Race In My World
I can not speak for other races, creeds, backgrounds or women. However, I am an expert on my historical heritage.
As for white, 32 yrs old, male, raised in Texas to a Christian family, I can speak for quite a while. My background has interesting sides that funnel me into where I am today. I am blessed with a great, loving family. My childhood church was powerful. My college education deepened my prospective.
My family is white. I would say that my heredity is not racist, however I would say that they pre judge non-white. When I say family, I am talking about extending several branches of the tree. After being with them for over 30 years, I can say that they love everyone. No one that I know has ever done anything negative verbally or physically to a minority. Other races were not cursed. I am not going to debate or discuss here the differences between being a racist or discriminatory or various other derivatives of race relations there consequences or severity. Suffice it to say, I believe there are varying degrees of discrimination and our background is on the mild side.
Have we paid minorities less than we would a white? Have we not given them a position because of color? Have we thought they would break the law or be lazy because of their color? Those questions are extremely difficult for me to answer. Obviously, I can’t answer emphatically for all of them. But, I can speak for myself and be honest.
Through my early childhood influences, I was well on my way to answering the above questions in a prejudiced or border-line racist way. Thankfully, three things intercepted my racial prospective. A loving God, A multi-cultural church, and my education. God’s Spirit has moved my heart and allowed my mind to welcome other cultures. I was raised in an extremely diverse church in Austin. Every week, I was surrounded by people from all over the country and world. Our leadership was passionate about loving and reaching everyone. While attending Texas State University, my intellect was stretched and it began to grow in a new dimension.
So, am I racist? I must look at my life and the relationships that I hold to make that determination. I married a white woman and have all white kids. I pastor a church in San Marcos, TX where there are more Hispanics than any other race. Our youth minister is black. Our family pastor is Hispanic. Our church board has 5 members: 3 white, 1 black, and 1 Hispanic. Not only is our church one of the largest in town, it is the most ethnically diverse. Our church is actually more diverse (meaning there are whites, blacks, and Hispanics) than the town’s official demographics. Some of my close friends are Hispanic, black, and white.
Over the last 5 years of our church history, we have made skin color a non-issue. In fact, months or years go by before we ever even say anything about race. We don’t want it to be an issue and it has not been for us. However, some people have left our church because it was too diverse for their comfort level. To be clear, whites, blacks, and Hispanics have left for this reason. However, there is a nucleus of people in this region that are more open minded. We realize that heaven is going to be multicultural and there is a lot to learn from each other right now. PromiseLand church is a haven for this mentality. We are worshiping, we are sharing culture, we are blending a little.
So what is the point of this post? Let us ALL expand our MINDS and INTELLECT. How do we as people of America live the dream of Dr. MLK Jr? Is the dream to keep talking about race and our differences? To be unique and yet equal? To all be blended into 1 color with no uniqueness? What is God’s idea of the dream? How does end-time prophesy from the Bible relate to the racial status in America?
to be continued…
If you jump out into the waters of commentland then please be careful. I love conversation, but we don’t want the wrong attitude here. Thanks for your help.
Posted on January 21, 2009, in Church Business, My Family, politics, President Obama. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.
wow!..this is a great post!….My parents raised us very similar to you and i’m SO grateful for that. In my family, on both sides, some of my ancestors were known for racism and literally hating any color besides white. And it doesnt help that fact im from Louisiana either. Enough said there!…Anyways when I read the scriptures it NEVER says anything about a peticular color of skin or race in heaven. We were ALL made in His image! Being raised open minded about different races, i have to say ive learned alot from different cultures. Some good and some bad, but overall we ALL can learn something from each other. We just have to look past skin color, and love um to the bone like Jesus does!…
Ps. Sorry Pastor for blogging on your blog!
Each of us has lived a different slice of the American existence based on our ancestry and environment growing up, and our perceptions, including racial issues, comes from that viewpoint. It seems a basic impulse of human nature to regard someone who is different or a stranger as an opponent. Ever since Adam and Eve left the Garden this has been true. It has also been true that the strong have taken advantage of the weak. Entire populations have been captured and sold into slavery. In fact, even in today’s enlightened society, humans are still being forced into slavery, some of whom end up in the good old USA. Dr. King was correct to dream and fight for equal rights for all Americans. I believe that his dream has indeed forced our society to turn away from ancient perceptions that the color of a person’s skin denoted their worth. Our new president is proof of that, although there will always be some who do not make the trip.
