Some who heard Priscilla Shirer’s recent message at LifePointe Church in Crowley, TX, heard echoes of her father, Dr. Tony Evans, who preached the same message across this country to white audiences, black audiences, and mixed audiences for nearly 40 years. He even wrote these things down in books for people to read. And, yet, the white church, the black church, and the church in general did not take heed. And, the truth of the matter is, the reason why most whites ignored him is not because he wasn’t the right messenger, but because he wasn’t the right color. And the reason why most blacks ignored him, even though God raised him up to finish the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to bridge the gap in bringing harmony between black and white Christians first and then the nation, is because they thought that, while he was in the middle trying to bridge the gap between whites and blacks, that he was too white because he was the first black to graduate from one of the most prestigious white seminaries at the time, Dallas Theological Seminary. Therefore, to them, he sounded white and came from a white perspective. Hopefully, they will hear his daughter, Priscilla Shirer, for she is her father’s daughter, and she is saying the same thing in her own way. W.E.B. du Bois said, “The problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line.” Tragically and sadly, here in 2018, the problem is still the color line, even in the church, and shows no signs of getting better.
Shirer spoke on how Christians should relate to the political world and how they should identify themselves as followers of Christ above anything else.
She said, “I do not describe myself as a black woman because that gives too much power to my blackness. I don’t want my race to be the describing adjective of who I am as a woman. I am not a black woman. I am a Christian woman who happens to be black.
“It’s the job of your adjective to describe the noun of who you are. If there’s gonna be an adjective describing me it’s not gonna be my race, it’s going to be I’m a woman who believes in every single thing that my God has declared to be true. And I will stand firmly on the promises of His word because I will be girded in truth.”
She went on to say, “So you may be a black woman, a black man, a white woman, a white man, but that should not define you. So if your race or if your political group is going in a different direction than the Word of God, you don’t choose your blackness or whiteness or whatever culture you are. You do not choose that or your political persuasion over what God declares to be true,” she said. “I hate to tell you this, but God doesn’t ride the backs of donkeys or elephants. He did not come to take sides. He came to take over.”
Her father, Dr. Tony Evans, has been preaching this message for years. In his book, How Should Christians Vote?, he likens Christians to the referees of professional football. Referees don’t take the side of either team; rather, they serve a higher authority — the NFL, and are dedicated to the rules of the NFL’s rulebook. Dr. Evans told Urban Faith, “My illustration regarding referees is simply to say that while referees sometimes vote for one team and sometimes vote for another team, they’re obligated ultimately to neither team, because they belong to another kingdom called the NFL. So, we should never let the party divisions interfere with the unity of the church, causing the church to lose its influence in the culture.”
Even though he has been preaching this for years, this country is wired in such a way that white people and even many blacks have a tendency to listen to a black woman over a black man. So maybe more Christians will take heed to this important message now that his daughter, Priscilla Shirer, is sharing it as well to a new generation. We’ll see.