HomeOpinionOpinionRacism: Fighting the real enemy instead of each other — Hannah Viviers

Racism: Fighting the real enemy instead of each other — Hannah Viviers

 

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racismSo. Let’s talk about this trumpeting, charging elephant in the room: Racism in South Africa.

It came into the spotlight again as most of us took sides and very loudly stated our opinions on the recent Spur incident.

I too lent my voice to the incident — my opinion, strongly formed by my own past experiences …

I won’t go into what I thought, or what others said — or how we as a national responded … what I do want to talk about is God’s response.

Many of us, when we heard about the Spur incident, we responded out of self. We reacted based on our own personal experiences, perceptions and indoctrinations.

How many of us responded and/or reacted based solely on what we believed to be the Heart of God on the matter?

I don’t think there were many — me included.

I was enraged
Past experiences I’d been through flooded back.

This wasn’t just a fight between two parents. It wasn’t just a fight between a man and a woman. And it SURELY wasn’t JUST a fight between a black person and a white person.

This was an attack on our nation. We didn’t see it. Most of us missed it. And it is in this ignorance of what we’re TRULY fighting that the enemy is beating us in this battle.

I thought of one time when a white man had come charging at me for something he claimed I’d done, wanting to beat me while he called me all sorts of racist names.

Then I thought of a time when grown black men had ganged together, threatening to beat me because I’d parked in a wrong bay.

Watching the Spur video, all these horrid memories came gushing back.

I told my husband, “As black women I feel we’re right at the bottom of the pile. We’re abused from every side. And I feel NO-ONE protects us!”

I felt sorry for myself and my fellow black women — poor us!

Then I felt a YANK! To get out of my pity party. And instead ask myself:

Where is God in all this? What does God think? How would God respond?

As Christians, before we get into the argument, before we take “sides” we have to ask this.

Did the Bible not explicitly tell us that we do NOT fight against flesh and blood?

What the fight was truly about
So, from what we saw in that video — who and what was the fight TRULY about?

We think it’s “just” racism — however we’re not seeing the source — that this is a destructive spirit that has reigned over South Africa for decades. The only thing 1994 did was change our government. The hate remains the same, in fact I dare say it’s probably worsened.

Most of us had an opinion about what happened in that video. And yet, few of us saw it for what it really was.

This wasn’t just a fight between two parents. It wasn’t just a fight between a man and a woman. And it SURELY wasn’t JUST a fight between a black person and a white person.

This was an attack on our nation. We didn’t see it. Most of us missed it. And it is in this ignorance of what we’re TRULY fighting that the enemy is beating us in this battle.

We think it’s “just” racism — however we’re not seeing the source — that this is a destructive spirit that has reigned over South Africa for decades. The only thing 1994 did was change our government. The hate remains the same, in fact I dare say it’s probably worsened.

Only now, folks don’t get to legally refuse services based on race, or randomly throw people in jail for merely being in the “wrong” place at the “wrong” time … however the SPIRIT that motivated apartheid and kept it in place for so long is sitting as comfortably on its throne as it did pre-1994.

And it’s going nowhere unless we cast it out!

Hatred goes both ways
Being a black woman, most people will read this and think I mean racism from white people toward black people. I’m here to say that there is just as much hatred from black people toward white people.

I have a coloured friend who has such a hatred and resentment toward white people it’s terrifying!

One would wonder why I have a friend like that. Truth be told, if I got rid of everyone in my life: white, black, coloured or Indian who has some racial attitude or influence in their lives, I wouldn’t have much of a social life.

Being a black woman, most people will read this and think I mean racism from white people toward black people. I’m here to say that there is just as much hatred from black people toward white people.

I think of a function I recently attended where I was the only black person present in a sea of coloured people. They made some racial jokes that revealed that those making the jokes thought black people to be beneath them — the utter essence of racism. As I listened to their “jokes” I thought, “But most of you are Coloured because you have black genes in your DNA!”

That’s racism for you — it makes no sense!

Threats of murder
I saw one post on Facebook from a black man following the Spur incident — he spoke of murdering white people and a host of other very terrifying threats that I’m prone to believe are already happening — because that’s the reality of where we are.

Some may call this man “racist” toward white people — but listen to what he’s saying: Murder? It’s demonic!

Under apartheid, countless black people (along with anyone else who actively fought apartheid) were murdered.

It was justified as “keeping the rule of law” — it was demonic then and it’s demonic now.

It’s the same demonic spirit that murdered millions of Jews under Hitler.

It’s the same demonic spirit that murdered countless Christians in communist Russia.

It is God Who made every race, in His image. He takes such pleasure in how He’s made us — it was the devil who twisted that!

In South Africa the devil has us believing that the colour of “others” is the enemy … BUT, may I remind us that the very first murder ever recorded was one man killing his very own brother.

