“Our conversations will produce more light than heat if we can focus in on one argument at a time. By more carefully isolating our real disagreements, we will be better equipped to talk responsibly, listen respectfully, and find common ground and move in the direction of possible solutions.” – Isaac Adams
Isaac Adams delivers a message at TGC21 addressing the question, “Why is it so hard to talk about race?” He begins with the most basic and foundational of answers from James 4: sin is the reason for the quarrels and fights among brothers and sisters in Christ. Adams identifies 11 reasons he believes sin specifically affects conversations about race. He encourages us listeners to repent, to seek wisdom and listen to one another, and fix our eyes on Jesus.
Though we may not fully agree on questions of race and racism, we can be unified through our conversations if together we are fixated on Christ.
The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.
Isaac Adams: Thank you. Good morning. Good morning. I want to welcome the folks joining on the live stream and then the folks here in the room as well. My name is Isaac Adams. I’m a pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist church up in Washington DC. I’m also the founder of a ministry called United we pray just real quick for the room key. Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard of United we pray. Okay, really encouraging. Thank you. United we pray as a ministry devoted to praying about racial strife, especially between Christians trying to inject more prayer into our conversations. You can learn more about our ministry at you we pray calm, that’s the letter UWePray.com. I’m the author of a book coming out on how we can have better conversations about racism. That’s what we’re gonna be talking about here. So if you want more of this talk, be on the lookout for my book, which is forthcoming.
And I’ve written a couple other things, not about race, but I think still pretending to the Christian life. One is this little booklet from nine marks. What if I’m discouraged in my evangelism? So if you’re anything like me, you feel like a lousy evangelist. So you’re not good at evangelism, get awkward, you clam up, and you’re just kind of an evangelist failure. I think there’s an encouragement for you, in God’s word. So I’ve written this, and I have some free copies I’ll pass out afterward. And then I wrote this other little book called training. How do I grow as a Christian? This is meant for a brand new Christian who doesn’t know anything, like how do I read the Bible, what in the world is a quiet time. So if you know someone, you’re trying to disciple, I tried to put the cookies on the bottom missed shelf that I could. So you can find that I got some free copies. First Come First Served, and then I’ll hold on to some if anyone moves a little slower. So that’s the commercial for you. Let me pray. And let’s dive into this important topic. Let’s pray together.
Father, we come to you. Because we need help. We need wisdom. Lord, we so often want to do something about race and racism. And yet, it seems we can’t even have a productive conversation with someone we disagree with. Would you help us? For your namesake? Jesus name, amen. Why is it so hard for Christians in America to talk about race? Have you ever asked a question like that? Why is there so much defensiveness and division, suspicion and strife on racial matters among those who claim to be united in Jesus?
After all, aren’t Christian supposed to be quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to anger? Aren’t we to be truth in love speakers and burden bearers? Can’t the gospel overcome any barrier, including ethnic divides? Friends of so why is it so hard for us to speak with grace and truth about issues of race? Brothers, brothers and sisters? I asked this question because as the last year has shown us, speaking about race is an obvious difficulty. And often, the obvious things are the most important things. And yet, they’re also often the most easily assumed or glossed over things, right, we’d rather just speed past the difficulty. But if we slow down and stare at the difficulty, not only will we have a better idea of what to expect in these conversations, will have a better idea of how to love one another through them.
Friends, if we appreciate the difficulty of this conversation, I think by God’s grace will better appreciate each other will be slower to anger quicker to forgive quicker for bear with each other. So if you’re here, and you want to work for justice, I love that. If you’re here and you want to build unity in your church, I love that. I think you would do well to think about this obvious question. Why is it so hard to speak about race? I think the smaller question will teach us about the larger problems that have for so long divided our nation, community and churches. So why is it so hard to speak about race? On one level, we could simply say, sin.
