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Implicit Bias Playlist: Why our Prejudices Keep Singing the Same Songs — 14 Comments

  1. Thank you Jennifer 🙂 Having insight into our own characters is somewhat rare, but with Jesus help we can grow 🙂

  2. Jennifer, thank you for calling all of us out. Even with thoughtful and critical introspection it is difficult to see our internal biases. They are the "hot buttons" that activate behaviours that shock us and later cause us to wonder "Why did I do/say that?" Paul was on the mark when he wrote, "Therefore you are without excuse, O man, everyone who judges; for in that in which you judge another, you condemn yourself, for you who judge do the same things." [Romans 2:1]

    Only the penetrating light of God's love through his Word and the work of his holy Spirit can reveal to us our true condition and lead us from darkness and into his marvelous light. [Hebrews 4:11; 1 Peter 2:9] Thank God that he loves us too much to leave us in our sin and misery.

  3. Hi Jennifer,

    I praise the Lord for having granted you the courage to post these messages. I also thank you, brother/elder Richard Ferguson for indicating–and, rightfully so—that “only the penetrating light of God's love through his Word and the work of his holy Spirit can reveal to us our true condition and lead us from darkness and into his marvelous light.” I am a male and work as an international consultant in the promotion of the rights of women and girls, and the economic empowerment of women.

    I strongly believe (and I may be wrong) that, in order for the Spirit-initiated process to continue and bear fruit in my life, I need to act by God’s grace. The woman caught in adultery needed to “go now and leave [her] life of sin” (John 8:11). Abram heeded the Lord’s call to “go forth from [his] country” (his comfort zone) (Genesis 12). Moses and Aaron had to face Pharaoh. Peter had to overcome his prejudices or stereotypes (Acts 10) in order to onboard Cornelius into Christianity. In October 1517, Martin Luther, professor of moral theology at the University of Wittenberg, Germany, penned his “95 theses” to protest against the Catholic Church’s contemporary corrupt practice of selling “indulgences” to absolve sin.

    Apostle Paul says it best, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2 NIV). I will paraphrase Apostle James (James 1:27) by saying that true religion is to stand with the vulnerable, the disadvantaged, the socially excluded, those that are impacted by bigotry, sexism, racism and the like.

    May the Lord guide and empower us into action to His glory and honor!

  4. Hi Jenni, Thank you for been so candid I love your take. Here's where the society can begin. Individual like yourself who is white Must talk out a whole lot more in the 'OPEN' (media etc.) From the pulpit and through other means. Seeing that it was (woe this is hard and I don't know you my sister therefore 'you do not fit this category') it's "white people who invented the bias they will have to be the one who chop off the serpent head and bury the body.

    • Hi Ronald, I see your point. yet even if its the white people who started this, we the blacks have helped to perpetuate it. It's like "an eye for an eye". Now we are all blind. Blinded by selfishness and pride. (Don't know which is the greater sin). I thought in my heart that I am not biased however after reading the post by Jen,I realize that maybe (just maybe} I am. For example, When I look on ads promoting positiveness in children I find myself asking, where is the little dark one even long before the ad.ends. In my mind I feel that the dark skinned child is usually used to depict anything that is base or negative and the opposite being true for the white child, however things have changed as we get to realize that we (colored and whites) are so alike in so many ways. As Jen pointed out this implicit bias is a mindset that can only be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit with our permission. In this case,it take a whole village/nation/race/human race. God bless you all.

      • Hi Georgia, I'm happy to reply on the argument you presented. Sister Jennifer deserves a whole lot of credit and I really applauded her for the profound statements she's courageous. My initial intent was in no way cast any doubt on her well written piece. All I'm begging Those who have the Microphone Speak out a whole lot more. because if you notice when we (who gets hit) begin to speak out we get marginalized.

  5. How do you describes beauty.... .....in TRUTH....Amen....The Bible states that people perish because of a lack of knowledge. Dr. King states that it is important to make a decision to stick with love, because hatred and racism is to great of burden to bear.

  6. But,Ronald, black people also are biased. I think what Jennifer was getting at is that we all have our biases and need to address it when interacting with others.

