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Honoring God’s Image in All People

Former NFL player, Miles McPherson, addresses the racial divide in America and offers practical advice on overcoming it. Read Transcript

- We live in a racially charged culture

and sometimes that carriesa zero sum mentality.

In other words, you mustlose in order for me to win.

But what if there was a third option?

Take a look.


- [Announcer] Miles McPhersonspent four years in the NFL

with the San Diego Chargersand was known as the Jesus guy.

Today he's the senior pastor

of Rock Church in San Diego.

One of the most pressing issues Miles

has dealt with is that of racism.

He grew up in a predominantlyblack neighborhood

in Long Island, NewYork and went to school

in an all white neighborhood.

Miles who was mixedcouldn't fit in anywhere.

- Culture always tries toforce us to choose sides.

Are you for me or against me?

Everything is rooted in anus verse them mentality.

- [Announcer] In hisbook, The Third Option,

Miles encourages us tounify our communities

and to better love our neighbors equally,

starting with ourselves.

- Well please welcomeback to the 700 Club,

Miles McPherson.

It's always just apleasure to have you here.

- It's so good to be here.

- And what a good book you've written.

The Third Option, before we talk about

what the third option is, I wanna ask you

to just kind of recall being caught in

the nation's racial divide,

really from the time you were a child.

- I grew up in a black neighborhood,

went to school in a white neighborhood.

And I'm mixed so when I wasin the white neighborhood

I got called names.

When I was in the blackneighborhood I got called names.

And so I had it, I wasexperiencing it on both sides.

However, when I played football,

we all got along.

We had a common goal, and a common enemy

which was the other team.

And now as a pastor ofa multi-racial church,

and I can't even tell you howmany nationalities we have,

we all worship God every day.

And so I see it, and I see how it works.

- For the past four yearyou played in the NFL

and so you are veryaware of what's going on

in the NFL today.

What do you think about all ofthis? How do you react to it?

- Well, I played 30 something years ago,

not the past four years. (laughing)

I wish it was the past four years.

- (laughing) Exactly.

- Football and sports isprobably the greatest uniter

in our country and so I think,

that's what I focus on, allthe guys who are getting

together if you watch games.

Black guys and white guyswho, and especially football,

that's mostly black andwhite and a few Hispanics,

are family and are committed to each other

and they're committed to winningand rooting for each other.

And that's what we need in our culture.

- Why doesn't that spill into our culture?

Why don't we now, now instead,

what's happening in our culture,

which is so divisive on many issues,

not just racial, is spilling into

the whole athletic arena.

- In every race conversationit's about us verse them.

Those are the two options.

The third option is that wehonor what we have in common.

All of us have moresimilarities than differences.

And that's what this book is for.

It's designed to give people tools

in how to understand, howmuch, how similar we are,

and how we can buildbridges and break down

the walls between us.

- Is that, is discovering our similarity

the thing that ultimately helps us

appreciate our differences?

I mean, why do differences divide?

You don't have to worshipthe same way I do.

It's your way, it's my way.

Why can we not appreciatethat in each other?

- We're sinners, right?

We're prideful and we group with people

who are like us and as soon as we group

with people who are like us, we identify

people who are not like us.

And there's a separation.

But if we realize that we're 99.5 percent

genetically the same, more than anything

we're all made int heimage of the same God.

And the image of God, he was not inferior

or superior to mine.

So how can we learn how to build bridges,

break down the walls that are telling us

that we are different?

One of probably the biggestthings that I learned

writing this book is there are people

cannot separate the conceptof being racially offensive

and not being a racist.

There are some people who are racist.

But most of us are just biased.

And we say things that are uncomfortable

with other people or are offensive.

But we don't necessarilymean it to hurt them.

And so if people canseparate those two things

and learn and take theposture I want to learn.

How can I be more honoring to you,

how can I be more loving to you?

You have to be able to accept that you can

be racially offense and not be a racist.

So in this book, I lay outblind spots people have.

Things that they say that they

may not realize are offensive.

Things that they believethat may not be accurate.

You know the greatest commandment is

to love God with yourheart, mind and soul.

And just the second commandment is to love

your neighbor as yourself.

But if I rename yousomething less than neighbor,

I don't have to love you.

And so we think of thenames we call people,

the names we let the mediaput on people that we accept.

We dehumanize people.

And so I would challenge people

to put the label neighboron everybody they see.

And say I gotta love you like my neighbor

and start there.

- That's an easy place to start from

because it's not just names we call

it's attitudes that we harbor.

How is your churchaccepting this third option

and making a difference.

You mentioned that yourchurch is racially mixed.

- We call ourselves the Skittle church,

the Skittles church. (laughing)

We don't even try tomeasure how many people

are in there. (laughing)

And we serve together, wehave small groups together,

we have worship together.

And they're accepted in like a champ.

We, every Sunday I say,turn to someone near you

that doesn't look like you.

That's not a hard thing,they just have to turn

right or left, because it's right there,

and give that person a hug,tell them you love them.

So we practice it every day.

Because when those people, some have been

walking with the Lord for a long time

and some haven't at all.

We have white supremacists that have come,

that come to our church.

When they leave thebuilding they have practice.

They were just in churchwith someone was different.

And so when they go towork or they go to school,

or they are managing someone different,

they say, "You know I just loved somebody

"and told someone thatlooked like you at church

"that I love you."

So we're practicing diversity, inclusion.

- Let me think this through.

- Let me think thisthrough 'cause it can work.

- Your wife also experiencedridicule growing up.

In what way?

- My wife's mother waswhite and she grew up

in a black housing project

so she was the only white person, her mom,

in the whole housing project.

And she was in fights all the time.

Her mom was in fights all the time.

My wife was gettingescorted to and from school

in elementary school by the police.

Luckily, she didn't growup hating brown people

'cause she married me.


But again, her story's in the book

and her story, as wellas stories from people

from all kinds ofnationalities, give principles

that can apply to everyperson all around the world.

And so all of us have things to learn

about how to honor each other.

And how to honor andacknowledge the humanity

that we all have.

That's the biggest thingthat we need to do.

- You know, your book justreminded me of that song

that we've sung for so many years,

Let There Be Peace on Earth

and Let it Begin With Me.

I mean, somebody's gottatake the first step right?

- Yes, yes.

- So don't wait foryour neighbor to do it.

Be the neighbor that takes the first step.

- And it's not gonna be thegovernment. It's gonna be us.

I need to be able to look at you and say

you're my neighbor and I love you.

- Yeah, you're my neighborand I love you Miles.

- And you're Miss Americangirl, you're Miss America.


- You're hilarious.

The book is amazing.

It's called The Third Option.

It opens discussion thatwe all need to have,

thought processes that weall need to go through.

It's available wherever books are sold.

Thank you for what you've written

and for what you're doing.

- It's my pleasure.

- It's a light in the darkness.


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