A Challenge for the Church: When Will We Step Up on Lessening America’s Racial Divide?

As the Golden State Warriors prepared to host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the NBA championship playoffs, police were investigating a “racially motivated slur” directed at LeBron James.

“My family is safe. That’s the most important,” James said during a press conference that was supposed to focus on the highly-anticipated match-up.

“It just goes to show that racism will always be a part of the world – a part of America. Hate in America for African-Americans is living every day, even though it’s concealed most of the time,” he added.

According to news reports, the graffiti, which has been removed, was spray-painted on the entry gate of the Cleveland star’s West Los Angeles home.

“No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough,” he explained. “We got a long way to go for us as a society, and for us as African-Americans, until we feel equal in America.”

Meanwhile, more than 2,000 miles away on the East Coast, another high profile case involving race was making headlines.

Officials closed the Smithsonian’s Museum of African American History and Culture for several hours Wednesday to remove a noose someone inappropriately added to a museum exhibit.

“The noose has long represented a deplorable act of cowardice and depravity – a symbol of extreme violence for African-Americans,” Lonnie Bunch, the museum’s director, said in a statement on Twitter.

“This was a horrible act, but it is a stark reminder of why our work is so important,” the statement continued.

These recent reports have prompted an important question for people of faith: What role should the church play in healing the divide?

“It begins with us,” said Dennis Rouse, senior pastor of Atlanta’s Victory World Church.

In a video from the church’s Facebook page, Rouse addresses America’s “need of freedom from prejudices.” In a moving message about unity, the senior pastor, who is white, washes the feet of a young black man to demonstrate the need for healing and humility.

“When I got born again, God did something in my heart,” Rouse explained. “I can’t heal this nation. I’m not a healer. Jesus is the healer.”

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SOURCE: CBN News – John Jessup,Juan Garcia

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