Charlottesville: “Thank You” To Many Of My White Christian Brothers and Sisters

By Ben Lewis 

As of the time I’m writing this piece, there is much that one might grieve and/or be outraged about regarding the events in Charlottesville. Someone drove a car into a crowd of people, killing one and injuring numerous others. Two police officers died in a helicopter crash that was linked to the violence there. And of course, all of this was linked to what is believed to be the largest gathering of white supremacists in our country in over a decade.

Indeed, it has been a sad, ugly, and tragic day.

However, I will say that as a black Christ-follower, there has been a refreshing silver lining. Rather than anger and sadness, I’ve experienced a bit of hope in the responses of many of my white brothers and sisters in Christ.

You see, though I’m willing to do it when necessary, I don’t particularly *like* to have to be the one to call out white supremacy and bigotry. There are a variety of reasons for this, and I fully confess that my desire to “not rock the boat” so that I can be liked and make my white brothers and sisters comfortable is one of them. However, more importantly, as I wrote a few weeks ago, I don’t believe that my voice–or any black voice–is the most effective one in this area.  If we truly want to move toward being a kinder, more civil, less tribalistic society, it’s not going to happen by my tribe yelling across a chasm, attempting to “fix” your tribe, nor by your tribe yelling back trying to fix mine. No, it’s going to happen up close and personal, through relationships, most likely within our tribes.

A white voice denouncing white supremacy is more powerful than a black voice doing so, especially when it carries with it the weight of the Word Of God.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but I’d like to share just a few of the words I’ve read tonight that has helped comfort me.

Of course, Russell Moore has been out in front on this issue for quite some time:

And finally, I leave you with words from the Senior Pastor of my church:

Thank you, dear brothers and sisters. You’ve lightened my burden on what was otherwise a dark day for this nation. Blessings are upon you.

May we continue to be in prayer for Charlottesville, our nation, our world, and especially the families of those whose lives were lost.

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