That’s our foundational answer, and it’s a wise one. This is James answer in James for what causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this that your past shins are at war within you. James essentially said you got beef. It’s because you got sin. And even if it’s not our sin, the curse of sin, the frustration of this fallen order that causes us to groan as Romans eight talks about this troubles are conversations. So sin is the reason it’s hard to it’s so hard to talk about race. But that’s an unsatisfying answer, isn’t it? You likely already knew these conversations are hard because of sin. But even more than that sin doesn’t exactly answer our question about why race as opposed to other topics is so hard for Christians to talk about.
After all, Christians talk about lots of things in this fallen world with far less difficulty than we do race. Right work, sports, parenting. I’m not saying those conversations are always easy, but not many of them get us going quite like race. So what gives? James epistle helps us here. And notice it doesn’t stop at James four one. James went on to name specific sins, what they are and who generally commits them alongside other pastoral concerns. For instance, in James five James explicitly warned the rich of God’s coming judgment for their sin of default defrauding poor field workers. This passage sounds a lot like proverbs 1323. And unplowed field produces food for the poor, but injustice sweeps it away. So we can see that while sin it was James answer to the question about why Christians are in conflict, it wasn’t his only answer. He dove deeper.
And we’re gonna follow James lead. We presented the simple answer sin to our main question. And now we’ll dive deeper into sin and other issues so we can make progress. So in what follows, we’re gonna break out 11 specific reasons why talking about race is so hard. And here’s how we’ll do that we’re going to look at the bad fruit. That is the things we evidently see happening in our conversations, and then we’re going to look at the root of that fruit. That is the reason that’s happening. So the fruit is the what the root is the why. And I’m going to try to spell out what we can do in light of these fruits and roots. To have more helpful conversations. I think diagnostic work is good, but you like going to the doctor when he tells you how you can actually get better. So we’re going to try to do that.
So why is it so hard for Christians talk about race? fruit one. We try to have every conversation in every conversation. Fruit one, we try to have every conversation in every conversation because root one, race and racism are broad topics. race and racism are broad topics. We try to have every conversation in every conversation, because race and racism are broad topics, often called race the velcro issue. Because so many aspects of life stick to it. Politics, housing, education, economics, other aspects or other aspects of life. I remember my mother sharing about the first time she had a chili dog. She was five years old and living in Fayetteville, North Carolina. She had a segregated lunch counter and was not allowed to use the restroom as a black girl. Racism had reached the bathroom, the kitchen counter a little girls play in her memory, too. Oftentimes, our conversations about race are hard because we don’t know where to begin. And we certainly don’t have the competency to speak to every topic. So what can we do? Specify?
We can try to locate our real disagreements. Kevin De Yong speaks to why doing so proves helpful. He says with racial matters, we are often guilty of making every conversation about everything else. So even though the disagreements started off by talking about colonial American history, we ended up arguing about Donald Trump mass incarceration and corporate repentance. To be sure, sometimes everything is connected to everything. But I still maintain that our conversations will produce more light than heat if we can focus in on one argument at a time. By more carefully isolating our real disagreements, we will better we will be better equipped to talk responsibly, listen respectfully, and find common ground and move in the direction of possible solutions.
Friends, conversations about race are so hard because we try to have every conversation in every conversation. And we do that because race and racism are broad topics. Next, why is it so hard to talk about race for too. We don’t always agree on what the injustice of racism is.
Fruit two, we don’t always agree on what the injustice of racism is. Because we’re to race and racism are complex topics. race and racism are complex topics. Consider the idea of race for a moment. When it comes to race, what exactly are we talking about? A reality, a fiction, a biological fiction, but a social reality? How many races are there? As they interchange over time? And how? And what does scripture say about these questions? Have Christians always shared an understanding of what it says? Now consider racism. Christians agree that racism is sin. But what that sin particularly is how clearly it manifests the extent to which it runs throughout society and who perpetuates it. That’s a different story, isn’t it?
You might have heard what I said about the velcro nature of racism and disagreed. What’s more, when it comes to race and racism, we’re not just dealing with sin. We’re dealing with ideas and cultures that have molded and morphed over time. We’re dealing with the implications of other convictions we hold. But for instance, take the mission of the church, what we believe the church’s mission to be will impact how we think the church should respond to racism. And that’s just one example. We could keep listening examples. But it’s clear that our conversations about race are hard because the topics are complicated. So what can we do? Study.