The devil’s a liar. Never forget that. This whole “racism” smokescreen is his lie. It’s worked for so long because we’ve believed it.

The spirit of racism has SUCH a stronghold over South Africa that we are never going to get rid of it if we don’t respond with true spiritual warfare over this thing.

It is SO important to remember that human beings have hated and murdered each other long before there was a South Africa. Long before there were Afrikaans and Zulu people…

The fight is not against flesh and blood
We are not fighting against flesh and blood! And because we’ve been fighting against flesh and blood, we’ve been pulverised on every front.

We are not fighting against flesh and blood! And because we’ve been fighting against flesh and blood, we’ve been pulverised on every front.

The spirit behind racism is THE main cause behind every ill we’re suffering in South Africa at the moment.

The spirit behind racism is THE main cause behind every ill we’re suffering in South Africa at the moment.

We rage against diabolical governance, poor economics, evil apartheid and the very real inequalities of the past — but we don’t see how the enemy uses these things as a smoke-screen to hide behind.

Every ounce of racism is evil. Whether it’s coming from a “Hitler” or a Pastor, racism is from the devil!

But racism in itself is not the problem, it’s only a symptom.

We’ve been losing our fight against racism because we’ve been fighting the WRONG thing! And not the actual enemy. As it’s been said before, you cannot win against an enemy you don’t know.

In war one of the most powerful strategies for winning is studying the enemy. Understanding who he is and how he fights.

In sport, of any kind, coaches will often, not only work on how their team plays, but they also spend countless hours studying, discussing and watching videos of how their rival teams play. We haven’t been so cunning in our fight against the spirit BEHIND racism.

Why we’ve failed
We’ve seen the symptoms of this spirit and raged against them — forgive me for saying this, but so far our responses and fight strategies have been utterly stupid. And, please, I’m not elevating myself here, I’ve been just as stupid as everyone else on this.

Imagine it, a person gets shot by an arrow — instead of tackling the PERSON who shot the arrow, they start fighting with the arrow. You can be sure the ENEMY shooting will continue shooting while you sit there arguing with the arrow.

Imagine, if in a battle, one side spent all their time examining the bullets and various ammunitions that came flying at them from their enemy. They’d be wiped out! In no time!

This is how we’ve responded to racism in South Africa. We’re busy arguing and fighting the bullets and arrows. No wonder we’re LOSING!

No wonder we’re being wiped out!

I still get very emotional when it comes to racism.

It’s hard for me not to cry as I write this, because it hurts. And I want to be completely healed and not hurting anymore from the pain racism has personally inflicted on me and my children — but the pain is still there. But you know what — I’m taking myself to the place of decision and commitment.

Deciding that my pain, hurt, or offense does not matter to me as much as God’s purpose, will and heart for my life does.

We’ve been losing our fight against racism because we’ve been fighting the WRONG thing! And not the actual enemy. As it’s been said before, you cannot win against an enemy you don’t know.

Racism is devouring us and our nation from the inside out.

Until we recognise racism for what it truly is and cast it out, we really are doomed.

The fight close to home
My husband is white. He told me that all his life he’d battled with racism. He was born and brought up under apartheid.

He says, from childhood he was indoctrinated with racist views and behaviour.

For instance, from a very early age he was taught that black people had no emotions.

When he was about 6 or 7, he visited a friend’s house. While he was there the lady who worked in this home walked passed him and he could see that she’d been crying. He was shocked!

He wondered, “But if she has no emotions, how come she’s crying then?”

OK, so he found out that black people DID actually have emotions, yet, so plentiful and ingrained were the indoctrinations that it’d be YEARS before he was freed from racism’s grip.

Even when my husband gave His life to Jesus, seeing black people in any way other than how he’d been raised to, was really hard.

God took my husband on a hard road.

Father God was relentless in showing my husband His heart for the people He created and how he was not letting my husband go through his entire life like this — full of hate, misunderstanding and prejudice.

My husband calls what he went through “being delivered from racism”.

A short while after his “delivery” my husband visited with a family from his church. He remembers how he struggled through that visit.

The family was openly racist. My husband says that at some point during the visit God opened his spiritual eyes and SMACK in the middle of this family’s living room was a large snake. He said it was fat and content. As the people in that room shared their racist views, comments and opinions about black people, the snake fed on that and got bigger and happier.

True service to God
We can justify it anyway we want to, but if we allow a spirit of racism in us, we’re not allowing the Love of God to have Its way in our lives.

We will never minister or serve at the level God wants us to if we have hate toward any person based on what we perceive is “different” about “Us” compared to “Them”.

I don’t want to go into some of the very, very hurtful things that have happened to me as a result of some people’s perception of me being a black woman — or the hate that has been spewed on my beautiful children — but I’ll share how the spirit of racism found a comfortable place in my own living room.

