August 22, 2017 10:48 PM

History and context help root out hatred and prejudice

August 22, 2017 10:48 PM
August 22, 2017 10:48 PM

We may not like to think about it, but in the shadows of Dallas’ glossy buildings, must-go-to eateries, luxury homes, Fortune 500 companies, internationally known megachurches, and ribbons of highway, lies an ugly history.

It’s a history of white supremacy that includes a public lynching of a 65-year-old black man at Akard and Main in 1910, Klansmen marching through Oak Cliff, and the infamous Dallas Klan No. 66, which was at one time considered by members the nation’s largest Klan chapter. Dallas Klan members came from every walk of life. Businessmen. District attorneys. Journalists. Judges. Doctors. Ministers.

A moving opinion piece in July expands on this history, along with books like this about the subject. They’re worth reading as Dallas plans to remove two Confederate monuments because the writers offer context to the history of white supremacy in Dallas.

Identifying context is a prayerful place to start for local churches who seek a prophetic role today in the public discourse about race. The Klan decreased in popularity after World War II. During a 2016 march, opponents outnumbered marching Klansmen.

As Jesus followers, we must vigilant to ensure that ideas promoted and reinforced by the Klan decades ago don’t get a chance to cling like barnacles. It’s never enough to repudiate prejudice and racism in word alone. Prejudice and racism require dismantling because Jesus followers overcome darkness; we don’t flow with it: 

For though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We tear down arguments, and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.…” (1 Cor. 10:2-5)

Because the only context that matters is the Lord’s.

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