(WokePreacherTv) Paul Richardson, “Executive Pastor Of Ministry” at West Ridge Church in Dallas, Georgia, leads a liturgical lament with activist Terence Lester, a “Local Missions Consultant” to the church, in May of 2020
PAUL RICHARDSON: We want to take a few moments to just say honestly how we feel. That’s what a biblical lament is, to be naked before God, to become totally transparent. So I’d like to invite you to go first, Terence. How are you feeling today with all that’s going on?
… TERENCE LESTER: Well, it was hard to drive to church this morning. I haven’t slept and had a good night’s rest in a long time…I’m exhausted, literally. I lament the fact that I have to be exhausted in this country because of racial trauma. I lament the fact that every time I speak about race I have to deal with trolls…I had a white pastor literally DM me…snapping on me, cursing at me, sending me articles…other people on the social media platform had to tell this pastor that he was being inconsiderate.
...I lament the fact that I have to deal with psychological trauma from racial injustice. I lament the fact that I have white brothers and sisters who would rather stay in denial then use their voices to correct racial injustice. I lament the fact that I had to see a black jogger get murdered and have that captured and then have white friends ask me, “Was that really racial?” when I’ve never seen a white person be murdered and have that imagery plastered all over national television.
I lament the fact that a white woman called a police officer on a Harvard graduate in a park. I lament the fact that CNN black reporter or commentator got arrested on national television, even before the persons who killed black people. I lament the fact that a DoorDash delivery person who is black was held at gunpoint because he was considered not to fit in that community.
I lament the fact that a knee that people got angry over because a black athlete started taking a knee to protest racial injustice, but it was a knee that took the life of a black man on national television. I lament that.
(Editor’s Note. Then comes the 1-2 punch from the pastor, overcome with guilt and seeking to lay sin at the doorstep of his congregants. If you’r pastor ever tries to pull this with you, kick him to the curb of flee the city, lest they become pillars of salt)
… RICHARDSON: Yeah. Yeah. You know, Terence, today the reason why I wanted us to do this lament together is because I’m just brokenhearted. And I’m broken for what I see in our country. I’m broken and I’m lamenting the ways that people have even come to me and continued to deny that there’s an issue in our country and in our churches. There’s a pastor somewhere who came after you who’s standing to preach today. That’s not the church that Jesus died for.
Terence, I’ve thought a lot about what I’m about to say. I want to say I’m sorry. I want to say I’m sorry for the ways that, in my past, that I have been a denier of this. That there’s still racism in the body of Christ and in our country. Terence, I can’t apologize on behalf of the church. I’m not a senior pastor. You and I know how our pastor feels about this. He’s made it clear he wants to see biblical reconciliation.
I’m not an elected official. I can’t apologize on behalf of a community or a country. What I can do is apologize on behalf of my family. And maybe that’s what we need to do. House to house, family by family, person by person. Say, “Man, I’m sorry. This is not right.” I could write a bad check and nobody’s gonna put their knee on my neck. I went for a jog in my neighborhood after dark the other night and I don’t have to be afraid.
And what I want is a world and a country, and it begins with the body of Christ, with brothers in Christ. What I want is a world full of biblical oneness and reconciliation and a reminder that we are not from a kingdom of America or from a kingdom of race. We are a part of God’s kingdom. We serve a greater king, the greatest king. We have a greater savior who is over all of these things.
And I pray that he would lift us up out of this and that we one day would finally know what it means to be the answer to Jesus’s prayer in John 17. That we would finally be one. That’s my prayer today as we lament this together.
Editor’s Note. This post was created by @wokepreachertv and written on his YouTube page. We cut down his video even further, but he was the source.