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The Changing Rules on Racism Make Listening and Responding Difficult

I will never forget the dumbfounded looks from the other men in the room with me. Following the recent death of George Floyd and the resulting protests and riots, our church leadership met to discuss the most proactive way we could lead the congregation in a Christ-like, loving manner. While being cautious not to let the enemy behind these tragedies in the world drive the narrative of what our local body does or says, we wanted to convey a spirit of unity within the brethren on what God’s word tells us about loving our neighbor.

Many of our older elders all shared their hearts, which reflected the fullness of God’s love and His wise counsel about there being no distinction between Jew and Gentile; that we are one in Christ Jesus. We talked at length about Acts reminding believers that we are all of one blood, and the reality that biblically speaking there is but one race – Adam’s race.

One of the men even paraphrased Dr. King in reference to our discussion – the importance of pursuing a colorblind society. It was at that point I had to speak up. I told them that the notion of colorblindness is no longer desired or wanted. I’m not kidding when I say that the looks I received were as if I was speaking a foreign language.

I continued, expressing that given my careers outside the church, I come into frequent contact with the narrative of the world and the template of pop culture demands. And despite the things that these (primarily older) men had been raised to believe was right, current society largely rejects that.

“We aren’t supposed to be colorblind?” I was asked. I explained the premise that when you say you are colorblind that is now interpreted as you not “seeing the other person for who they are.” I tried to explain how ignoring skin color is now popularly viewed as an insult – that you are denying the experiences, sufferings, and realities of life for someone who hasn’t lived like you do.

I’m honestly not sure some of them believed me. And I get that. Because largely it is unbelievable. It is as unbelievable as seeing new woke crowd deriding Abraham Lincoln and the hundreds of thousands of dead union soldiers as white supremacists, something even liberal writer Andrew Sullivan shakes his head at in disbelief.

It’s no joke to say that months ago the prospect of tearing down statues of Founding Fathers, and certainly the Great Emancipator, was unheard of except on the very most radical fringes of society. Now, the heart of the unfolding woke revolution will tell you that you only resist it if you are a racist. That’s how quickly we’ve moved; how far we’ve fallen from rational thought.

We are governed completely by the emotions of the mob. That makes it very difficult for those like my fellow Christians and fellow church leaders who want to listen to their neighbors in earnest. It’s tough to listen to what’s being said today when it will be considered racist tomorrow by the very voices who spoke it.

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