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How to Explain the Current Racial Tension to Your Mostly White Church

Robert Morris believes the reason America still has a problem with racism is due, in part, to the church. The pastor of Gateway Church in Dallas, Texas addressed his congregation this Sunday, October 15, 2017, and discussed the country’s ongoing racial tension.

“I don’t believe the church has taken the stand that the church needs to take [on racism],” Morris begins.

Morris then employs a water bottle to explain the havoc misunderstanding is wreaking on the nation. Holding the bottle up, with its brand logo facing the audience, Morris asks “What word do you see?” The congregation replies with the brand name. Then Morris, looking from his perspective, tells them “I don’t see that. The word…is not on this side.”

The climax of his practical illustration lies in these words: “I’ll never see what you see until I take the time to walk around the bottle.”

Morris then relates the illustration to the current racial tensions and arguments around racism embroiling the U.S.: “We have a problem in our country, mainly because white people don’t understand. It’s really true. And we need to take the time to walk around the issue and see what our brothers and sisters are seeing and see what they’re feeling.”

Morris encourages the congregation, which from crowd shots featured in the following video, looks to be predominately white, not to argue about protests or demonstrations. Instead of arguing, he insists, take the time to understand what your brothers and sisters are trying to say. He also instructs them not to see it simply as an issue or as history, “but as people.”

Morris is the lead pastor of the Texas megachurch, which is the largest congregation in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The church sees a weekly average attendance of 36,000 people across its seven campuses (one of which is in Arizona).

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Megan Briggs is a writer and editor for churchleaders.com. Her experience in ministry, an extensive amount of which was garnered overseas, gives her a unique perspective on the global church. She has the longsuffering and altruistic nature of foreign friends and missionaries to humbly thank for this experience. Megan is passionate about seeking and proclaiming the truth. When she’s not writing, Megan likes to explore God’s magnificent creation.