Even if we feel we have not personally been part of the problem, since we are the light of the world and the ones called to bring reconciliation, we are to get involved to help heal brokenness wherever we find it.
For me, I felt helpless. I didn’t know where to start, what I could possibly do to make a difference. That all changed today as I read the book A Manifesto – Christian America’s Contract with Minorities by Harry Jackson, a Pentecostal preacher with an MBA from Harvard and an advisor to President Trump. It is a brand new book just released by Whitaker House, which is the publishing company releasing our new book Overflow of the Spirit in November of this year.
His manifesto involves nine areas which need to be addressed and he has 50 – 100 ideas in his book of ways to become involved. The nine areas can be remembered through an acrostic, spelling the word EMPOWERED.
- Education Reform
- Marriage Rebuilding as a Social Strategy
- Public Policy Reform
- Oversight of Minority and Community Engagement
- Wealth Creation
- Righteousness and Justice as Moral Guidelines
- Empathy versus Retaliation
- Destiny with Dignity for All Humankind
I received revelation of ways I can get involved and have already been involved. I believe this book can do the same for you. I encourage you to prayerfully read Jackson's book, actively expecting the Holy Spirit to speak to you about how He wants you personally to respond. Let the Church be the Church and lead in resolving society's problems! Let's bring healing to our nation. God is the One with workable solutions!
More ways we can all be involved
Judges, state attorneys and district attorneys are elected positions that have immense control over the fate of those making their way through the criminal justice system. A biased or harshly punitive person with this authority can almost single-handedly ruin a person's life for what many of us may not see as a particularly heinous offense.
Contrariwise, an even-handed person who is particularly concerned with adding the least amount of collateral damage to an already bad situation, can weigh circumstances and many other factors to provide a wise and righteous outcome that is not needlessly harsh and leaves the door open for restoration. Prayerfully become informed about the positions of candidates for the officials in your area and do what you can to see that the best possible people are elected.
The Centre for Justice and Reconciliation is a "restorative justice" program of Prison Fellowship International. This is defined as justice which “aims at helping offenders to recognize the harm they have caused and encouraging them to repair the harm, to the extent it is possible. Rather than obsessing about whether offenders get what they deserve, restorative justice focuses on repairing the harm of crime and engaging individuals and community members in the process” (emphasis added). Addressing and healing the needs of victims is central to the practice of restorative justice and a core theme is the respect for the dignity of all peoples.
Scripture explains, “Men do not despise the thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger. Yet if caught, he must pay sevenfold” (Prov. 6:30-31). Likewise when Zacchaeus, a dishonest tax collector, repented and put his faith in Jesus, he promised to pay back his victims four times anything he had stolen (Lk. 19:1-10.) Through these examples we see the reconciling power of justice that restores as the biblical principles of honor and restitution are both incorporated in the process.
Prison Fellowship is a Christ-centered organization you could confidently join with in any way you feel led to work for changes, not only in the US but around the world. Restorative justice is currently being implemented as an effective alternative to incarceration in Buffalo, New York where our ministry headquarters is located, through the Erie County Restorative Justice Coalition. Explore your own community for such groups that you can support.
Excellent videos which will educate, encourage and inspire you
Michael Todd is lead pastor of Transformation Church, a multi-ethnic megachurch in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has two Sunday morning services on racial reconciliation that are powerful. It’s also very practical in that at the end of the first one, he even gives a recommended reading list for those wanting to educate themselves further on the topic from a biblical point of view.
His second message is a conversation between him, his black biological father who grew up in the Jim Crow south, his white spiritual father who entrusted the church he founded to Pastor Mike five years ago, and his mixed-race spiritual son. All four men of God share their unique experiences and perspectives, giving us a moving glimpse into what it’s like to be a minority in America today.
At the end, there is a short video clip which poignantly illustrates the fallacy of meritocracy. That is, how even though most anyone can potentially become President or succeed in our country, people of color are disproportionately born into a set of circumstances that leave them starting out far behind their white counterparts in the race of life – through no fault of their own and not because they made poor choices.
Finally, here is a podcast with a CLU instructor on the subject of racism.
Ask the Lord through two-way journaling the role He wants you to play in healing our country and bringing reconciliation. Then by His grace and Spirit's power, be part of Heaven's solution for the world!
Race in America Series
- Understanding and Responding to Racial Tension
- Should I Just Hunker Down, Pray, and Try to Avoid All the Turmoil Engulfing the USA?
- "All Sheep Matter!"
- T. D. Jakes Explains Racial Issues in a Way I've Never Heard Them
- A Lieutenant Discusses Racial Discrimination Within the NYPD
- Perception, Presumption & the Pain of Not Belonging
- What Can I Do To Help Heal Racial Tension?
- It's Time for Blacks and Whites to Talk About Race Issues
Related Resources:How to Hear God's Voice!