Bishop Harry Jackson Offers 7 Keys to Racial Reconciliation

by | Jan 22, 2015 | Frontline

The recent national crisis and racial tension have underscored that America seems more divided than ever. On the one hand, President Obama believes that our differences are just being exposed. On the other hand a few of us feel that the president and Attorney General Holder exacerbated the race problem. In some ways, both views are right. How could that be? America has come a long way since the lynchings of the ’50s and days of Selma. However, we have a ways to go in terms of race, poverty and class.

We could not have expected the president, alone, to work miracles with an issue that has plagued our nation from its beginning. Our political leaders can only do so much. All the institutions in society must work together to move forward, but the church has always had a special role to play. While segments of the American church have historically been blind to the sin of racism—and even justified slavery by distorting Scripture—other parts of the church have led the way in ending racial injustice.

So how can the church take the lead as we look for ways to draw Americans closer together and build greater understanding among the growing variety of ethnic groups that make up our great “melting pot”? Last week Thursday, Jan. 15, I helped convene a meeting of over 150 ministers who met at the Potter’s House in Dallas, for a powerful closed-door conclave called The Reconciled Church: Healing the Racial Divide. Collectively, we represented a diverse group of significant leaders from across denominations and ideological backgrounds. These leaders represented over 40 million American Christians.

The purpose of that meeting was to reach consensus on how we can promote peaceful reconciliation and to collaborate on how bridges can be established for a brighter economic future in our communities. As social entrepreneurs and influencers that are building tremendous ministries that address underlying cures for race, class and poverty problems. Our nation deserves better models of spiritual leadership. We have the opportunity to change the course of history within the American church and affect the globe. Our time is now.

The group believes that “Healing the Racial Divide” in our nation is achievable in the next 15 to 20 years by using what we dubbed “seven bridges to peace.” These bridges of peace serve as a framework for a lasting model of unity that is built on our concern for the well-being of all people. All of us agreed that the American church has been divided along class and racial lines. Therefore, we signed a covenant of reconciliation and committed to the process of healing the racial rifts within the church. Essentially, we agreed to multiply our good works and make them more multi-ethnic.

What became apparent during our time is that America’s clergy—those who remain devoted to the Word of God—are deeply invested in healing the divisions in our society. If we take unified action in moments of tension, we can do a much better job exhorting people to productive action than the mainstream media, which remains addicted to confrontation, scandal and shining the spotlight on the worst in human behavior.

We can take a cue from some of the most successfully reconciled organizations in our nation today: professional and college sports, which though not perfect, remain far more integrated than most churches and neighborhoods. Such organizations share a clear, common mission: to win, and each player is recruited for his or her ability to contribute to that goal. I believe if America’s clergy can continue to gain understanding from one another, we can build a sense of common purpose and solidarity across racial and ethnic lines among our churches and in our communities.

At the end of the day, the people in America’s urban centers are not so different from those in the nation’s suburbs and gated communities. We all carry the image of God and desire respect, the benefit of the doubt and opportunity to advance in life. And I believe America’s pastors hold the key to cultivating this kind of understanding. We have the opportunity to change the course of history within the American church and affect the globe. Our time is now.

Harry R. Jackson Jr. is senior pastor of 3,000-member Hope Christian Church in the nation’s capital. Jackson, who earned an MBA from Harvard, is a best-selling author and popular conference speaker. He leads the High-Impact Leadership Coalition.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

What the Holy Spirit Showed Me About the Fentanyl Overdose Crisis

What the Holy Spirit Showed Me About the Fentanyl Overdose Crisis

Fentanyl has been making headlines lately in the midst of an overdose crisis raging in America. Doubtless, if we don’t shut this down in the spirit, this overdose crisis will soon find its way into many other nations. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid similar to...

Could Judas Have Been Saved?

Could Judas Have Been Saved?

The answer is yes. If Judas would have simply repented to God, he could have been saved. The Bible tells us that everyone can be saved. Judas knew he had sinned but he didn’t bring it to God. A person can feel remorse within themselves, but not remorse for sinning...

Anne Graham Lotz: One Kingdom Truth That Will Never Change

Anne Graham Lotz: One Kingdom Truth That Will Never Change

Out of respect for those of you who have taken the time to comment about a statement I made 11 years ago regarding the World Economic Forum, I thought it would be beneficial to restate God’s call on my life. In 1988, He made it clear that I was to be His messenger,...

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Only Pulpits Have the Power to Change America

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Only Pulpits Have the Power to Change America

One thing is crystal clear in America: If we truly want change, we must re-spark biblical boldness and flame the fires of biblical action. If we won't fight, then spiritually speaking, we will fade away. I recently attended a large gathering of pastors in San Diego...

A Big Excuse That Shuts Down Our Ability to Hear from God

A Big Excuse That Shuts Down Our Ability to Hear from God

One of the biggest excuses we have is that we somehow feel God doesn’t speak to us. This excuse shuts down our ability to hear from Him, trust Him and surrender to Him. All three things are integral when we are trying to change our habits, lose weight, get healthy and...

How Do You Leave a Church That Becomes Toxic?

How Do You Leave a Church That Becomes Toxic?

Two weeks ago, I shared several practical guidelines on how to leave a church gracefully. I wrote this because I hear so many stories about people storming out of churches because their feelings got hurt. But one astute reader didn’t appreciate my observations because...

Prophetic Word: There Will Be a Day of Reckoning

Prophetic Word: There Will Be a Day of Reckoning

“Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and...

RECENT ARTICLES

How You Can Plead the Blood of Jesus in the Courts of Heaven

You have an enemy. His goal is to keep you from entering a covenant relationship with God. However, once you do, his goal changes. He wants to make you doubt your identity, doubt God’s ability and...
Why God Will Sometimes Hesitate to Give Your Mountain

Why God Will Sometimes Hesitate to Give Your Mountain

Recently, I was having a discussion over coffee with a group of friends when one of them asked the question: “Can you believe how much the world has changed in what seems to be a very short time?” My answer was: “Yes. Yes, I have no problem believing how much the...

8 Reasons for You to Speak in Tongues

8 Reasons for You to Speak in Tongues

If a person were to ask, “Why speak in tongues?” couldn’t we also ask, “Why pray?” The Word of God shows a definite value in praying with an unknown tongue. Jesus tells us that “it is necessary always to pray” (Luke 18:1, MEV). Later, in speaking of prayer, Paul...

9 Reasons Why God Never Tries to Prove His Existence

9 Reasons Why God Never Tries to Prove His Existence

God is self-authenticating. He never tries to prove His existence because it is already evident through the created order. Since He is the only objective being, all other living and nonliving objects emanate from His creative fiat word hence all reasoning (different...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]