my thoughts on reverse racism

since i started blogging sixteen months ago, my worldview has shifted gradually yet drastically.   the main reason for this shift, i think, is the people i have allowed to influence me:  people like francis chan, jeff lucas, doug hollis (missionary to indonesia), and jim and jody smith (missionaries to china).  these people have introduced me to new way of looking at life.  i am still very focused on pursuing the kingdom and on learning what it means to be a citizen of the kingdom (the foundational concept of “your best life later”), but i sense that i have become quite impatient–perhaps even hyper-critical–of christian leaders who live nominal christian lives.  i realize that i am cloistered in the bible belt, but i see very few christian leaders who are laying their lives down for the gospel, and calling people to follow them in that lifestyle.

which brings me to today’s topic of discussion. 

micah campbell is a choice friend who reads and occasionally comments on my blog.  on my recent post on racism, micah made the following comment…

Now I might get in trouble for this, but does anyone else feel the tide of reverse discrimination/racism? From affirmative action to impending Caucasian minority status, there sometimes seems to be an unfair standard. Maybe I’m just jaded, but I get tired of having to be politically correct while newscasters increasingly over-pronounce their last name to show their ethnic background and every other month is such and such appreciation month. I guess what I’m saying is, why isn’t equal simply equal?

i tell him he’s a cynic, but micah is a passionate young man who is striving mightily to become christlike.  i am not condemning him because i certainly relate to what he is saying, and similar feelings often rise up in me.  the simple truth, though, is that when i feel marginalized and put upon, i am made aware that i have not embraced the idea of death to self.  if there is one truism jesus demonstrated more than any other, it is that we surrender our rights when we become followers of jesus.  please allow me to say that again.  slowly.  we…surrender…our…rights.  all of them.  we no longer have rights.  jesus allowed himself to be ripped off, exploited, denounced, slandered, falsely accused, arrested, mocked, beaten, and crucified with no resistance whatsoever.  and, if i recall correctly, he said, “follow me.”

and we get upset when we are treated unfairly.

in the brand-new issue of catalyst leadership there is a compelling article called “mangoes, money, and the abundant life” by fred elliot-hart, formerly a medical missionary to jamaica.  he talks about the perspective on money/giving he developed from living in that third-world culture.  i was especially moved by one part of this story:

Living with and seeing “brothers in need” and responding by giving what I have–skills, expertise, time, money, myself–comes at a cost.  Yet, what Christian can afford to cling stubbornly to supposed personal rights even as the Holy Spirit cried “Give! Give!”?  The greatest stress associated with living in sight of a brother in need is not giving in to the Holy Spirit’s call to die to ourselves.

the more i know jesus, the more comfortable i become with the idea of death.  and i fall more in love with the idea of “kingdom.”  and i become more and more confident in his promises concerning my life and my future.  and the less enamored i am with my alleged “rights.”


4 thoughts on “my thoughts on reverse racism

  1. I can’t help but think this was directed at me… oh wait, my name is in the blog!

    I had a conversation a while back with a good friend about giving and receiving Godly correction. His big fear was stepping out in faith, hoping the other person would receive correction only to be pummeled with criticism and insults. I told him that not following the direction of the Holy Spirit was detrimental, not only to him, but to the person that needed to hear the correction.

    A great example of this was the prophet Nathan and King David. I can’t imagine how hard it would have been to be Nathan… or worse, to be David and not cave in to his pride. Instead his response was amazing. The difference in that situation was that David didn’t put some thinly veiled comment out there for Nathan to pick up on…

    I guess I’m skirting around the fact that I pretty much put my depraved sin nature on display by making an unfiltered comment. I say unfiltered because my normal course of action is to write and re-write a post until I think I’ve “thought about the issue from all sides”. That’s really code for, how do I disguise my depravity from other believers? How can I keep up the charade so no one will question me or challenge me to change? Sounds ridiculous, but it’s true.

    The truth is hard.

    Dying to self is hard… but I’m trying.

  2. micah, you are so right! “the truth is hard” and “dying to self is hard” but the end result of pursuing both is so worth it! i am proud of you for putting your “depraved sin nature on display,” and i want you to know that i know how you feel. it seems to me that’s really all a blog is…parading one’s dirty laundry on the internet in the hopes someone may benefit. the only losers in this deal are the ones who choose to “keep up the charade” as you so aptly put it.

    as i said in the post, my brother, “i relate” and “similar feelings often rise up in me.” i am on this journey to authenticity with you and it is usually painful. but it is a great help to me to have you along. let’s go together!

  3. 100% true… Reminds me of a post a month or two back where you said a person came into a Bible study with a huge sin to get off their chest … they gasp wrought with anxiety and say I haven’t been reading my Bible like I should and effectively they shut down any real confrontation and confession of sin with in the group by their attempt to be involved but still holding to a charade of not a “bad” person. Randy you know I maybe the all time worst of being a recluse with feelings, emotions, and faults admission despite any efforts I make.

    MC: I did a similar thing as your friend did with similar results. It was with a relative of mine who is a pastor. I was called judgmental, hypocritical and so on. He admitted this was not in my character or normal for to do this but did not see that as a reason to take exception and at least here me out. He proceeded to justify his actions but did not see justifying as admittance. It has left a rift between his family and ours. Uncomfortable family get togethers and so forth. As hard as it is to take I try to take such criticisms if it is true deal with it… if after study and thought it is not well it simply doesn’t matter (or shouldn’t even though it does from time to time) as my identity is in Christ not the world. The Church as a whole has warped the fruits of the spirit. Love is to do “nice things for people and kind is not to offend and we have shut down the teaching of the reason for the gospel using the “new” fruits of the spirit. This while never contemplating God’s admonition as the truest love. We have shut down anyone pointing out sin in our own lives for the sake of “kind”. It’s like not warning some one of a rattlesnake as to not offend them for the sake of kindness. How much do we hate our selfishness??? Is the hate enough to happily take the criticism of fellow believers and be thankful for it?

    Sorry if I rambled had one of those uncomfortable.. family visits tonight and it weighing on my mind and a bit down and stressed.

  4. I may be a goofball here, but I think racism is racism, and that there is no “reverse” about it. If the rights and “honour” or whatever-you-call-it of any group subjugates another, it’s wrong.

    I’ve often struggled with knowing where the balance is between turning the other cheek and “standing up for my rights”. Is there a difference between kingdom (agreeing as a Christian to give up my rights) and secular (for example, if I was passed over for a promotion at work becauseI’m a woman, should I file a complaint?). And what about those who can’t speak for themselves? Should I stand up for their rights?

    Greg Boyd preached an interesting sermon series called “The Cross and The Sword” and “In But Not of The World” that you might find interesting. He says we Christians see ourselves as the “protectors” and “fixers” of social morality, as the moral standard bearers. But our only job as the body of Christ is to look like Jesus, the one sinless human, who stood in unity with others and met their needs.

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