The Christian Post – July 09, 2016

As I read the news reports, my heart immediately went out to the families. The media has been fueling the flames of racism and hatred for some time and we are reaping the whirlwind.

Yes, hatred and racism do exist, but from my vantage point, not to the degree they are being portrayed. I see tremendous love between the black and white communities — love we should be encouraging.

What if we looked through a different lens other than the lens of the secular media …

What if more people knew that many of America’s founders did not support slavery? The truth is that many of the Founding Fathers were responsible for planting the first seeds of equality and for the eventual end of slavery. John Quincy Adams was often referred to as the “hell-hound of the abolition movement” for his efforts against slavery.

As historian David Barton rightly noted, “This was a fact made clear by Richard Allen. Allen had been a slave in Pennsylvania but was freed after he converted his master to Christianity. Allen, a close friend of Benjamin Rush and several other Founding Fathers, went on to become the founder of the A.M.E. Church in America. In an early address ‘To the People of Color,’ he explained: ‘Many of the white people have been instruments in the hands of God for our good, even such as have held us in captivity, [and] are now pleading our cause with earnestness and zeal.’”

What if we remember all of the parents, black and white, who lost sons fighting for freedom during the Civil War? The fallout and devastation for all families from violence and war is a lasting pain. This would help quench much of the anger in America.

What if we truly comprehended that we are all made in the image of God; there is no hierarchy related to race or color. Would that foster healing?

What if the black community knew that many of us still look up to Martin Luther King Jr. and his heart for reconciliation … and that many white Americans also wept the day he died? Would that foster peace?

What if many of America’s leaders and pastors encouraged unity regardless of color, and what if the media used their platform to build up versus tear down? Would that encourage change?

What if more white pastors and leaders could truly feel the heart of suffering and allow it to break our hearts and motivate a deeper prayer and devotional life? Men of prayer are men of change.

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Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California, just North of Los Angeles. Shane’s sermons, articles, books, and radio program can all be found at shaneidleman.com or wcfav.org. Follow him on Facebook at: facebook.com/confusedchurch.


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