We can study, we can read we can learn and listening all those questions about race and racism a moment ago, my goal wasn’t to confuse you but to show you the difficulty of the matters at hand. The abundance of questions or lack of agreement on the answers doesn’t mean that disputes about race are unimportant or they don’t have true answers that can be taught, learned and clarified. It doesn’t mean we should just kind of disagree. just agree to disagree on all these important discussions. Know the abundance of questions and rebuttals means the answers will take work. Bible open, like the Bereans and acts 1711 Scripture examining work. folks ask me all the time about good books to read. You can come talk to me afterward about that. I have plenty of suggestions for you.
Next, why is it so hard to talk about race for three? Sometimes we speak harshly or overstate overstated li sometimes fruit three we speak harshly or overstated Lee because root the root three. race and racism are painful topics. root three, race and racism are painful topics. It’s one thing for a subject to be complicated. Take the Trinity, for instance. Its complex, its mystery. And though it’s one that deeply more than anything, bears upon our existence, it’s not an issue spoken about with half as much angst as race. And that’s because beliefs about the Trinity have not in our context usually produce the pain that that beliefs about race have caused. No people group has been enslaved because of their view of the Trinity.
At least in the history of America, no civil wars have been incited over beliefs about the divine triune nature. No one was redlined by the Federal Housing Administration for being a Unitarian. But when it comes to race, the case has been different. When it comes to race, we’re dealing with matters many people understand to touch upon the core of their identity. And so the matters are personal. When it comes to race, we’re dealing with matters people see in the faces of their children. And so the matters are cherished. When it comes to race, we’re dealing with matters many people understand to have financially picked their pockets. So the matters are costly. And when it comes to race, we are dealing with matters many Christians understand themselves to suffer from today. And so the matters are relevant.
When it comes to race, we’re dealing with matters that stir up painful memories of rejection, and indignity and violence. So the matters are tender. They’re painful. And because racial issues are so painful, they make our conversations weighty and hard. And sometimes those of us who are pained speak out in that pain. We lash out we exaggerate. We’re acerbic. Maybe it’s because we feel we won’t be heard otherwise. Or maybe it’s because simply hurt people tend to hurt people. What can we do? Remember, and forgive.
Remember and forgive. Remember that it’s possible to be angry but not sin. In other words, sometimes it’s okay to be angry. Sometimes it’s right. Remember, however that revenge belongs to God. And remember that he didn’t take vengeance out on you when he would have been right to do so. He saw Macaulay shares a lesson all Christians can learn from black Christians who are righteously anger, angry over racism. He writes, the profound act of God’s mercy gives us the theological resources to forgive. What do black Christians do with the rage that we rightly feel? We sent it to the cross of Christ. Man next, why is it so hard to talk about race, fruit for sometimes we don’t give the conversation enough weight.
Sometimes we don’t give the conversation enough weight because root for race and racism aren’t painful topics for everyone. Race and Racism aren’t painful topics for everyone. One reason conversations about race are so hard is because we come to the table with vastly different experiences. So someone may be talking about race, but in a detached manner. For this person, racism is is engaged as an idea and not an experience. So what do we do with ideas?
We have our we evaluate them, kick them around, we test them. We think about them in the abstract poking and prodding to evaluate the truthfulness of the claims against what we previously understood to be true. And this may be fun in some sense, if the folks we’re talking to likewise know racism as an idea rather than an experience. However, when speaking with someone who has been on the receiving end of racism, speaking in such a theoretical manner can be horribly insensitive. Not only grieves your listener, but it also frustrates the conversation. As we’ve just considered, when many folks think of racism, they’re not thinking in abstractions. They’re thinking about things that have happened to them and those they love. That for them, racism isn’t a mental exercise or a matter of talking points. It’s an experience they didn’t have the luxury of dodging.
