“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So, God created man in his own image… (Genesis 1:26-27, ESV).
As I read this passage, something is missing … or is it? I don’t see anything which says God created white people, or black people, or any other race of people … in His image. What I see is that God created man in His image and likeness – all mankind!
The recent deaths of three African American individuals in our country: Ahmaud Aubrey, Brianna Taylor, and George Floyd, is no less than tragic! Each of these individuals died unjustly, at the hands of white people. Make no mistake, as a white man, I don’t have white guilt. As a white pastor, I am standing with my black family members of the human race who are hurting. I hurt for families who’ve lost a loved one. I hurt for the loss of a friend. I hurt because a deeper gash has been laid in the already gaping wound of racism.
Monday evening, a scheduled protest took place in front of the Police and Fire Department. Rumors flew that rioting might occur; rumors, I am happy to announce didn’t happen. My wife and I watched as protestors made it clear, “We’re here to protest. If you’re here to riot, you’re not welcome in our city.” (my paraphrase). I was proud of my city. Police and protestors interacting kindly, and peacefully with each other.
Pastor Miles McPherson, Senior Pastor of The Rock Church in San Diego, in a heart-felt message, “The Third Option” (available on YouTube), urged his audience to do something I am urging you to do as well: look at others, not as white people, or black people, or Asian people or Latino people; not as Police or civilians – not as “Us or Them,” but to look at each other as PEOPLE God made in His image and likeness; to reach across racial lines, cultural lines and extend a hand, a prayer, and a listening ear. We don’t have to agree on every issue, but we can respect each other nonetheless. The issue today isn’t whether we’re Republican or Democrat, black or white. As Pastor Miles would say, it isn’t a “skin problem.” It’s a “sin problem.” The truth is Satan is to blame for the divisions in our nation. But if we “resist the devil, he will flee” (James 4:7, ESV).
I want to extend a call to unity. I believe it is the ingredient which holds the absolute best for us all. It is the thing the Bible says carries the blessing of God (See Psalm 133). Racism, regardless of who its targeting, destroys lives, families, churches, nations, and an intended move of God that America so desperately needs. And so, I reach out to you, regardless of your skin color, the stripes you wear, or your political beliefs and I leave you with a quote from a protestor’s sign I observed: “I understand that I will never understand, and still I stand! I will stand with you!
Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos. During the COVID-19 “Shelter-in-place” order, visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for Sunday services on-line, and for further information about the ministry. Also join us for prayer daily, M-Sat. at 10 a.m., LIVE on the Grace San Marcos Facebook page.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.