My own “deliverance”
As a result of the hurtful things I’d experienced through racist incidents, I’d gotten to the place where I was afraid of having any kind of interaction with white people.

We’re busy arguing and fighting the bullets and arrows. No wonder we’re LOSING!

No wonder we’re being wiped out!

I began to say horrible things about white people to my fellow black folks — I formed an opinion about ALL white people — and before I knew it, I’d grown such a resentment toward white people I couldn’t bear to be anywhere near them.

“But your husband’s white!” One of my friends pointed out. “Yeah, but he’s different!” I responded.

Even church became difficult for me.

I’d been in predominantly white churches most of my life. I’d, for the most part, experienced how “differently” white church members would treat me.

As black church members, we’re told we “imagine” these things — but if folks, on both sides of the colour line are truly honest, they’ll tell you that in few places is racism more prevalent than it is in the church.

I’ve heard pastors, from the pulpit, talking about “our black brothers and sisters” — and they might not see or intend anything hurtful by it, but that labelling of “black brothers and sisters” goes to show that they do not fully accept the oneness that happens to us when we come into the Family of God. Because they still see an “Us” and “Them”. That is not of God.

How do I know this? Because, never, no matter how I try, could I ever, EVER imagine Daddy God looking at His children and labelling them as, “Oh there goes my white son” or “there goes my black daughter” — I don’t know about other people’s gods but my God would never EVER label His children based on race — neither should we.

My own battle
My resentment toward white people had become so toxic that I could no longer enjoy being in church.

I remember one evening, I REALLY needed to be ministered to — but I walked into church, sat down and began to seethe.

Everyone singing on the worship team was white — I refused to receive any ministry from them.

I felt an inexplicable rage rise inside me. I wanted to leave but something kept me in my seat.

Then I felt a Voice in my head say, “Hannah, you’re going to miss out on what I have for you if you go on like this.”

I knew it was God.

I felt a melting in my heart.

The words the worship team was singing began to wash over me — it didn’t matter that the people singing were white, God was ministering through His children to me.

I felt God’s love wash over me.

There was a lady standing in front of me. I’d never spoken to her.

When I’d walked into church that evening, she had her hands raised, praising and worshipping.

I hadn’t seen her face, but I could see her white hands raised — and I loathed her.

In my heart I was thinking, “You’re such a hypocrite. Standing there, raising your hands, yet you hate me because I’m black.”

I’d never even spoken to this woman before!

Wasn’t I the hypocrite?! For judging her based PURELY on her race?

Set Free
As God washed over me in that service, as He showed me what my hateful attitude would cost me, I saw the woman praising in front of me as one of His very special daughters.

You’re going to miss out on what God has for you if you go on like this.

Over and over I asked God to forgive me.

I was ashamed at my attitude and how I’d behaved.

“Daddy God help me!” I cried out.

The things I’d been through hurt so bad, yet God had been very clear: “Hannah, you’re going to miss out on what I have for you if you go on like this.”

Even though I knew it was God, I also knew I couldn’t stop being the way I’d become without His help.

True Ministry and Love
Before that evening, when God called me out on my racist attitude, I used to go to church and leave as soon as the service was over … to avoid interacting with white people.

That evening as God liberated me from the hate and hurt I felt, I lingered around after the service.  The lady who’d stood in front of me, the one I’d horribly judged, started speaking with me.

I didn’t know her but for some reason that evening I shared some things I was going through with her — not about race but equally debilitating.

She ministered such life and love over me. She showed me some things that revealed God’s heart and answered the many questions I’d been burdened with.

Had I left the service prematurely, had I not allowed this woman to speak into my life, I would have carried all my burdens home with me — unchanged, as though I’d never been in the presence of God.

God ministered through her to me.

He’d placed a gift in her that I couldn’t access on my own — because this is how God has designed the Body of Christ to operate: We are far more powerful TOGETHER than we are alone.

And that’s the call today.

Working together
Can we operate together in His Love?

We are far more powerful TOGETHER than we are alone.

And that’s the call today.

True, so many of us are hurting from racism.

Whether you’re Black, White, Indian or Coloured — whichever side of racism you’re on, get out! Our enemy is not each other, it’s the devil.

Christians are going to have to be the ones to lead this thing.

Fellowship leaders, of every race, are going to have to cast out the spirit of racism from their congregations and from this nation.

Call racism for what it is: EVIL!

Don’t molly coddle it, or speak softly (or not at all) so you don’t “offend” anyone! Cast that devil out from among you!

RACISM, no matter who displays it, is NOT of God!

Some may have to cast the spirit off of themselves before they can go out and try to help others — I know I had to for myself.

