In light of the violent protests in Charlottesville, many Christian pastors and leaders are strongly speaking out against racism, calling it unacceptable in any form from any person. Because the protests were by white supremacists and neo-nazis, many are going the extra mile to specifically denounce racism from white people.
Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in California said, "There is no place in our society for prejudice and racism. When people carry crosses to defend a racist ideology that is a complete contradiction of Scripture. Nazis were anti-Semitic and anti-Christian and to invoke any imagery from that era is reprehensible."
But Pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston has not made a strong statement against the racism and instead posted last Wednesday what many consider to be a weak message of pacifism and acceptance of the injustices and violence towards African Americans and Jews.
"One of the biggest challenges we all face is getting along with people because everyone is different. We have different personalities, different temperaments. We come from different backgrounds. When somebody doesn't agree with us or not doing what we like, it's easy to get in conflict with them, to argue, to try to straighten them out, to prove our point. No, you have to be the bigger person. Just because they're doing wrong doesn't mean you have to engage," Osteen wrote on his Facebook, shares the Christian Post.
Though Osteen didn't say that his post was referring to the riots and the racial tension, many read it as such and took up great issue with his passive direction.
"If it is an individual I can agree, but when systems disenfranchise entire populations something must be said and something must be done. You can do and say something however, in Christ, still reflecting His values and His ways. When Jesus saw injustice, He himself acted while espousing His Father's views of doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with His God," Tracy Jones replied to his post.
"How long is someone to remain calm when you are being beaten and murdered just because of the color of your skin?...You will NEVER understand because you have yet to experience it...please be mindful of what's going on before you make comment such as this," Ronke Allen also replied.
In a polar opposite reaction to the riots, Nancy Pelosi is fighting to have American history erased in Washington. What do you think of Osteen's post? Do you think he was referencing the race issues, and if so, do you think his statement was inappropriate? Share your thought in the comments!