AN OPEN LETTER FROM PASTOR DEXTER HOWARD
CONCERNING THE RACIAL TENSION AND VIOLENCE IN U.S.
As I have taken the time to emotionally process the violence and racial tension in our nation and to seek God in prayer, I can now speak with great resolve concerning these matters. Please hear me.
Many of you may feel fearful, angry and powerless. I want to address how to deal with each of these emotions in an empowering way.
It is human to feel afraid, but we must not allow ourselves to be overtaken with fear. A spirit of fear only attracts to you the very thing you are fearful of. It has the potential to paralyze you, or, on the other extreme, lead to destructive actions. I encourage you to connect or re-connect to a church or spiritual community that will strengthen your faith in God so that you can overcome the grip of fear.
It is human to be angry, but we must not allow ourselves to be overtaken with hate. Hate presents a backlash effect when used to respond to racism and injustices. Acting out of hate will make matters worse. Hate impairs your ability to think and respond with appropriate, effective action. Love is not a weak position. It is a strong position. We are most like God when we choose to act out of love instead of hate.
It is human to want to take action, but we must not act alone. Justice and peace will not come through vigilante efforts. We must come together as God's people - white, black, Hispanic, Asian, and people of all cultures must stand together to win this war against hate.
Sons and daughters of God, do not stir up strife and hate. By all means, do not be passive or indifferent to injustice, but be the light. Be the salt. Be wise. Be the difference-maker God has called you to be. Remember who you are.
To my fellow pastors and spiritual leaders of every race and faith, I am praying that you will use your voice and platform to promote justice and peace among the races. I pray you will speak and act with love, power and soundness of mind.
To the loved ones of all of those slain in this senseless violence, may the God of all comfort strengthen you.
I Believe Together We Can,
Pastor Dexter Howard