It’s time I weighed in on racism. I went to my weekly spiritually gathering last night and a topic came up concerning how one might deal with problems in the world. One suggestion from ancient wisdom teachings is to not resist evil. Even Jesus said that. I once read someone’s analysis of the Greek word for “resist” that explained it as “don’t make it your priority” rather than don’t offer any opposition. That makes sense to me. You can stand up against racism without making it your mission in life. And yet, God has given that mission to some, aka, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Let me clarify up front that when I speak of racism, I’m narrowing it to the skin coloration component in these comments. One general observation I make is that racism is a disease that infects Caucasians more than any other race. And the male gender is clearly the most aggressive and violent in displaying the symptoms of the disease. I guess that’s the testosterone element.
One way to treat the eruption of racism is to control the release of testosterone in whatever ways possible. But that’s not very practical and it only addresses the outward and ugly demonstration of the disease. It doesn’t get rid of the source of the problem, which is founded internally in fear, ignorance, or cultural programming.
How do you address these sources in people without making it your mission in life? You don’t make it your priority, but when you see it happening, you make an effort to stop it. Hopefully, that won’t require physical intervention, but Jesus also said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Friends are those you love and care about. We are to love everyone, to consider everyone a friend.
Treating the mental disease of racism requires active involvement by those who witness it. Racism is a violation of the kingdom of heaven, where there is always peace and harmony among people. Even though Jesus said, “Don’t resist evil,” he also said, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven is taken by violence and the violent seize it by force” (Matt. 11:12 NKJV). You didn’t know there is violence in heaven, did you?
I have a different perspective based on my translation of the Greek text. The word translated as ‘violence’ is most often used in the New Testament in a poetic way rather than in a negative or hurtful way. It means to use force. My translation of the text comes out more like this: people are seeking a share in the heavenly kingdom (a place where there is harmony and equality) with passion and intense energy. It’s explained in detail in Chapter Twelve of my book about the kingdom of heaven.
Sometimes people who want peace and harmony in the kingdom of heaven within themselves must resist evil when it stares them in the face. That’s what Rosa Parks did when she refused to let a white man have her seat on the bus. She didn’t get violent. She just refused to passively give in to evil.
Clearly, we still have a problem with the disease. The ugly pus of its presence keeps revealing itself. It may not be your purpose in life, but whenever it raises its evil head, you and I must employ passion and intense energy to help our friends who wear coats of many beautiful colors to receive the kingdom of heaven that God wants for everyone.
Force can be applied non-violently in many ways. Sometimes it’s as easy as saying, “You’re wrong. I don’t agree” or, “Wow, that’s a racist remark.” Other times it’s more difficult because it may impact your future. But you will always reap what you sow. If you stand idle and complacent, you are allowing pus to spread and infect others, and possibly allowing harm to your neighbor. Not resisting evil is becoming part of it. You are sowing a seed toward your future. However, if you sow love for your neighbor, you may not know how that love will be reaped, but trust that goodness always yields goodness.
The kingdom of heaven within you will be lost when you don’t resist and achieved when you apply pressure against ignorance, fear, and cultural programming. Trust your future to God. Sow love and help your neighbor today.