow Pentecostals think I am liberal, and they often ask themselves “Is Samuel still a Pentecostal?” Here are my answers to the question they ask:

Indeed, I am a Pentecostal, but I wholeheartedly believe that the Pentecostal movement needs serious reform. Just like any other religious movement, it has its own blind spots and makes its own errors, yet, at the same time, it shines in its own beauty. Whenever I say that I am a Pentecostal, I do not mean that I belong to a Pentecostal religious system, organization, or denomination. Instead, I believe in the very essence, the very foundation of our faith as it is based in the Pentecost documented in the Book of Acts. Continue reading What Kind of Pentecostal Am I?

Our Muslim Neighbors

by Rachel Stella. Originally published in Mennonite World Review, republished with permission.

When we talk about living in peace with Muslims, some Christians become uneasy. They reason that because Islam and Christianity have such differences, true peace isn’t possible.

Yet a call to live in peace is not the same as a call to harmonize the two faiths. Indeed, it would be impossible to harmonize them without fundamentally changing one or both. Although they share a few beliefs in common, Islam and Christianity have major theological differences that are irreconcilable.

It is still entirely possible to live well with Muslim neighbors in our communities. Sure, you and your Muslim friend might enjoy a theological debate once in a while. (Depending on one’s personality, such an activity might or might not seem like a good time.) But it doesn’t have to keep us from getting along with each other as neighbors. Continue reading Our Muslim Neighbors

“Make Disciples of All Nations” – and Then the Nations Came to Us!

As Jesus was preparing to leave the earth and ascend to heaven, He gave his disciples a few instructions called the Great Commission. Jesus directed his remaining followers to go and make disciples of all nations, teaching and baptizing them in the way of the Lord. For the last 2000 years or so, that is just what the church has done (albeit imperfectly and not always contextually). Since Pentecost, ministers of the gospel have gone out to other places in the world to preach and teach the Word of God, and have led billions upon billions to faith in Jesus Christ. Amazing, right!

Over the last few hundred years, however, this cross-cultural ministry has primarily been led by American and European missionaries. Out of a desire to win the lost in exotic, third world nations (and sometimes out of a desire to colonize those nations, let’s just be honest) they have crossed land and sea, spending their entire lifetime discipling people in the way of the Lord. Yet, as a result of immigration and other global trends/ situations, something quite fascinating has taken place.

Now people of other nations and ethnicities are coming to America, looking for opportunities to start over, raise their family, receive education or just live to see another day. This has wonderful implications on the gospel and missions efforts, because now the very people that we’ve been trying to reach are our neighbors. But instead of reaching out to them, inviting them into our churches, our homes, our lives, many Christians and churches are pushing them away. Continue reading “Make Disciples of All Nations” – and Then the Nations Came to Us!