Fear and the racially split church

The recent Christ Call of Uwe Siemon-Netto (June Witness) for Lutheran Christiansin combating racism, threats, and the torments of today’s dark night of terrorismis a continuing Christ Call, heard down through the ages.

The cause of racism is fearand this fear has a stranglehold on the local and global community. As a professor for thirty years in historically black higher educational institutions and after serving in various educational and mission labors throughout the world, I am thoroughly convinced that fear is the overt and covert demon at work in our lives. Going back to Luther’s Small Catechism, read through the Ten Commandments. Each commandment states clearly that one should fear, love, and trust in God above all things. The hard truth of the matter is that the demons of distraction…of the day…pull all of us toward fearing threats of this world, loving things of this passing world, and putting our trust in the vanishing goods and services all around us. People then become threats.

Racism comes from a fear that we will lose out; the other person has to be put down. When fear dominates, the struggle for resources becomes a priority. The so-called best and brightest tell us that water and other resource scarcities will increase conflictand that is already going on in Asia, the Middle East, and other places, which I have seen.

The immigration issue is a white hot topic and fear can also dominate in this discussion. Yet, we all are aliens. The Bible is clear on how to treat the aliens. A quick reading of the daily news can leave one exhausted at all the possibilities of conflict and threat.

Taking seriously the Truth of Luther’s Christ Call through those Ten Commandments about loving, trusting, and fearing God above all things is the way to go.

The answer to racism and all the “isms” of our day is to have real trust and love in the Almighty power of Christ and His call…to follow and go through the fears of the day.

Dr. Albert E. Jabs
Lexington, South Carolina

In the June/July 2007 issue of The Lutheran Witness, I take exception to the title “The Sin of the Racially Split Church.”  The article was excellent but the use of the word “racially” indicates a belief in evolution  vs. Creation.  We are all of one Race, decendents of Adam & Eve.  Perhaps the phrase “culturally split church” would be better.  I hope the LCMS still holds to this bibical concept.  

Ted Powell
Denver, Colorado


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