An Urgent Plea To My White Brothers In Christ

I have been watching and reading about the racial tensions taking place in this country for a long time now. In Biblical wisdom, I have sought to remain publicly silent on the issue for awhile and to just observe the dialogues taking place. After several months if not a few years of observation, here are some of my thoughts:

Beloved, When you are more zealous to defend a system than you are to empathize with those who have been abused by that system, you communicate to those people that you consider their value to be less than said system which they perceive as corrupt. This alienates you from those people as they then begin to perceive you as part of the problem rather than a friend of the solution.

Some of my white brothers have failed here. Some brothers who I still consider spiritual fathers and peers whom I admire and call brother have seriously failed here. Some of my deepest friends are white conservative Christians. I can testify without a doubt that they are not racist. They are my friends, mentors, family in Christ! Unfortunately, I must also testify that many appear to not understand the African American experience nor have truly sought to try to. Ironically, many have sought a greater understanding of people groups on the other side of the world than of their own black brothers who sit, stand, work, and serve alongside them here in this land. Unfortunately, some have even lost their gospel credibility as they have sought to discuss politics publicly without any expression of empathy for those who may have been abused by the very systems they promote.

This truly is a Gospel issue but I think both black and white Christians have generally done a poor job discussing the real issue at hand. Some blacks are assuming upon their white brothers prejudice rather than ignorance and have ungraciously categorized a whole people group (whites) as being against them rather than needing insight. Many whites are ignorant because they have not sought understanding. They have not sought to understand their black brothers deeply but yet claim to love them. The African American historical experience is plagued by whites claiming to love their black brothers but not actively seeking to understand them (See King’s letter from Birmingham jail). When blacks hear from their white brothers, “we care” but then don’t see any apparent attempt at understanding them, they see hypocrisy and potential Gospel witness is lost.

I have been converted for 10 years now. The scars of police abuse of power still linger in me to this day. Even as a minister of the Gospel who strives to be the most law abiding citizen. To this day, when a police car drives by me I have felt my heart stop beating and my throat immediately sore. I have felt fear. Not the kind of unhealthy fear of man that we as Christians strive against but the kind of fear that preserves survival in hostile lands. My brother and I both have had officers point guns at the back of our heads for no other reason than the color of our skin. More than once! Every black man I know has had to some degree a similar experience.

In the end, the way I speak as a black Christian must be in the way of charity and love. I have signed into social media and have experienced the sensation of a broken heart as I have seen men who I call friend and brother speak in a way that showed complete lack of empathy and love for their black brothers experiences in this country marked by black prejudice. I am not alone in this as many black and ethnically dark skinned brothers have told me they have experienced the same thing. I have also seen black Christian brothers speak out of emotionalism and classify all police as enemies or all whites as prejudice/racist. The lack of empathy from whites does not give black Christians the license to speak without sober mindedness, grace, and compassion. These trends betray the Gospel which unites all people groups and ethnicities together under one Lord and thru one Baptism.

My white brothers, and my fellow black brothers, for the sake of Christ and our witness we must all engage the racial tensions that divide this country with an empathy, grace, and meekness unlike anything the world has seen. We must engage our culture’s racial tensions with an otherworldly love that proclaims a divine unity found only in Christ. Join me in this pursuit which will include repentance, grace, and compassion from us all for Christ’s glory. I love you

-Coram Deo

About Kyle James Howard

My name is Kyle, I am married to my “high-school sweetheart” and we have 3 children. I have a 7 year-old daughter (Hadassah), a 2 year-old son (Jonah), and 1 year old (Kesed). I am 32 years old and I am currently a student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I have an Associates degree in Biblical & Theological Studies, A B.S. in Biblical Counseling, and I am finishing up an Advanced M. Div in Historical Theology. Click on the "About Me" link at the top of my home page to read my full testimony.

4 Responses to “An Urgent Plea To My White Brothers In Christ”

  1. Brother, this is a lovely, heartfelt plea, & I thank you for writing it. I pray all who read it will listen, & examine their hearts.

    Remember this passage every time you speak to a woman who refuses to be complementarian any longer. 😦

    Sincerely,
    XianJaneway

  2. Marie Atkinson March 29, 2015 at 5:16 am

    Greetings from South Africa! Coram it is so upsetting to encounter this racism and prejudice in our brothers and sisters. The body of Christ is to show the love of Jesus! I pray for America and South Africa to embrace as Christians and set an example of love, grace and mercy that we have received from our Heavenly Father. There is hope!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My Deliverance from Racial Obliviousness - Heaven's Muscle - April 2, 2015

    […] to and about the system using the vocabulary of biblical theology.  A starting point might be this very recent post from Kyle Howard, “An Urgent Plea to My White Brothers in Christ.”  Among other things, Kyle […]

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