Pastor's Corner: Leroy Parker

We are living during some tumultuous times in the United States of America. When we look at the political climate in our country, it has in a major way opened the vaults of racism that many people thought would never be resurrected. The issue is not the resurrection of systemic racism, but the blatant denial of it, rather than owning it and moving forward toward reconciliation.

Since the 1600’s, we’ve had issues with race in our country. There are many who are on the front lines of this issue, trying to eradicate this evil, which pervades all of our communities. If we are going to have intentional movement toward racial reconciliation in this country, it must start with the body of Christ. Even within the body of Christ, there are those who suggest that we don’t have to deal with this issue in 21st century. But the sad reality is that it is more blatant in our linguistic expression, actions and judicial system like never before. The body of Christ has to take seriously God’s admonition in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven and will forgive them sin, and will heal their land.”

Our vision then must be bigger than trying to bring black and white people together, but more importantly, reconciling them to the Lord Jesus Christ. It means nothing to work hard for social justice when we don’t appreciate or place value on those whom God has created in His image. He called them good. The Bible is very clear: there is no other way to look at our fellow brothers or sisters than through the lens of a loving God who sculpted them with His loving hand (Genesis 2, Psalm 139). Therefore, we are and were created in the imago dei whereby we have no right to look at the other and put ourselves above them based upon looks and socioeconomic positioning with the culture.

If we are going to see significant strides towards racial reconciliation in this country, we must honestly acknowledge the sin and repent of the sin that is constantly pulling us apart rather than bringing us together (1 John 1:9). The civil rights activist Andrew Young said, “Any racial reconciliation we’ve had in this country has not come not out of confrontation but out of a spirit of reconciliation. If we continue to practice an eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth, we’ll eventually end up with a land of people who are blind and toothless.”

– Leroy Parker, New Hope Baptist Church, Danbury