...and I am Against The Wall because I believe the gospel is not about building up walls to shut people out. It is about tearing down walls to let people in. God is on the move and He is inviting His church to rise. These last few years, I have felt God has been speaking directly about the condition of His church. Could it be that God is not using the church to heal racial tensions, but instead is using racial tensions as an opportunity to heal the church? Last fall, I was reading through MLK Jr’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” during my devotional time. I felt God’s spirit speaking strongly to me. As a White pastor in America, I felt King was speaking directly to me when he said, “[s]hallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection."
King called out the White Church directly when he said, "[f]irst, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Council-er or the Ku Klux Klan, but the white moderate who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can't agree with your methods of direct action;’ who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a ‘more convenient season.’ Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection."
Lukewarm acceptance is saying, “I am not racist” while not actually doing anything to try and understand what racism is. Lukewarm acceptance is pointing out progress already made without acknowledging the struggle and hardship it took to get there. Lukewarm acceptance is saying “I agree with you in the goals that you seek but I don’t agree with your methods.”
Black pastors have been speaking up on these issues for decades. For true reconciliation, we need Black and White pastors working together to tear down the walls and begin the work of healing the church. Imagine the potential if God’s church could unite. God is on the move and that is why I am privileged to be part of this movement.