In the Fall of 2012, I [SG] was driving down a long, narrow road to speak in a small church in central, rural Mississippi, and being from California, not prepared for the culture shock brought to me by a man in the church that day.
Although the church had been founded in the early 1800s, the building had been newly refurbished and the people were excited to hear how the facts of science demonstrate the accuracy of the historical account of the Bible. After the presentation, we had a long question–and–answer time, and, as usual, the topics were raised that we answer in The Creation Answers Book.
That is when a man came up to me and loudly insisted I was wrong. Since we had covered many topics, I asked him to be more specific in his objection. He said, “You are wrong about what you said about races.” I had briefly shared that everyone has a dark brown pigment in their skin called melanin, and that some people have a little and some people have more. He couldn’t be specific about what was ‘wrong’, so I picked up a copy of our book One Human Family from the book table and started to explain some of details, encouraging him to take the book home and read it. However, when the man emotionally told me that his brother was dating a ‘black’ woman, I was stunned when he yelled “it would be better if he were gay and dating a man!” After this outburst, the pastor told me that racism was strong in that region, that he and that man had been “taught racism” by their parents, and about the nearby location of the murder of civil rights workers in the 1960s.
While we would not want to portray such racism as typical of Christian churches, events of recent weeks in America have left many feeling that there is much more of a ‘race’ problem than we previously thought. There is so much race-based dialogue coming from both sides and circumstances have demonstrated that anyone who speaks out runs the risk of being called the ‘wrong’ colour to address it. As Christians, we need to speak not as representatives of our skin colour, but as representatives of the Gospel. Christians of every ‘race’ need to be on the front lines of reconciliation. We offer a few thoughts to contribute to this.