By George Tluanga (EFCA Pastor of Columbia Mizo Church, 29 August 2020)
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness… So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him.” (Genesis 1:26, 27)
“From one man he made every nation of men that they should inhabit the whole earth, and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.”(Acts. 17:26)
Why I am writing this article?
My name is Lal Nun ‘George’ Tluanga and I serve as the EFCA Central Burmese Ministry Director. I am currently living in Myanmar Burma and wanted to provide an article on Racism from an Asian perspective. As we all know on 25 May 2020 (Monday) African American George Floyd (46 years) was killed in Minneapolis. Since that moment I have listened and the Lord spoke to me in my heart to write the article on “The Mizo Churches Stand against Racism”. As Christ church, we have to know about Racism because we have to know what the Bible talks about Racism and how it relates to our Mizo Burmese Church. Somebody said that Racism happens because of Systemic Racism. Regarding this Racism, as Mizo Churches, we have to ask ourselves Are We (Mizo Burmese Churches), Racist? or Do we make a stand against Racism?
So, I would like to call us as Mizo Churches to make a stand against RACISM not only in the USA but also everywhere. Why are we against Racism? Because according to the Bible said, “… God created man in his own image and in His likeness.” (Genesis 1:26, 27) And the book of Acts reconfirmed this statement, “From one man he made every nation of men…” (cf. Acts 17:26). Therefore, we all are equal and we all are one in Christ, and we all came out from one man which is Adam. We all are one family in the sight of God. So, the Mizo Churches have to know the absolute Truth of God’s Word. No one is higher than others, also no one is below than others, we all have come from one race, which is the Human Race created in the image of God.
- What is Racism?
Racism is, “the belief that other races of people are not as good as your own or unfair treatment of people because they belong to a particular race.” (Cambridge School Dictionary)
In fact, the Bible teaches in Leviticus 19:34 “to love a foreigner as yourself”, so as a Church or a Christian we must not have Racism or be involved in this kind of problem. We have to avoid it and have the heart of Christ to love. Therefore, as we the Mizo Churches stand against Racism, we strongly believe that your life matters and is precious in the sight of God and man.
- World Christian Leaders and Church Leaders against Racism:
World Christian Leaders and Church Leaders mentioned their views on George Floyd’s death, and they all condemned Racism. They prayed to stop Racism in the USA and all over the World. When God created man, he created us all equal, no Racism, no difference between black and white, and should not have partialities because of our skins, colors, races, languages, and our appearances. God created us in His own image and He loves us all equally. He created us with equality of human rights as well.
As Mizo Churches, we have to learn from our past or failure and we have to rebuild and exam ourselves for the next generation. Christ Love powers us to live a better way and better lives for our children. If we don’t repent or exam ourselves, the wrath of God will come upon us and we will get the judgment of God soon. As Mizo Churches, we have to repent and ask for forgiveness. The Bible also said, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14). To have the heart of Christ we have to repent of our racism, cry to God, ask God to forgive our sins, turn away from our wicked ways after that God will heal our people, our family, our churches, and our country. We must do this as a Mizo Church and Mizo Christians.
As a church or a Christian according to the teaching of the Bible we should model loving our neighbors as ourselves, to love each other, we have to promote Christ’s righteousness, peace, and eliminate Racism from our Churches, communities, countries, and finally from the whole world. By God’s grace, Jesus will do this! The Bible teaches us, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil”, “Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody”. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone”. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on is head.” (Rom 12:17-21) I believe this is what God wants us to do, to love each other; we should follow what He is saying and obey in our daily lives. This would be the best way to stop Racism in our Churches, communities, our countries, and the world.
As we know, many leaders gave statements reacting to the USA George Floyd protests as follows:
“We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form. At the same time, we have to recognize that violence is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost. Let us pray for reconciliation and peace.” (Pope Francis)
“It is a time to pull people together … it is a time to listen. It is a time to learn when injustices continue despite progress over the years and decades.” (Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister, Canada)
“To overcome the challenges that we all face, we must use our voices and demand that ignorance and racism must come to an end.” (Marvin Ellison, President and CEO, Lowe’s)
“The haunting video of Mr. Floyd’s last breath is a sobering reflection of this national crisis. …This is a time when we must embrace our differences and become more inclusive. No group should ever be targeted for racism, harassment or another form of discrimination.” (Roger Ferguson, CEO, TIAA)
“We can launch men into space but cannot treat one another with love and respect.” (Ralph Clark, CEO, ShotSpotter)
- We must all examine our heart and ask the following questions:
1). Do we have friends from other races? When you see other races how do you feel? Do you want to stay away from them or work with them? Do you want to marry them? Or are you willing to give your children to a spouse from another race?
2). They don’t want to be called “Black,” but in our Hymn Book No. 347 we still have the word “Negro.” So, seems to be we are Racist. What do you think, Are we racist? How do we as Asian Christians enter the race dialogue?
3). Faith and work should go together. So, how about our Christian life today? We speak a lot of good things on the Pulpit, but we don’t follow them practically.
4). How do we see ourselves and even the names of our Churches like, “Mizo Church of Iowa or Mizo United Methodist or Columbia Mizo Church etc… Is this a kind of Racism? I guess this is a kind of Racism, even though we may not think about it before. Meaning, if we name “Mizo Church of Iowa,” how can other people join us, no way. So, we have to re-exam ourselves the way we handle the Church as well. If we have the name of the Church like, “Christian Fellowship Church” or “Columbia Christian Fellowship”, or “Victory Christian Fellowship,” or “Columbia Church,” etc.. When we consider about the names of our Churches believes or not the Mizo Churches may seem to be Racism Churches.
Finally, I want to close my article by inviting you to partner with us for eliminating and make a stand against Racism from our community, our Church, and our Country. Remember this, we (all of the human beings) are One and created by God in His own image. Your life matters and is precious in the sight of God. The Word of God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness… So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him.” (Genesis 1:26, 27)
“From one man he made every nation of men that they should inhabit the whole earth, and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.”(Acts 17:26). We all are brothers and sisters; let’s create a better world for the next generations. I am praying for to stop Racism wherever human lives.
The Bible also said, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14). We have to repent, cry to God, ask God to forgive our sins and He will forgive us. As the Mizo Church Pastors and members let’s repent and ask God for forgiveness.
Please click Here to make a Donation to EFCA Central Burmese Church planting with Pastor George Tluanga. Our Central District has 10,000 Burmese in Iowa, 5,000 Burmese in Missouri, and 5,000 Burmese in Arkansas. Please join us in praying Matthew 9:38 for Burmese workers across the street and around the world in the Great Commission!
May God bless you all.
Pastor George Tluanga