Saturday, November 8, 2014

Confessions of a Racist Christian

Few years ago I was riding a taxi from Kuala Lumpur to Petaling Jaya. While in the car, when a traffic light changed to red, the driver was forced to stop immediately. It was a shocked to me. Three gangster-like Indians men were crossing the street and were stunned by the driver’s quick braking. They shouted at my Malay taxi driver outside the window. They banged on the taxi’s hood. They kicked the wheels. Not so hard, but they kicked it anyway.

At that moment, the Malay taxi driver blamed the Indians for crossing to soon. The Indians were pissed off and said something not nice. Both parties says racist statements. Me? Inside I was afraid. Angry too. Shamed. And I thought racist thoughts. Everyone were racist that day, the only difference was – I didn’t say it, I thought of it. I’m a racist too. It all happened in a few minutes. I asked myself, where did those thoughts come from? Life. My life. Growing up in Malaysia (the reality is) I was surrounded by racism. My generation is the most racist generation in the history of Malaysia.

I have a friend who refused to eat at Mamak stall because the owners were Indian. Some even dislike going to Chinese shops because the Chinese, they said, are very stingy with food ingredients. The Malays act superior than other races. The indigenous people group was said to be the most proud and stubborn people. Racist. When I was a kid, I don’t know much. Now I know better – I grew up with racism. I carry my emotional baggage with me, and it is terrifyingly easy for me to walk from the light back into the shadow. I need help, God-size help to rescue me from my build-in racism.

Jesus come into my life. He is my God, Lord and Saviour. I come to him first before I confess to you here, Jesus help me from my racism. He saved me from becoming a full-time racist believer. I’m in the process of his discipleship. Not perfect but daily renewed by his grace. In the Scripture, for example John 4:3-9, Jesus interacted with the Samaritan woman (in his culture, the Jews despite Samaritans). Jesus, a rabbi, talked to a woman (in his culture, a rabbi would never ever speak to a Samaritan woman or any other woman in fact, in public). Jesus had a conversation with a sexually loose woman (in his culture, the saints have nothing to do with the sinners). Jesus break the barrier of racism, prejudice and discrimination. Throughout the Scripture Jesus’ attitude and teachings, mind and Spirit helps me to break my walls of racism in me with other races. In Jesus, I’m able to find reconciliation, forgiveness, love and tolerance with one another. In Jesus, I have victory over racism! He is still working in me.

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