  7. I remember as a male teen driver paying higher insurance rates because I was a boy. I was a very good driver with no accidents or tickets. I was lamenting that it was unfair for me to pay higher rates because I was male, while I was still an excellent driver. A girl replied that it was fair for me to pay higher rates, because statistics show teen boys have more accidents. I wondered why it was fair to be prejudiced against teen boys, while teens boys are taught not to be prejudiced of others. Also it is demoralizing when people look at statistics instead of personal behavior. Where is the motivation to be a better person if you are still lumped in with a certain group and stereotyped?

    I am sure I am not alone. Many people from all walks of life have had to learn to take the higher road, and not judge others by their race, gender, religion, while others are still judging us by our race, gender and religion.

  8. Bias is one heavy burden for sure. The only cure is the Love of Christ which includes patience and carrying one another's burdens. We must continue to challenge ourselves and others to hold on to Love. I recently was serviced at a government office after having a bad experience at another government office in another state. The contrast between the two were night and day. I was brought to tears to have received such wonderful service by the man whom I consider my brother as I felt the love he had for people in the service he rendered. We must do all we can to not resent those who do not show us love and when we have the power to render it we must do all we can to show it. Our actions will speak louder than any words we can speak. May God be glorified in our surrender to HIM and our actions towards others. Amen!

  9. Dear Jennifer,
    thank you for taking on this important topic and reminding us, that especially in these days and times when a human compassionate spirit is waning, that as Christians we are called to love everyone. We must watch when we think we are standing (morally, above others) lest we fall ourselves. Being willing to examine our implicit biases allows us to demonstrate humility as we acknowledge that maybe we have been harboring attitudes that hinder us from reaching others with the gospel. No one wants to hear "preaching" from someone they can tell holds disdain for them. I really appreciate you bringing up a topic that needs to be taken up in more and more Christian circles today.

  10. Jennifer, a thousand "thank you" for quite a thought-provoking article! Full disclosure--I am male and covered with chocolate-colored skin--but my primary interest is not so much the racism aspect of your article. I'm more interested in your "big stuff" and "sublimation" statements in which you said, "This is big stuff. Our isms, whether racism, ageism, sexism, or any other form of discrimination, survive and outlive laws, movements, and even our own best intentions", and also, "Sometimes we even engage in sublimation—the masking of shameful inner drives through the use of compensatory outward behaviors. Think Ted Haggard ranting against homosexuality while enjoying a fling with a male prostitute".

    Our Creator has always been interested in the place that is the source of our every single human thought, desire, emotion, understanding, plan, choice etc. (Prov 4:23). I'm doubtful whether we (the church) have even half-heartedly embraced His interest. I'm perpetually grateful to God for introducing me to His Word that offered me my first truthful insight into my own self. It was frightening, humiliating and life-saving all at the same time! I find it troubling that religious persons have historically sought to hide from the "deep...tentacles of bias[es that] penetrate the human psyche" (Mk 7:20-23; Mt 23:27-28). There are so many "isms" that there is no Bible big enough to list them all, with persons in the mind ("heart") sciences constantly describing new ones. Perhaps it is the reason the demon named himself "Legion" in response to Jesus' query in Lk 8:30! Think Peter (Mt 16:23; Act 10:28), Thomas (Jn 20:24-25, 27), Judas (Jn 12:4-6), James and John (Lk 9:54-56)...chosen men with deep-rooted "isms (Jn 6:70). Ted Haggard could console himself that he was at least in "good" company.

    Jennifer, I wonder if as a religious community whether we really are creating the "safe places where we can face our worst selves and know there is forgiveness and grace."? How willing are we to accept into our fellowship humans with deep-rooted issues and support them to wholeness? Do our biases in favor of our church's image and doctrines unconsciously predisposes us to bypassing real persons in harms way-- even while doing ministry (Lk 10:30-32)? And I ask these hard questions with the full awareness that I could well be a part of the problem as a member and office holder in my own church (recognizing family and community as part of that milieu).

    Thanks for the positive conclusion to your article in reminding all readers that God's promise of His Holy Spirit is His appointed medium for all real change (1 Cor 2:10; 2 Cor 3:18). He has covenanted and He remains forever, faithfully, our Creator (Eze 11:19-20; Act 15:8-9)--may His interest become ours!

  11. Hi Georgia, Can you explain a little more on the statement you made, "Yet even if its the white people who started this, we the blacks have helped to perpetuate it. It's like "an eye for an eye".

    What do 'we the Blacks' perpetuate, and how?

    Thank you.


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