“JUST IMAGINE” – One pastor’s brief commentary on race and hope

unshackledI hope to see America’s Blacks unshackled from the oppression of liberal Democrats in my lifetime.  
High unemployment, derelict fathers leaving single moms raising their children in poverty, and decaying inner cities paint a bitter picture of our nation’s future if someone does not rise up and give hope.  I believe this is one reason Donald Trump’s message, “Give me a chance! What do you have to lose?” has resonated with so many in America.
 

I was a child in the raucous 1960’s and witnessed the integration of public schools in the South as an early elementary age child.  I followed the race riots on television; however, living in rural SC I can honestly say I never noticed the hatred and anger that was portrayed in the media, most of it originating in urban city areas and inflamed by white and black leaders who made themselves not only famous, but incredibly wealthy off the federal government establishment.Men and women interlocking hands, close-up, overhead view

My childhood community in rural SC had a balance of blacks and whites, many who had lived on their farms side by side for generations. Were there some who were genuinely poor? Absolutely…black and white.   However, I remember hardworking neighbors…black and white,  who taught their children by example an ethic of handwork I embrace to this day.  Some of the finest men and women I knew were black, God-fearing people.  I cannot remember my parents ever casting racial slurs at any blacks in our community.  We were taught to respect and honor our elders and were colorblind in our outlook.  

I do not dismiss the sad reality that there were undoubtedly racial prejudices in my town and community; however, those would have been the exceptions driven by old Southern Democratic prejudices as represented by the KKK.  

I am blessed to pastor a colorblind church that is a portrait of the demographics of Tampa, FL.  In Christ, our church is not divided by races or societal identities; we are one body made up of many members (1 Corinthians 12:12-20).  

I am convinced the grace and forgiveness found in Christ and preached by Biblical Christianity is the only answer to the racial divide in our nation and world.  Can you imagine a church, community, city and nation dominated by the principle, “love thy neighbor as thyself”?  (Matthew 22:39)
love-thy-neighbor
Just imagine: An America driven, not by racial prejudices and a false narrative demanding restitution, but a nation that embraces personal responsibility for individual choices. Imagine an America unshackled from the Democratic plantation that has enslaved a whole race with empty promises and government dependence.  Imagine an America that repents of her sins and turns back to God…an America free from racial hatred. Just imagine…

Copyright 2016 – Travis D. Smith