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A Better Way – Rethinking the Current Discussion about Race and the Church (1)

A Better Way – Rethinking the Current Discussion about Race and the Church (1)

I know what you are thinking.

Yet another article from a person of colour, berating ‘white evangelicalism’ for whiteness, casual racism, systematic injustice and everything that comes with it…

I’ll lay my cards on the table: this is not another article from a person of colour, berating ‘white evangelicalism’ for whiteness, casual racism, systematic injustice and everything that comes with it.

In fact, let me go further than that. I am tired of articles like that.

If I may let go of my usual restraint, I’m more than tired – I am annoyed by articles like that.

I’m annoyed by such articles for a number of reasons:

I’m annoyed because they don’t speak to the universal experience of all people of colour in reformed-evangelical circles and those with a differing perspective are often labelled ‘tokens’, ‘sellouts’, ‘Uncle Tom’ or accused of allowing their desires for acceptance to trump justice and fairness.

I’m annoyed because so many of such articles don’t have their foundation in Scriptural precept but a worldview that is rooted in anti-Biblical thought.

I’m annoyed because frankly, the folks who peddle this rather particular version of events conveniently ignore the perspective of those in their own constituency who reject it. In short, because I am inconvenient, you’re not listening to me.

For a long time, I’ve restrained my thoughts on the issue of ‘racial reconciliation’ to the occasional response on Twitter or Facebook, mostly because I have long told myself that folks will not listen to me on this issue. I’ve since changed my mind on that – just because people will not listen does not mean I should not speak or that when I do, it should be limited to complaints. It’s time for me to put forward what I believe should be happening, not just what shouldn’t be happening.

So for the next few months, I will be posting some occasional thoughts with the aim of walking through what I believe to be a Bible perspective on this most fraught of issues.

A health warning at this point: I will more than likely offend both white evangelicals and people of colour with some of my comments over the course of this month. It is not my intention to offend needlessly but before we get to a healthy place, there needs to be a painful confrontation of how bad the problem is.

I shouldn’t end this opening reflection on a sour note, however. I am hopeful that we can begin to witness a healing between the various parts of the body in this area. I’m hopeful healing can happen because the Body of Christ is truly the Body of Christ. The Head of the Church, our Lord Jesus Christ, loves it far too much to see its members languish in a state of suspicion, distrust, fear and hatred of each other.

I believe we will be OK – it’ll just take time and work.

May God help us as we embark on this journey together.

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