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    The hands of John Perkins

    Beyond Racial Reconciliation

    By John M. Perkins

    July 27, 2018
    • Jim Rotholz

      Pastor Perkins hit the nail right on the head. I couldn't agree more. I think the church in America has the power to end racism...if only it would exercise it. But like the pastor said, most don't even know there's a problem because they've never been on the receiving side of the equation. Pastor, if you read this, please see a similar article I wrote in The Christian Post: "To End Racism, God Must Be Part of the Conversation." A longer, more detailed version is available if interested.

    • Stewart Patrick

      Amen! Thank you Dr John Perkins for declaring this simple gospel Truth at this vital time. In 1988, I had read John's books on reconciliation and travelled to the U.S. to attend the Black Evangelism Congress in Atlanta, where he was a keynote speaker. After visiting other ministries, I then observed and stayed briefly at John's ministry base in L.A. on the way home. Being in Youth for Christ ministry in N.Z. in those years, then as Church pastor till retirement in 2018, John Perkins ministry has always had my respect and my ear through those years.

    • Terry

      Thank you Dr Perkins

    • T.S.Gay

      National Geographic has a video entitled "The Journey of Man". It traces the 2000 generational trek of us all using DNA. It's getting a little old, but holds up videographically. And it scientifically upholds Dr. Perkins. Most in this age cannot fathom us all descending from an Adam( and him in Africa). It took the research of Luigi Luca Cavalli- Sforza and a Stanford team to challenge the assumption that "race" has any biological meaning at all. Of course, there is fervent criticism from racists and those who cannot handle any validation of a biblical perspective.

    • Karen Bushman

      Beautifully well said. As humans we spend too much time looking for what divides us (our skin tone, sex, country of origin, current nationality, religious practice, etc) and not enough time understanding what truly unites us. Everyone wants to be secure in their person and in their family. Everyone wants to opportunity to provide economic security for themselves and their family. Everyone wants to be treated with the dignity due them because they are a child of God.

    • Mary Gross Davis

      Much love to Dr. Perkins. He is a great man and his words are deeply true!!

    I’ve given most of my life to the cause of reconciliation, fighting the battle in the trenches and working with community development organizations. We developed the three Rs – relocation, reconciliation, and redistribution – to offer a process to help communities work together to balance some of the inequities of life in America. By God’s grace, much good work has been done, and I’m humbled to have been a part of it.

    But as I come closer to the end of my journey, I am aware that community development can only take us so far – because this is a gospel issue. The problem of reconciliation in our country and in our churches is much too big to be wrestled to the ground by plans that begin in the minds of men. This is a God-sized problem. It is one that only the church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can heal. It requires the quality of love that only our Savior can provide. And it requires that we make some uncomfortable confessions. G. K. Chesterton said, “It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the problem.” I believe this statement can be applied to the lack of reconciliation within the church today.

    The problem is that there is a gaping hole in our gospel. We have preached a gospel that leaves us believing that we can be reconciled to God but not reconciled to our Christian brothers and sisters who don’t look like us – brothers and sisters with whom we are, in fact, one blood.

    The apostle John talks about that: “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20). Yet from our early days as a country we adopted the practice of slavery and demonized the slave as inferior, subhuman, and deserving of exploitation. For this wicked system of slavery to survive there had to be distinctions made between normal folks and this new breed of people that would be treated like animals. This is where the idea of race came into play.

    The problem is that there is a gaping hole in our gospel. 

    The truth is that there is no black race – and there is no white race. So the idea of “racial reconciliation” is a false idea. It’s a lie. It implies that there is more than one race. This is absolutely false. God created only one race – the human race.

    We’re at a unique moment in our history. We’ve come through – and in many ways are in the midst of – great upheaval. The soul of our nation has been laid bare. We have only to look at the signs of the times to realize that the church may not have long to get this right. We may not have much time left to offer the world a glimpse of this unity that will point the eyes of the watching world to the power of our great God. Yes, there’s an urgency. Time is running out … for all of us. But while we still have time, let’s reflect on the heart of Jesus, who prayed that his church might one day be one.

    Dr. John M. Perkins, born in 1930 to Mississippi sharecroppers, is a pastor, author, and civil rights activist. This article is taken from his new book, One Blood: Parting Words to the Church on Race, with Karen Waddles (Moody, 2018). Used by permission.

    Photograph courtesy of Moody Publishers. Used by permission.

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    Contributed By JohnPerkins John M. Perkins

    John M. Perkins is one of the leading evangelical voices to come out of the American civil rights movement.

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