Published Work, Racial Healing

A New Bible Study: “One Nation Under God -Healing Racial Divides In America”

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We are a nation divided.

This division stems from a lack of communication, empathy, and understanding.

This Bible Study encourages everyone to seek answers to racial tensions in the only place where truth and peace can be found—God’s Word. Healing must begin with Jesus. In this six-session study, you’ll openly communicate and begin the healing process.

Let’s be a nation united—united under God.

Here are a few reviews:
“Pastor Haney has offered the church an honest, heartfelt, and deeply personal study that touches on some of our most tightly held prejudices and divisions. The study is dangerous and risky. It will demand open and honest conversation. Participants will be asked to listen and process information from another’s point of view. The study will likely make a predominately white-Missouri synod feel discomfort as we talk about prejudice, discrimination, hatred, diversity, and divisions. So be it.

Pastor Haney has the right diagnosis despite skin color. The devil, the world, and our own sinful nature are constantly battling against us. More importantly, this study unfolds our true identity in Christ. Those baptized into Christ, white and black, all come as foreigners, adopted children, grafted as outsiders into the very body of Christ. A new identity that allows us to boldly love and serve our neighbor, no matter their color.” -Rev. Bart Day, Executive Director of National Mission for the LCMS

“Pastor Keith Haney has a message. It is a message that some may not want to hear but need to hear. In this study, One Nation under God. Healing Racial Divides in America, he calls all to consider carefully the reasons behind the societal conflicts that devastate some communities and confound other communities.

The uniqueness of Pastor Haney’s approach is that he tackles sensitive and difficult issues that arise from within the fallen human heart. The final answers are not political and regulatory but repentance and renewal on both sides of that racial divide. Change in our culture can occur only when we confront our own sinfulness as exposed by the Word of God and live in the gift of forgiveness won for fallen humanity in the Cross and Resurrection. May this contribution to the Church’s direct us precisely to this truth and may the Church lead the way in becoming One Nation under God.”
—The Rev. Daniel L. Gard, Ph.D., President, Concordia University Chicago

“One Nation Under God: Healing Racial Divides in America is biblical, thoughtful, reflective and interactive in its approach to help us heal racial division. This is a wonderful resource for individual congregations and sister congregations to walk and work through the healing process of race and racism in our community as One Nation Under God.”
—Rev. Dr. Roosevelt Gray, Jr., Director of Black & African Ministry, LCMS Office of National Mission

“Racial issues are always with us in the United States. Government and social agencies have been working for decades to bring about true healing, justice, and peace. And while thanks are to God, there’s been some progress, overall those efforts are far from successful. The only place this fallen world can find true healing, justice and peace are God’s Word: the wisdom of the cross and all that comes with it. Rev. Keith Haney’s Bible study takes us through many applicable Scriptures, and that is what we all need for the healing we so deeply need in this country. I gladly endorse One Nation Under God.”
—Rev. Dan P. Gilbert, President, Northern Illinois District

https://www.cph.org/p-31186-one-nation-under-god-healing-racial-divides-in-america-downloadable.aspx?_hsenc=p2ANqtz–4pCH1YTtIWrvsc-jNn3DYZtK-wEnh4acDrAgDwLbZ-kfqSL5z9koDTCAa3U2S6Wn18ahaaDg4zRNxSHq3c9GvV4O9dQ&_hsmi=2&utm_campaign=Healing+Racial+Division&utm_content=51187451&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

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Christian Family, Racial Healing

How to Raise Children Who Embrace Diversity

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“Reconciliation means working together to correct the legacy of past injustice.”  Nelson Mandela

If you are reading this as a parent, you have an earnest and sincere desire to leave a lasting legacy in your family line that will improve the trajectory of diversity in the world.  But if you are also like many parents that do not have diversity in your current ancestry, the glaring question is, “Where do I begin?”  Let me start by asking you some questions to ponder.

  1. What attitudes did the members of your family and your friends in school have toward people with a different nationality?

This may be a very sensitive topic, but I pose this question because you will need to dig deep to figure out what bias you are bringing into the picture.  If the answers to this question are difficult to hear, do not lose heart.  The amazing thing about what God does in the individual heart is that the attitudes of your family and friends are not necessarily yours.  While it is true that these beliefs were influential because they came from family and friends whose opinions we valued, these attitudes were often the result of misinformation, possibly based on some bad experiences with other people.  You have recognized that this is not what you want to instill and engrain in your children.  Now, you have an opportunity to take what you have learned and seen and be a blessing, a light to those who still carry negative views, while at the same time teaching your precious little ones to embrace people who are different.

If, on the other hand, those aspects of family and friends were positive, take the time to explore what mindset or family attitude led to that approach. It could be a good model to replicate with your family.

  1. What role are you playing in widening the racial divide in America? Are you passing along generalities and stereotypes that further this division? Are you judging a whole group of people based on the words or actions of a few? Have you remained silent when you could have spoken up to stop divisive talk?

You may have heard it said, “Do what I say don’t do what you see me doing?” Yeah, that sounds good, but the most impactful sermon you preach to your children is the one they watch you modeling daily.  You can speak all the flowery language you want, but if your actions don’t match your words, you are wasting your time and theirs.  They will follow your walk far more closely than your words.

Here is a very practical exercise for you and your family. Identify one person of a different ethnicity, national background, skin color or that you would typically struggle to love and begin building or improving an existing relationship. Add the person to your family’s daily prayer list, and ask God to open your eyes to opportunities and give you the wisdom to build a relationship with that person.

Make a list of ways you can reach out to this neighbor. Look for areas of common interest, ground on which you can stand with this neighbor.

It is my heartfelt belief that many people have good intentions, that they care about the racial divisions in our country. I also believe many have no idea how to help and where to start. And deep down, many think the racial division has reached a point that it is too far gone to save. I hope that is not true. If we give up, the outcomes are bleak.

Parents, you have a tremendous opportunity to share the hope we Christians have in Christ, the Light of the World, with your children as we create a foundation for future generations who embrace the beauty of diversity.  Help your offspring become that vessel that shines brightly in the lives of all God’s people. The forces speaking against unity and reconciliation resist the light of Christianity because it is a threat to their way of life. It is a threat to the darkness of sin. So, the world will hate Christians just as it hated Jesus. But remember Jesus, who rose victoriously from the grave. The expectant joy of the resurrection is a source of comfort for Christians. Jesus is saying, “Look to the clouds; your Savior will return.” Keep your ears open to the voice of the Bridegroom and drown out the voices in the world. “The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore, this joy of mine is now complete” (John 3:29).