So what can we do localize our experience, localize our experience. Frankly, the temptation to speak about race abstractly, is a greater temptation for my white brothers and sisters, whom I love. One simple thing you can do is be aware of what we just described. Don’t universalize your own experience. Instead, recognize that someone else may have a very real, a very different experience, one that you should appreciate and recognized as worthy of great sorrow. Next, why is it so hard to learn about race fruit five. We disagree. On How To Apply how to apply the Bible to the issues of race. We disagree on how to apply the Bible to the issues of race because root five, we read the Bible in different ways. root five, we read the Bible in different ways. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God and each invokes his aid against the other. Abraham Lincoln said this in his second inaugural address to a war torn country. And it seems while to a lesser degree, the same problem remains.
The problem isn’t the Bible is that we have different notions of how to apply the Bible. A one friend of mine put it deftly he said one reason believers, one reason believers disagree on issues like systemic racism, racism, is that we have different intuitions about common grace insights. Some hold deep suspicion, whether consciously or not about secular scholarship, others are more open to it as an expression of common grace. So Christians who agree on paper about the sufficiency of Scripture still end up with different instincts about how to apply scripture to the ethical challenges of our day and quote, friends what can we do with this? Name this difference? Name this difference. Scripture is clear and it’s basic teaching about the gospel. Moreover, no one is allowed to read the Bible however they want.
That is not what I’m saying. But simply recognizing that there can be legitimate differences, and how Christians understand implications of Scripture, that simple recognition can go a long way toward engendering charity and hard conversations. There is just not a far step between this is how I read the Bible to this is how Christians should read the Bible to you are not a Christian if you do not read the Bible this way. And we often make those foolish steps next, why is it so hard to talk about race fruit six. We don’t know how to talk to one another. Fruit six, we don’t know how to talk to one another. I appreciate that. Amen. You can keep them coming all day. Y’all on Zoom or live stream y’all can know Amen. In your house. We don’t know how to talk to one another because root six. Our churches are largely racially segregated. Our churches are largely racially segregated. Perhaps we could recognize the difference, the differences in how we approach scripture if we knew one another. But many American neighborhoods are segregated and so are their churches.
A time for bids discussing whether this segregation is the de facto de Yeray or some mix of the two. But the point is, despite the rise in interracial evangelical churches, I praise God for that, despite the rise and those kind of churches, most are divided. And they cannot be denied that the segregation is because of the church’s racism in the past. As historians Mortis we know two there would be no black church without racism in the white church. And one distressing effect of this segregation is that it’s hard to get to know one another. And so we’ve very well, very well may be ignorant of how members of another ethnicity operate or speak or what they’ve gone through.
And we often fill the void of our knowledge or lack thereof with false assumptions and narratives that frustrate any potential for conversations further still. So what can we do? Build relationships with people not like us? The trend toward multi ethnic evangelical churches is that minorities attend predominantly white churches, not vice versa. Until we see the trend going in both directions, where whites will attend faithful gospel churches where they are not in the racial majority. conversation about race will continue to be difficult. I think that’s maybe the one insight I really want to press. Until that trend is going in both ways this conversation will continue to be difficult. Next, why is it so hard? To talk about race freut seven.
We fight and Quarrel on social media. We fight and Quarrel on social media because route seven we’re having conversations in the wrong place. Route seven, we’re having conversations in the wrong place. Well, great good can be accomplished through social media. Social media, by definition, inhibits or prohibits many aspects of helpful conversation, tone, body language. Social media discourages other aspects of healthful conversation, nuance. It rewards in attention. The faster you scroll, the more content you get. While these challenges may not be unique to online conversations about race as opposed to other topics, social media has contributed something unique to the racial discourse in America.
A horrifying genre of videos of black image bearers being killed is almost a genre. Now, when we see these videos, think back to the last racial tragedy you witnessed. Had you learn about it? Was it through social media? Think back to the last place you saw people squabbling about It was it on social media. Am I saying get off Twitter, Facebook and the rest? No. But I am saying be careful with them. After all, social social media has a disinhibition effect, where we are emboldened to say words we would never say in person. What can we do? talk face to face. talk face to face. Matthew 1815 says that when we have a problem with someone, we should first go and address it with them directly and privately.
