Evangelical Pastor Tony Evans Says Faith Before Race

on July 22, 2016

Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship is an 11,000-member church rooted in the heart of Dallas, a city still mending from racial tensions between the black community and law enforcement.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown is a member of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, and said to be heartbroken and hurting after five of his officers were gunned down on July 8 due to racial unrest. This reality was not lost on Oak Cliff Senior Pastor Tony Evans, whose latest sermon addressed a Biblical response to race.

“America in particular is experiencing an all-time low in this issue of race, and culture, and class. Just under the surface there’s this ever-bubbling problem that has gone unresolved,” assessed Evans in a 50 minute sermon last Sunday and published in part by The Washington Post. “This sinful evil disease of racism, culturalism, and classism is too deep for over-the-counter remedies. Radical surgery is needed.”

Christianity offers the only solution to the country’s race problems, but Evans explained that Believers must be willing to lay aside our own racial identities and histories to achieve peace.

“God has a kingdom. It’s made up of citizens. Some black, some white, some red, yellow, Spanish backgrounds,” said Evans. “His intention was never that the individual uniqueness would cause them to lose sight of the flag flying over them. The flag of the cross.”

Correctly prioritizing faith before race, culture, or class is where the challenge lies. “Don’t be so committed to your own race that you operate outside of the Christian Faith,” warned Evans.

“Black lives matter as a subset of all lives matter. So any injustices to a particular group, must be addressed specific to that group but under the banner that all life is created in the image of God,” insisted Evans. “But once you extract any specific scenario and remove it from under the umbrella of God’s creation, you create your own independent cause.”

“It is technically incorrect, technically, to call yourself a ‘black Christian,’ or a ‘white Christian,’ or a ‘Hispanic Christian,’ warned Evans. “You must be Christian first. If we could get enough Christians to be Christian before white, Christian before black, Christian before Spanish … it doesn’t take 240 years to fix this. It takes about two minutes and 40 seconds…”

Watch Pastor Evans’ full sermon here:

No comments yet

The work of IRD is made possible by your generous contributions.

Receive expert analysis in your inbox.