February is usually thought of as the month of love. Aisle after aisle was stocked with candy and paper hearts, cuddly stuffed animals, sweet candy and cards even before the King holiday and our community projects were over. To be sure, it is not about the feeling but the money. Still, despite their marketing techniques, attitudes about race and the church are not improving.
A recent Barna poll claims that persons believe that churches are at fault and even fuel racial tensions 38 percent of the time. That is, in one out of three instances where race is involved, the blame is placed on the shoulders of churches. Apparently, the Church is apart of the problem.
Long associated with judgmental attitudes and wagging fingers, it seems that some persons are now pointing the finger at the Church. Tasked with the ministry of reconciliation, I wonder how the evaluations are being done. Who is being held accountable and responsible for this work?
However, it is not a bad assessment or a failing grade as 73 percent believe that the Church plays an important role in the reconciliation of cultures. Still, the finding reminds us that we are missing quite a few spots. Last year around this time, Relevant magazine asked, “Why doesn’t the church engage race issues?”
It seems our society will not allow us to remain silent or to feign ignorance. With instance after instance of suspicious death and obvious injustice, we will need to focus on more than Sunday morning attendance. Rather, we will need to attend to the wounds of our world, spreading the Balm in Gilead on our communities. This is love and it will need to happen not just in February or other special holidays. Whether we are feeling the love or not, it our job to show it. “They will know we are Christian by our love.”