Bruce's Beat 9-25-20

its there in black and white          

  In a year of turbulent social turmoil, it is hard to know how to respond in ways that will glorify Christ and avoid going along with the world.  Often, it is even hard just to talk about racial issues and tensions in the Church.  One resource that can inform and guide Christians is a new book titled  It’s There in Black and White – Scriptural Answers to 37 Questions People are Asking about Racial Tension in the Church.  The book is authored by Glenn Colley, Ben Giselbach, Hiram Kemp and Melvin Otey.  All four are preachers in the Church.  Two are black and two are white.  Brother Colley is a third generation preacher and was a classmate of mine at Freed-Hardeman College.  Brother Otey also brings a perspective being a lawyer and is an Associate professor in Jones School of Law at Faulkner University. 

            The book affirms the fact that God has created only one race, the human race. – Acts 17:26.  However, that race is made up of differing nationalities, ethnic groups, and cultural habits.  The book also affirms that racism is sin.  Doctrinally speaking, humanity is one by virtue of creation.  And the Church is doubly one, by virtue of salvation in the blood of Christ.  Yet, many brethren are still alienated from one another, mostly because of the differences of our skin.

            The 37 questions that are addressed in the book are challenging.  They may offend some of our sensitivities.  Yet, the authors courageously ask and answer these questions.  A sample few:  Is Racisim just a “Black” vs. “White” problem?;  Are Church leaders commonly sweeping the history of racism under the rug today?;  What is systemic racism?;  Can Christians be involved in Protest?; What is Microaggression?  How should it affect individuals in the church?

            While the authors draw from their experiences and the varied experiences of people they know, they rely heavily on the Bible.  To answer the question - How were racial problems handled in the first century church, they briefly discuss the following passages:  Gal. 3:26-29; Acts 6:1-7; Rom. 15:25-27; Acts 10:28; Gal. 2:6-6, 11-15 and the book of Philemon.  The book includes a glossary of key terms, a bibliography of works cited and an index to all the Scriptures referenced.  It concludes with a section titled The Roadmap to Solving Racial Tensions in the Church.  It is a must read!

            If you would like a copy, the price is $12.95.  You can place an order through the South Florida Ave. congregation in Lakeland and send your check made out to Hiram Kemp in care of the Church there.  Their address is 1807 S. Florida Ave, Lakeland, Fl  33803 and their phone number is 863-682-4702.  Long ago, David Lipscomb said, “  The only point really involved in this difficulty is, whether we will be led by the Spirit of Christ and the teachings of the Bible, or by our prejudices.”  The choice is ours.