Seek to Understand our Hearts

Pastor Bryan Loritts
We will never experience true Christian unity when one ethnicity demands of another that we keep silent about our pain and travails. The way forward is not an appeal to the facts as a first resort, but the attempt to get inside each others skin as best as we can to feel what they feel, and understand it. Tragedies like Ferguson are like MRIs that reveal the hurt that still lingers. The chasm that exists between ethnicities can only be traversed if we move past facts and get into feelings.

Basically there are five levels of communication: 1. Cliché; 2. Facts; 3. Opinion; 4. Feelings; 5. Transparency, with “cliché” representing the most shallow form of communication, and “transparency” the deepest. I will never know what it’s like to be a woman, but I do know that when my wife comes at me with level four (feelings), and I stay in lawyer-land at level two, this never is a recipe for intimacy. I am not denying facts, but I’ve had to learn the hard way that if I am to experience oneness with my bride, I must drop down to level four in an attempt to understand, before I resurface to level two. Facts are a first and last resort in a court of law, but when it comes to human relationships, let us first stop and feel, before we go to facts.The communication pyramid offers a revolutionary paradigm in our journey to understanding.

If you sense exasperation from we African-American’s over yet another news story of a black man slain at the hands of a white man, this is a wonderful opportunity to grab some coffee and seek to understand our hearts. I need my white brothers to know how I felt as I sat in the preaching classes in Bible college and seminary not once hearing examples of great African-American preachers. I need you to know how I felt when I was forced face down on the hard asphalt of Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles, 1993 all because I was nineteen and driving my pastor’s Lexus, a year after the Rodney King riots. I need you to ask how I felt when I walked into a Target recently behind a white woman who took one look at me and pulled her purse tightly.

However, as much as I am an African-American, I am even more so a follower of Jesus Christ. The death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior demands that I subjugate my cultural hermeneutic to my gospel hermeneutic. In other words, my Jesus-ness, must trump my blackness. As Dr. Tony Evans says, “Black is only beautiful when it is biblical”.

Excerpted from a great article by Pastor Bryan Loritts at Christianity Today. Read it here.


  1. Good post! We need to remember that, as members of Christ's body, we are also members of each other.

    1. I agree Fred. What binds us is great than the things that try to separate us.


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