Category Archives: racism

The Law Cannot Make a Man Love Me But It Can Keep Him from Lynching Me

Now the other myth that gets around is the idea that legislation cannot really solve the problem and that it has no great role to play in this period of social change because you’ve got to change the heart and you can’t change the heart through legislation. You can’t legislate morals. The job must be done through education and religion. Well, there’s half-truth involved here. Certainly, if the problem is to be solved then in the final sense, hearts must be changed. Religion and education must play a great role in changing the heart. But we must go on to say that while it may be true that morality cannot be legislated, behavior can be regulated. It may be true that the law cannot change the heart but it can restrain the heartless. It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me but it can keep him from lynching me and I think that is pretty important, also. So there is a need for executive orders. There is a need for judicial decrees. There is a need for civil rights legislation on the local scale within states and on the national scale from the federal government.

–Martin Luther King
Address at Western Michigan University, 1963
From Between Two Worlds

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Filed under Martin Luther King, persecution, racism

Christ is All, and in All

In Christ ethnic and social differences cease to be obstacles to deep, personal, intimate fellowship. Colossians 3:9-11, “You have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,free; but Christ is all, and in all.”

The point of Colossians 3:11 is not that cultural, ethnic, and racial differences have no significance; they do. The point is that that they are no barrier to profound, personal, intimate fellowship. Singing alto is different from singing bass. It’s a significant difference. But that difference is no barrier to being in the choir. It’s an asset.

–John Piper
Racial Harmony and Interracial Marriage
January 15, 2005

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Filed under John Piper, Paul, racism, sermons

Piper’s Mother

My mother, who washed my mouth out with soap once for saying, “Shut up!” to my sister, would have washed my mouth out with gasoline if she knew how foul my mouth was racially. She was under God the seed of my salvation in more ways than one. When our church voted not to admit blacks in 1963, when I was 17, my mother ushered the black guests at my sister’s wedding right into the main sanctuary herself because the ushers wouldn’t do it. I was on my way to redemption.

–John Piper
Racial Harmony and Interracial Marriage
January 15, 2005

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Filed under John Piper, racism, sermons