Matthew 18 does not say blast that person on social media before your whole church. How much better would conversations about race be if we had them across our dinner tables rather than across the internet? This point connects to our last if we’re segregated, we can’t talk face to face. And then even if we have racially integrated networks and churches, are we taking advantage of them? How many people in your church have never stepped foot much less had a meal in the home of someone of a different ethnicity? Though social media didn’t exist in his day, and though he had much to say, John, recognize that some conversations were better face to face. Said I got a lot to write to Third John 13 to 14, but I’d rather see it face to face.
And we need to recognize that the same comes the same. We need to recognize the same when it comes to speaking of race. Next, why is it so hard to talk about race? freut eight we don’t know what to say at times. Fruit eight. We don’t know what to say at times. Because root eight we’re conflicted and lack wisdom. We’re conflicted and lack wisdom. One reason that conversations about race are so hard is because when they come up, we can easily be conflicted or realize just how weak our words are. Surely I’m not the only one in this room has ever felt like oh, I want to say something but moreover, in racial conversations, as in any conversation, there is a time to answer fools. And there is a time not to.
And it is not always clear which one is which. Amen. Proverbs 26 Yo, what can we do? What can we do? discern whether it’s a time to speak, or a time to be silent. discern whether it’s a time to speak, or a time to be silent. When conflicted here are a few questions to ask to discern whether you should continue a conversation about race. Okay, consider this a discernment Happy Meal. Here we go. Number one, have I prayed about speaking with this person? Have I prayed about speaking with this person? If you lack wisdom as to whether you should talk to that person, do what Scripture says. Ask God. James. James one five.
Next, do I have a responsibility to say something? Do I have a responsibility to say something? Is this a situation in which I should be a voice for the voiceless proverbs 31 point out a brother or sister sin Matthew 18 Galatians six? Or am I grabbing a dog by its ears entering a quarrel not my own. Next is this conversation good for my heart? For my listeners hard is this conversation good for my heart or my listeners heart? By beginning or continuing this conversation? am I signing up for unnecessary discouragement? Am I needlessly repeating an offense? Next is this conversation good for the building up of my church? Is this conversation good for the building up of my church? Will this conversation result in the building up or tearing down of my church? If brothers and sisters were to listen in on this conversation, would they be challenged and helped? Or disheartened and grieved? Next is this person I’m talking to given to unrighteous anger or division? Is this person on talking to give into unrighteous anger or division? Scripture is clear.
We should avoid these kinds of people. Proverbs 2224 Romans 1617 Next and lastly, Is this person interested in a good faith conversation? Is this person interested in a good faith conversation? Do they want to make friends? Or make a point? Do they want to win over people or win an argument? Are they willing to be one? In other words, are they open to their mind being changed? If not, consider talking with people who actually want to have a conversation. There are lots of them out there, and you only have so much time. The days after all are evil. Ephesians five tells us and short Psalm 103 tells us so I want to be clear, we are more obligated to speak to some people, family members, church members than others. And I want to qualify that as a pastor, I offer Tom to the members of our church, my time to the members of our church, regardless of where I perceived them to be on racial matters.
But I still think this list offers a helpful rubric for considering how far to go even in these conversations. think one thing we often think in our conversation about race is that every conversation needs to have a resolution. No, it doesn’t. Like, hey, this is good. Why don’t you go think about this and read this book, and come back and talk to me. Next, why is it so hard to talk about race? freut? Nine.
Even if we didn’t know what to say, at times, we’d be afraid to say it. Fruit nine, even if we didn’t know what to say at times, we’d be afraid to say it. Because route none. We fear receiving or inflicting pain. We fear receiving or inflicting pain. More Christians than ever, I’m convinced want to get issues of race and racism, right. But we don’t want to make them worse. We don’t want to be insensitive. And when we see the weight of these matters, as we talked about earlier, and the harm that can happen if we drop that weight, we tremble. We retreat or if we do talk, we speak mainly with those with whom we feel safe.
