Christians have more than a hashtag to offer right now. Calling to #StopAsianHate won’t go far enough to address racism but the Gospel can. Canada has a higher number of reported anti-Asian hate crime incidents per Asian capita compared to the U.S., according to Project 1907 and Vancouver tops the list with a 717 per cent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes from 2019 to 2020.
There is no excuse for the microaggressions or grotesque violence against people of a different hue or ethnicity but there are reasons we can understand and combat. Sin is not only a human condition it has infected and corrupted the systems of our world. Pride and greed drive hierarchical power structures and notions of superiority.
Jesus taught us to “love God with our whole heart, soul, and mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves. On these two commandments hang the teaching of the law and prophets.” (Matthew 22: 35-40). To tolerate or ignore our neighbours is not the Jesus way. We must LOVE them. Love is a verb and requires action. With love we listen, learn and lament. To make room for love in our calloused, crippled hearts, we must first confess and repent of the selfishness and arrogance harboured. Compassion will increase in proportion to our own humility. Driven by love we pray for the wisdom and strength to support and advocate for victims of discrimination. As this world draws to its end, “the love of many will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12).
In the face of rising hate, let us be determined to be the last ones standing for love, offering sanctuary and restoring human dignity as our Creator intended. This is the Gospel to the offenders and the victims, we are not hopeless or powerless! Jesus frees us from the shackles of shame and fear and exchanges those chains for a crown, reminding us of our true value in God’s eyes.
At OAC we recognize we all need to experience the life-changing love of Jesus. We welcome individual, cultural and ethnic diversity as a blessing and benefit to our faith community.