Former NFL star Miles McPherson has lived with racism throughout his life. He grew up in a black neighborhood and went to school in a white neighborhood.
As a person of mixed race, he was harassed in the white community for "not being white enough" and by the black community for "not being black enough." He is of black, white and Chinese descent. He saw Martin Luther King Jr. die when was 8 years old.
That's a lot for a child to deal with. But as a child of God and now a kingdom leader, McPherson says he's learned that the only way to deal with the tragedy of racism is God's way.
That's what led McPherson, senior pastor of Rock Church in San Diego, California, to write the book, The Third Option: Hope for a Racially Divided Nation. McPherson says as a nation, we must learn to see people not by the color of their skin, but as God sees them—humans created in His image.
"I have lived all my life dealing with racism, directly against me and my family and all the people I knew, and I've always thought that I want to do something significant," McPherson told Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of Greenelines on the Charisma Podcast Network. "My book was designed to give us tools on how to give honor to what we all have in common.
"We live in an 'us versus them' culture, where you have to choose either you're for the police or against the police, for immigrants or against, for black lives or not. Those are the two options that culture gives us. When Joshua was going to the promised land, he said, 'The command of the Lord is on me. Are You for us or our adversaries?' Those are the two options he gave the Lord. And the Lord said, 'No, I'm not for either one of you. I Am the battle.'
"And that's the third option, where we honor what God has deemed as important, which is His image in every person, if we could see every person as made in the image of the same God. We can place value on His image in every person because His image is not inferior in one person to another. Culture says that person is 'less than' because they are black or poor and they deserve less justice or they're less valuable.
"When I saw George Floyd killed, one of the things that went through my mind was that it was a statement of insignificant value that police officer put on George. And it kind of triggered my heart and my mind of all of those years that I've carried this sense of being powerless to white culture. I never really thought about it that way until I saw him killed. And so, on a spiritual level, racism is when you deem God's image of something less important than yours, which we all know is sinful. If we can come to agreement to understand the value of every person, then we can eradicate racism."
For more of Miles McPherson's thoughts on racism, listen to the entire podcast.
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