One Race Under God
By Jeanne Gowen Dennis
America, I think we’re breaking God’s heart.
My heart, too, grieves over the cruel and unnecessary deaths of George Floyd, David Dorn, and others mercilessly killed in recent days.
I grieve over others who have been injured or brutally beaten. I mourn the loss of livelihoods, health, and property through the greed and destruction of looters and rioters.
Protests vs. Riots
Peaceful protesters rightfully make their voices heard.
However, rioters, thieves, and thugs have used Floyd’s death as an excuse to wreak havoc on our cities. In the mobs, we see both black and white faces as they perpetrate their evil deeds.
Our United Grief
Grief and anger over Floyd’s death are justified. We all feel it. All Americans. We’re angry. We’re hurt. We want justice.
My eyes fill with tears when I remember the older black woman who says she has nowhere to shop for her needs now. The buses aren’t running, and every shop near her home was trashed. I understand many of those were black businesses.
It makes no sense to harm other black people to protest the unjust death of a black man.
This is not a picture of grief unleashed, but of greed and wickedness rebelling against authority, decency, and peaceful society.
The Historic Racial Divide
Yes, the racial divide in America has a long and ugly history. But it has improved since the 1960s when I was growing up in Washington DC:
I was a junior in high school at a glee club practice. Martin Luther King had been shot. Riots raged in the inner city.
Just a few miles from there, not far from our girls’ school, people were attacking, beating, and killing others for no reason other than the color of their skin.
So our glee club of mixed colors practiced at the boys’ high school nearer the suburbs.
We were singing the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” At the climax of the song, three male students, one black, one white, and one Haitian immigrant, passionately recited the following lines:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . .”
“That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
“WE RESOLVE — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
I have never forgotten the looks on those boys’ faces. Solemn, passionate, determined.
Yet here we are again.
Floyd the Man
George Floyd was not simply a black man.
Floyd was a man created in the image of God. An American man. A loving father.
One of us.
Ending the Scourge of Ethnic Division
The scourge of racism, prejudice, and ethnic division in America needs to end.
We must do all we can to stop it, but I truly believe Jesus is our only hope. Why?
- Only in Jesus can we truly see people through God’s eyes.
- Only in Jesus can we find peace when turmoil surrounds us.
- Only in Jesus can we forgive as God has forgiven us.
The love of God working through us will allow us to truly:
- Listen to one another.
- Care about one another.
- Grieve together.
- Live together.
- Serve together.
Our Proper Identity
As believers – black, white, and every shade in between – we must find our identity not in our ethnic origin, but in Christ.
We must realize and teach our children the truths that:
- God created only one race, the human race.
“He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26 NASB).
- Every person ever conceived was made in the image of God. Everyone, therefore, has value as God’s image-bearer.
“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen. 1:27 NASB).
- We must treat all people with the dignity, kindness, and love of Jesus due them as image-bearers of God. This includes the unborn, the aged, the infirm, and those with disabilities of all kinds.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32 NKJV).
- God loves every person equally.
“For there is no partiality with God.” (Rom. 2:11 NASB)
- We must confess our sins of omission or commission in regard to the way we treat and even think of others who are different from us. Jesus commanded us to love one another and even to love our enemies (Matt. 5:44,45).
“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another ” (John 13:34 HCSB)
- As believers, we represent Jesus to the world. We need to protect His witness in us by living according to Scripture.
“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:1–3 NASB).
- We must pray fervently for God to intervene. To turn people’s hearts to Jesus. And to keep us faithful as well.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6–7 NIV).
One Race Under God
Meanwhile, please join me in praying for our country to return to its God-honoring roots – without its prejudices and injustices.
Pray we can learn to love and serve one another as we would love and serve Jesus if He were here in person. Because essentially, He is.
“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matt. 25:40 NKJV).
As believers, let us lead the way for America to truly become one nation, one race, under God.
© Jeanne Gowen Dennis
Dr. Tony Evans recorded a video in the aftermath of Floyd’s death that is worth watching.