Race Matters: Let’s Go to the Movies

There has been a lot of chatter about race, racism, and racial reconciliation over the past few weeks. In our media driven and social connections, it is so easy to follow the latest trends and then forget why we were initially outraged in the first place. We forget that God is outraged too, and we forget that people lives are being impacted by racial injustices. We forget that when humans die, they often have loved ones who remain. These loved ones are not following the latest trends. They are not forgetting; they are still mourning, crying, losing sleep, and possibility waking up in cold sweats. We should not forget them. As Christians, we should not forget to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep.

We should also not forget that our god is a God of justice. He cares about corrupt and broken people and about corrupt and broken systems. He desires change. He welcomes repentance, and he will judge when there is none. He will one day make all of this right.

God has created all human beings in his own image, and therefore we all have value. Our lives matter. We cannot fix what we do not see or confront what we do not care about. In today’s post, I’m asking you to care about people.

In a recent article published by Christianity Today, I shared one tip for educating ourselves concerning race issues and how to move closer towards racial reconciliation:

Watch movies and documentaries. Having a racial focus in the books, magazines, movies, documentaries or other learning tools is not necessary. It is more important to hear the voices, share the experiences, convictions, life rhythms, and practices of people that are different than us. Seek material that is authored and produced by racial and ethnic minorities.

Therefore, I invite you to go to the movies. Well, you will actually need to rent or purchase these through your favorite movie viewing mechanism. In no particular order, here are 6 movies that I recommend (and 6 more are coming next week) to get started for understanding racial and ethnic issues and having important dialogs with your friends:

  1. CRASH

Why watch it: This is an explosive cast in an explosive movie. Centered in Los Angeles, it addresses everything from urban living, interracial marriage, immigration/human trafficking, social programs (the lives of recipients and the perceptions of those who receive“handouts”), corrupt cops (there are some), and the reality that there is often no cushion for men of color who make poor choices. We are human and this movie reveals what happens when we step outside of our own worlds and crash into the lives of others. This is a must watch!

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The Great Righteousness-#Justice Divide

It is my honor to introduce for the first time on A Sista’s Journey, Deborah P. Brunt.

The Great Righteousness-Justice Divide

DeborahBruntHeadShot2011Righteousness and justice are inextricably linked. We cannot simultaneously choose for one and against the other.

The Old Testament repeatedly connects the two terms, affirming them as complementary qualities of God’s nature and of people who walk in his ways:

  • “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne” (Ps. 89:14).
  • “Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep” (Ps. 36:6).
  • “Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!” (Ps. 106:3 ESV).

Further, the New Testament includes both concepts in the same Greek word. Made righteous in Christ, we recognize righteousness and justice by the Holy Spirit. Cooperating with the Spirit, we live right and just lives.

So why do we in the US church often try to split the two? Why do we divide into camps that attempt to champion righteousness or justice, without recognizing that neither can survive alone?

Exploring the history of the church in the Deep South, I’ve gained startling insights into the US evangelical church culture. Pursuing research that culminated in the book, We Confess! The Civil War, the South, and the Church, I’ve realized: Sometimes we can see ourselves more clearly in the light of another time and place …

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Reflections from Last Week

The past few weeks have been quite busy and I wanted to share some of my reflections. I spent most of last week in Long Beach, CA attending the Mosaix National Multi-cultural church conference. There were many highlights from the conference, but for me, a critical moment was hearing Dr. John Perkins deliver a message near the end of the conference. Some of you may not be familiar with Dr. Perkins, but he is one of the leading evangelical voices from the Civil Rights Movement. He is an international speaker that primarily focuses on the topics of racial reconciliation and Christian community development. He is a living legend. Near the beginning of his speech Dr. Perkins said, “I feel finished.” I felt a well of emotions come through me and my eyes began to water. I am somewhat aware of the losses in his life, his struggles through the Civil Rights Movement, and his passion for the gospel and the Church as God’s people. Those few short words for me held the weight of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech. Dr. Perkins, in his lifetime, has seen with his eyes many of the things that Dr. King could only dream about. And as he looked over a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, and multi-cultural audience of approximately 1,000 people, all of whom have covenanted to love the Lord and his church, and to share the gospel without fear, Dr. Perkins had a mountain top experience. At his revelation, I was reminded again of the privilege that I have to stand on the shoulders of people like Dr. Perkins and the responsibility that I have to pass the baton on to the next generation who will raise up a standard for Christ.

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