The Best Way White Christians Can Respond to Racial Tensions

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As white Christians, we need to spend time learning about the issues. We need to seek out black authors, pastors, theologians, activists, community leaders and speakers. We need to read their work, listen to their sermons, hear their grievances.

We can’t continue to stay in our own little world, watching our preferred news outlet, reading our favorite websites and talking to our same, like-minded friends on Facebook.

We also need to be intentional about forming relationships with people who don’t look like us. It’s hard for one person to change the world. But, you can change one person’s world.

We can’t solve racial tension across the nation, but we can make a difference in our community when we show the people of color around us that we are there, we want to listen and support them.

And, we need to do a better job as Christians of all races in pursue diversity in our churches. Martin Luther King once pointed out that Sunday mornings are the most segregated hour in our country. He was right then, and the statement is largely still true today.

I’m happy that I attend a church that includes people of all races, but we can all do more. If you attend an all-white church (or an all-black church), why not work to make changes. We can begin conversations in our communities about joining forces. How can we all work together to learn from each other?

How can we work together to address the underlying issues in our community? By having these conversations, we begin to put feet to our prayers and God will use us to make an impact.

In Woke Church, Dr. Mason writes, “We should feel more at home with people in the Christian family than our own ethnicity.  In other words, the best part of our family should be those who have the same ‘eternal’ blood type… Why not fight to make sure that our interpersonal relationships as well as our churches mirror the reality we��ll experience in eternity?”

Now, to my African-American brothers and sisters, I close with this. I’m not color-blind. I see you, and I celebrate you, love you and want the same thing you want–a world that offers you and your children the same things it offers me and mine.

It’s hard to see right now, but I’m praying that God is making a way. That through these difficult trials, we’ll ALL wake up and see how it should be.

One day, all things will be made right and new. But, until that reality, I pray that God will use us to make it happen here on this earth.

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19).

I believe God can use us to this end, when we pray, listen to each other, speak truth and fight for what’s right.


Brent Rinehart is a public relations practitioner and freelance writer. He blogs about the amazing things parenting teaches us about life, work, faith and more at www.apparentstuff.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @brentrinehart.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/fizkes

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