The truth is if you were born in South Africa, or have lived here for any period of time, this spirit has had an effect on you. Some more than others — but if we’re honest, most of us have felt its grip.

If you’re a believer and you hear a fellow believer make a racist comment, lovingly tell them they are choosing to walk hand in hand with the devil in his mission to destroy us with this hateful weapon.

We are in Christ. We are NEW Creations.

We don’t get to be racist. God’s Kingdom doesn’t allow it!

No matter what our motivation, we don’t get to be like everyone else when it comes to race. If we are, then quite frankly the Love of God is not in us.

The devil doesn’t care if you’re black, blue, purple or orange — he hates you, he hates everything you stand for BUT he will gladly use you to help him achieve his mission — don’t fall for it!

The TRUE Enemy
Your enemy is not people who look different to you, it’s the devil! THAT ought to make you mad!

The world doesn’t know how to get free of racism.

When Jesus walked this earth, He came as a Jew. During His time on earth the Jewish Nation was under tremendous oppression. So much so that for them, the Messiah was Someone they believed was going to rescue them from the oppression they’d suffered for centuries. In their minds, their Messiah was going to establish a Kingdom in which they’d be free.

However, when Jesus came, He didn’t get involved in the politics of the time. Instead, His entire focus and ministry was:

  1. To show people the Love of His Father and
  2. Die for our sins on the Cross.

Our Mandate
Today as believers this is the same mandate we’ve been given from Heaven:

  1. Show (ALL) people the Love of our Father
  2. Share with them that Jesus died for their sins.
You are called to God’s Kingdom. As such you have to decide: will your hurt, pain, drive for “justice”, indoctrination etc have a higher seat in your life OR will God and His heart for ALL people take the HIGHEST place in every part of your being?

We cannot do this if there’s any part of us that gives room to racism. Because whatever we do, no matter how well we do it, it will be contaminated.

I guarantee you that as a believer, if this is an area of your life where God has not set you free yet, no matter how well you’re doing in business, work or ministry you’re not experiencing the fullness and abundance God wants for you.

I’m sharing with you what God said to me:
___________ you’re going to miss out on what God has for you if you go on like this.

Some Christians have been called by God into politics. By all means go and serve in this field. But serve with the heart of God, not with a heart governed by racial grievances, perceptions, indoctrinations or even experiences.

Your pain, your hurt, the indoctrination you’ve been through, NONE of that is an excuse.

You are called to God’s Kingdom. As such you have to decide: will your hurt, pain, drive for “justice”, indoctrination etc have a higher seat in your life OR will God and His heart for ALL people take the HIGHEST place in every part of your being?

It’s a question every true child of God must answer.

 
Racism: Fighting the real enemy instead of each other — Hannah Viviers  

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About the author

TV host, blogger and motivational speaker on a mission to, share, and discover more on the Love of Jesus and what it truly means to be loved by God.

 

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7 Comments

  1. D.N.Stirk says:

    Love one another as God loves us.We must accept the past and forgive.South Africa has a rich heritage which should mould our future as a rainbow nation.Racism should be banned from politics.

  2. Alex Wood says:

    Thanks Hannah, thats what this racist curse is all about, judging others according to the Devils standards. As you say; This wonderful country God has given us will only survive if we learn to love each other & then together work as a team using the millions of gifts & talents to make it great and to flourish as God intended. That is my prayer today!….Bless you.

  3. Thank you for your witness, Hannah. Yes, we are loosing the fight in SA. We fail in the unity prescribed between confessing Christians and churches, – or we are holy in church but serve Satan from 5 minutes after the service until 5 minutes before the next routine religious service in club-like, business-like en self-serving or spiritually indulging churches. No salt, light and yeast for righteousness find its way into every sphere of society. We must turn our selfish showmanship into sustainable stewardship. Racism is a weak and debilitating excuse for mutual respect and focused diligence towards God-glorifying, common purpose, God’s Law abiding Kingdom building.

  4. Madelyn says:

    Thank you so very much for this article. I think a lot of us ARE starting to realize that racism is DEMONIC and we should fight this battle in the Spirit not in the flesh. That is also why we are going to pray on the 22nd April to repent and pray and hopefully be delivered from this deadly demomic stronghold over our country.

  5. Rona van Niekerk says:

    Thank you Hannah.
    We so need to remember that the Lord looks at the heart, and all our hearts are red.

  6. Siobhan Tregoning says:

    Thanks Hannah this is a brilliant Godly perspective. May the Lord raise up more voices like yours through out His Body and in our beautiful country.

  7. Allan Verreynne says:

    Hannah, I am blown away by your honesty & insights. Thank you for risking yourself & sharing how you & your hubby have been set free from hatred. This is so liberating & challenging. i am thankful for these insights shared – God bless you both. Your testimony & witness is liberating in itself!