The truth is that it’s not hard to talk about race with everyone. We likely have some people we feel safe enough talking about these matters with because we trust them. We feel as they will be nice to us and give our sincere questions and quorums a fair hearing. But outside of that group, we do not have the same confidence. But have you ever felt like you’d love to share your honest opinion about a racial matter, but you didn’t feel like you could? Maybe you felt like the race conversation is often just about black and white. And we could really benefit from talking about the Asian or Native American or Hispanic struggles. But you didn’t see you didn’t feel safe to share this thought. And maybe you’ve tried to share your thoughts before and the conversation blew up.
You were met with defensiveness or disregard. Or maybe you’re called names even by your own friends. Brothers and sisters, ask yourself Who would want to sign up for that conversation again? Who wants to enter a conversation in which there is a lot of criticism and a little grace? What can we do? Take it easy. Take it easy. I don’t know if you saw Jackie Hill Perry is a little thing on some of y’all being too sensitive. But if you haven’t, that’s your homework. Go watch it Take it easy. We will make the work of entering these conversations easier if we go easier on each other. Titus three Paul instructs Titus to remind his people this is so interesting. Paul instructs Titus to remind his people to avoid quarreling and be gentle toward everyone.
Everyone in Greek means everyone. See also Ephesians 4123 When it comes to these conversations, we have two options Beloved, we can out we can either outlaw them or we can turn down the temperature. Take it easy. Next. Why is it so hard to talk about race? Fruit 10 Fruit 10 It’s an important one. We don’t think well about race. Racism. We don’t think well about race and racism. Because root 10 We haven’t been taught well. Root 10 We haven’t been taught well. One reason that conversation about race are so hard is because too many American evangelicals lack thinking with biblical nuance. Sadly, when it comes to using our God given brains, evangelicals often only have two speeds.
For the evangelical if something is not essential for salvation, it’s often regarded as unimportant. Issues then are either speed one of speed, one ultimate importance or speed to no importance. Reflecting on the sin and scandal of Evangelicals refusing to love the Lord with their minds, oz Guinness elaborates on our poor thinking habits. American evangelicals therefore characteristically display in impatience with the difficult and intolerance of complexity and a poor appreciation of the long term and disciplined. Correspondingly, we often demonstrate a tendency toward the simplistic, especially in the forms of slogans are overly simple, either or solutions.
Francis either this either or meant mental proclivity is why evangelicals often pit to good things against each other. Evangelism versus justice, the spiritual versus the social man’s responsibility versus God’s sovereignty, we could keep going. This is why we often see those who we disagree with, with those who disagree with us as either part of the faithful or a full blown heretic. We only have two speeds. And I think the blame for this kind of thinking is largely to be laid at pastors feet. Why do our people not think deeply about the sin of racism? Is it because we teach on the need to confess and battle lust and greed but not partiality? As a pastor, I know how difficult it can be to teach on these matters.
To be sure, no pastor can or should be an armchair sociologist or political pundit. And it is easier to become one of these than you might think. Just to get my pastor brother and some grace and cover here. And yet we shouldn’t fall into the other side of the ditch either the side of complete reticence, pastors when it comes to justice, the Bible is not silent. When it comes to the image of God, the Bible is not silent. When it comes to love. The Bible is not silent. No doubt we can only say so much for the more specific we get, the more we are binding consciences to something Scripture does not specify yet pastors. We also have to realize that some of us have wrongly divorced matters of race from discipleship.
