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  • Writer's pictureShalom Mukamuri

Not So Ally

One of the things I find most frustrating is that in moments when issues on race and injustice were part of society‘s conversation after yet another murder of a black person at the hands of the police, the Church always manages to sidestep it. Either they will do a sermon or series on race and then move on. I have seen people of color who are often the minority and our true allies in these Churches try to then take it a step further with programs such as Be The Bridge, that lead many people into true understanding, healing and reconciliation. I have then seen these wonderful brothers and sisters who try to take the brave step to bring about change get choked out and pushed to the side because the church has mainstream programs that they want to move along with. The racial healing programs then become electives that are segregated and eventually die out.

Nothing is as dangerous as the lukewarm ally. The lukewarm ally is the person who says they support you and want you to be heard but then they set the timetable for when you can speak and when they will listen. Eventually you fade into silence. This has caused more discouragement to me than outright racists. I find it very disappointing that these atmosphere creating Churches will have “moments“ when we pray for healing and unity (with the keyboard playing in the background) without actually meaning to walk this out. They fear white rage so much that they will not dare take bold steps to address white supremacy and racial injustice. 

There are factions in these churches that push back and say that they hate that the church is focusing on race issues. These Christians are loud, mean, hateful and at times you forget you are at Church because of the hate coming out of their mouths. Eventually Pastors cave into pressure and withdraw the support they pledged themselves to ; so no progress is made. I’ve seen this over and over and over and over again..

The reality is that issues on race are not going away but I’m afraid that eventually people of color will find a refuge elsewhere. The church does not own the copyrights to God‘s healing and if we continue to be afraid of white rage eventually we will become irrelevant to the conversation. I am fearful that the white church in America will never change. On Wednesday last week as I watched images of people storming the Capitol, I witnessed “Christ saves” banners in the same crowd as Nazi signs. To be honest I was not surprised because history speaks and the present echoes. I choose to speak despite my pessimism because I believe that rebuke is mercy. I am trying to hope that we will come around and choose a path of true healing. It is hard to see us doing that right now.

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