I also believe that disrespect based on a physical deformity, low IQ, financial or social status, hurts that person as much as disrespect based on the color of their skin. My personal experience has been that only when we give our heart and soul to Jesus Christ will we be truly be able to see every human being as God’s child and be able to judge them on their individual merit and accomplishments.
So is the dream to keep talking about race and our differences? No, that is symbolism over substance. We need to live it, not talk about it. To be unique and yet equal? Yes, we should all be who we were created to be with equal opportunity for all. I think God’s dream is being played out at Promiseland San Marcos.
i have always loved the beauty of all races coming together. it creates such a wonderful collision of backgrounds and histories. i actually thrive on it.
where i currently live is quite bland. not enough people that aren’t like me. and that is boring.
i thank God that i get to travel the country so that i can continue to learn more about every race.
i’m one of the many that believes that we can “e-race” racism. i am striving to raise my kids in a way that will cause racism to vanish.
My parents always told us that all people are valuable. That tends to be my heart on the matter. I believe that every race and culture has thoughts, ideas, beliefs and a past to overcome in order to align themselves with God and His Word (the Bible).
What does that mean? This means, I see, that although our church is very diverse(which is incredible and is a reflection of how heaven will be), there are some cicles of friends (even some families) that have formed groups that are not exactly “inviting” or “open” to outsiders. (I know, I hope this isn’t considered controversial or taken the wrong way). I would like the opportunity to get to know and connect to individuals from every cultural and racial background. Others must be as open to that connection as I am which will make connecting difficult.
We divide ourselves along so many lines; not all racial. In a church with so many young families, we sometimes feel like we are on the outside because we have not yet expanded our family. There are people in our church who cannot have children, should they feel like outsiders? No, of course not. Should a single person feel like an outsider becuase they are not married. Certainly, not. It takes effort. Some people will naturally form friendships…that is great. We must all keep in mind to be INCLUSIVE and not EXCLUSIVE…that applies to race, culture, maritial status, family situation, etc.
Let’s love each other.
I agree CB, it takes effort. It was very disturbing last Sunday to attend the open house of our Habitat for Humanity recipient and discover that my wife and I, and one other lady, were the only people of Caucasian descent there. Our church is diverse compared with most, but there is a long way to go. We can talk about praying till we are blue in the face, but until we fall on our knees and cry out to God, there is no connection. We can talk about racial diversity, but until we make friends with someone of a different racial background, invite them into our home, have lunch with them, etc. it is just more symbolic talk. Like Nike says: “JUST DO IT.”
Prejudice in me was defeated at a young age. When I was 11, a black friend of mine and I got into a fist fight (as opposed to a big-toe fight) over a kick-ball. I ended up walking away with a shrill ringing in my left ear (or was it my right ear?). Anyway, the next day he apologized.
This was huge to me and made a great impact. Can you remember the last time anyone apologized to you for anything?
So whenever the topic of racial discrimination comes up, I think of Eddie Byrd and how big of a person he was.
Since then, I’ve seen scores of minority individuals who display the very best in a person, and I conclude that none of us can stereotype.
I too am blessed to be at a such a diverse church. Growing up I didn’t know racism. Why would we discriminate against a person merely because their shade of skin is either lighter or darker than ours? Think about this…If God created man from the Earth (dirt)…there are 5 basic colors of dirt which are black, brown, red, gray/yellow, and white. This is where our races come from…(in my opinion). It pains me to know that people lost their lives and fought so hard that we may be able to live in unity, and yet some of us stereotype at a glance of skin tone.
One of the first things I noticed about Promiseland was the mix of race, cultures and ages. I absolutely love it because it is like practicing for HEAVEN!! One day I belive MLK’s dream will come true and we won’t see any differences just humans 🙂
I was doing some research on the church and came across this blog post. I have not yet attended Promiseland, however I did have the good fortune of meeting and getting to know Pastor Robin recently. I was raised to believe that there is one race and that is the human race and that different is beautiful My Dad has olive skin and dark brown hair and is 3rd generation American of German and Irish decent. My Mother is 3rd generation American and has fair skin, blond hair, and blue eyes. My sister and I wound up somewhere in the middle. One of my favorite books is The Color of Water by James McBride. Mr. McBride was raised in Harlem and was born to his African-American father who was a reverend and his white Polish Jewish mother who became a converted Christian. Growing up in Harlem he had some issues with getting teased by the black kids and the white kids alike. He would ask his mother what color God was and she told him that God is the color of water. I like to think of God being the color of water too. We are all different shades of people and different is beautiful.