And we have taught our people to do the same. And doing so we’ve wrongly taught our people that Christ lordship does not extend to this area of their lives and understanding, but it does. We, we wrongly refused to model how to have these conversations for our people, and they have floundered for it. So what can we do just going back to this point about thinking, Well, what can we do? Get a 10 speed bike, get a 10 speed bike, in some sense, that kind of suggesting that the stuff I’ve been suggesting so far, it’s going to help you think better, but a crucial one is this. Find a friend who thinks well and who disagrees with you. Find a friend who thinks well and disagrees with you. That kind of friend is like a 10 speed bike on which your thinking can ride around on and be improved. A white pastor comes to mind who once had very strong thoughts on reparations. That is, until he spent a day with a group of black pastors talked about it, thought about it.
Diverse friends enrich thinking, and we’re simply going to have to have more speeds than heretic or faithful. If we’re going to love one another and work together. We must recognize that someone disagreeing with us or with our perspective is not necessarily synonymous with that person disagreeing with God. Next, why is it so hard to talk about race fruit 11. Lastly, not all of us want to have a conversation. Not all of us want to have a conversation because root 11 We don’t want to hear it. Root 11 We don’t want to hear it. Period. Beloved, it’s tempting to think that there’s a problem Perfect way to talk about race. And if we just use the right words, then our problems would be would be solved and we would all get along. years of having this come, these conversations have shown me that this ideal is but a fantasy of the uninitiated. To be sure, there are better and worse ways to talk about race, right. That’s why I have just talked to you for the last 35 minutes.
But sadly, in some cases, it does not matter. How biblically faithful ones presentation is. There are some folks who when it comes to race and racism, they don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to hear another perspective. Might be because they fear what learning about race racism will mean. Might be because they wrongly assume that unity means we can never disagree. Might be because they prefer their narrative of the world. Might be because ideas are really hard to change. ideas quickly come by our ideas quickly lost. Hard to change someone’s convictions, especially if your job depends on it.
Friends, whatever the case, if sinful stubbornness is our problem. The next step is simple. What can we do? Repent. Repent. Say it plainly. I have been a knucklehead on this issue. Just difficult just a thorn in your side. And I’m sorry. There’s some stuff I need to learn. If we’ve been hard hearted about issues of race, we can either dig in our heels or turn our eyes toward Jesus. In Him, we find a Savior who is tender and forgives our callousness, a keeper who shores up our insecurity and a friend who welcomes us despite our pushback. There is hope for us yet to repent, beloved, the Holy Spirit has not done with us yet. That’s another reason why a conversation about race among Christians can be so hard.
We’re all works in progress. We’re still being sanctified. We change at different rates and on different topics, our friends change, this can happen without us even realizing it. We look up and feel like we were in a room we want new. I mean, I’m wondering how you feel like if you feel like this, if you like what happened in the last five years. What happened in the last two presidential terms, I posted something 10 years ago. And now I post that same thing, and I’m a Marxist, or I’m a racist. Friend, sometimes we don’t know where the walls are, but we are safe. Why? Because though the walls may be gone. Jesus is not. I will be with you. Always, to the end of the age. So friends, that’s it just a sampling of why it’s so hard to talk about race. Before we pray. I want to give you some homework. If you cannot tell, I think you actually need to use your God given brain to improve on this topic.
So here are some homework that you could discuss with yourself or if you came with others that think this be good kind of discussion fodder? Here we go. Question one, which are the reasons for why it’s so hard to talk about race resonated with you most? Which reason resonated with you most and why? Which reason? Did you disagree with most? I do not presume all of y’all thought all of these were equally helpful. Which really isn’t Did you disagree with most and why? Last question. Which reason would you add? This is an initial list. It’s not an exhaustive list. So what would you add? What would you add? You might think about your own church, hey, for us over here at Mountain Valley Baptists.
This is why it’s so tough. Right? So important thing about your local context. All right, beloved, I’m gonna be hanging up out here afterward. Or if you’re watching online, thank you for joining us. You can email us at you we pray letter U. W. e pra. y.com. We’ve got a contact section. Let me pray for us. And then we’ll be dismissed. Father, we thank you for your grace to us. We pray that You would help us to have better conversations. Lord, we pray we pray that we would realize hey, this conversation is harder than I thought. Maybe I should be more gracious than I thought I was being help us Lord, we pray in Jesus name. Amen.