Cast off indifference: A call for Christians to unite against racism

Written by Dustin Bates
Published on June 09, 2020

I could feel the thoughts coming, the barrage of excuses, the flood of questions attempting to argue away my breaking heart after watching George Floyd’s murder in the street. 

Atleast, that is what has happened in the past. Previously, I would have questioned what he did to deserve such treatment—what crime he committed. 

Or, I would reserve judgment until all the facts came out

I’m so grateful that over the years, God has loved me enough to challenge my perspectives.

Refuse the allure of neutrality and silence 

In these unprecedented times, it’s easy to get caught up in political agendas and conspiracy theories. Rumors and ideas are passed around social media at ferocious rates. 

We all too often turn a blind eye, or a deaf ear, to the pain and cries of our brothers or sisters who have fought for years against systemic racism.

As I’ve pondered on how best to respond to these miscarriages of justice, a quote from Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel keeps coming to mind. He said: “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. The opposite of love is not hate; it’s indifference.”

Let love stir up action

Indifference, positioned as the opposite of love, is a powerful concept. As Christ-followers, our calling is to love others as ourselves. 

Do we ever feel indifferent when injustice is happening to us? Can we have empathy for people whose life experience is different from our own? 

How would you feel if someone you loved died? Would it change your perspective? 

Mark 12:30–31 speaks to the importance of loving others. The verses say: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” 

If loving our neighbor as ourselves is so important that Jesus lists it in the two greatest commandments, then shouldn’t our love for others stir up action? 

Be a part of the solution

As the Church, I believe the first step is to admit that we have a problem requiring action. 

I want to believe that there are Christians all over the world who will stand up and use their voices. I want to walk in the example and attitude of Christ, personally bearing the burdens of my brothers. 

I’ll never fully understand—but I’m going to do my best to be empathetic and learn. 

I don’t know what it’s like to personally face the realities and struggles of the Black community. I’ve never dealt with feeling judged or afraid because of the color of my skin. But I can commit to being an ally and work to learn from those around me. Loving our neighbors is actually quite simple—it’s as easy as refusing to look away during a time of injustice. It’s as easy as committing to be a part of the solution.

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Dustin Bates

Pastor Dustin Bates is the Lead Pastor at Church Eleven32, a fast-growing, multi-site church based in Allen, TX. Together with his wife, Jamie, they have two boys, Jude and Genesis. After pastoring in Washington state with his dad, Dustin and his wife founded and pastored The MVMNT youth ministry that grew from fifteen students to over five hundred in three years. Dustin also founded programs such as The Preschool, The Academy, and The Internship at Church Eleven32. He travels nationally and internationally to preach and empower leaders in Christian and secular sectors across the globe.

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