Our hearts continue to be heavy following the horrible shooting that occurred at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC. I realize you may have read many articles and blogs on racism over the past several days. Well, this will be one more of those if you choose to read.
I have never considered myself to be a racist. And I have a long list of reasons to justify it:
I could list more. I have patted myself on the back for not being a racist for years. Yet, in light of what occurred in Charleston, all of that seems like a hollow victory, if you will.
It hurts my soul to see so much abject hatred in a 21 year old. I ask myself how in the world could he be so misguided. What kind of environment produces such a monster?
But then I wonder about myself. There is a famous quote attributed to Edmund Burke that haunts me at this moment. That quote goes as follows:
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
I think of this quote when I think of the white pastors who took action during the civil rights movement in our country. Some of them paid a price for their actions, losing their jobs and their careers. Yet, they did something. They acted.
And so I leave you with this thought. Is it enough to be nice to all people, to have friends of other races, to show disdain for hate groups, to stay neutral and be a good person? Or is the Christian called to do something? To respond by action? That is certainly a question I am asking myself and my church.
Chuck Strong is pastor at Olive Branch Fellowship Church