I acknowledge the bravery and faith that it must have required to say before the entire world, “I forgive.” But “I forgive you” is not the only cry we must hear.
White Christians in America must see racism for what it is: sin. Seeing our sin and our complicity is the first step to repentance. We must see this because it’s literally killing our neighbors of color, all created in the image of God.
We need a moral and ethical witness based not on our social media feeds or biases but on an embedded, incarnational, long-term presence with those for whom we claim to have concern.
There’s nothing wrong with providing mercy ministries to those in our families and communities that need help now. But if Christians don’t also commit ourselves to justice, if we continue to meet justice problems with only mercy solutions, we will just get sucked dry and worn down, which may at times be exactly what the perpetrators of injustice want.
We can all probably think of friends, family members or coworkers who are lost sheep (who don’t know any better) and lost sons (those willfully and destructively rebelling). But do you know any lost coins? I do.
It seems like the “gnats” we strain out are things that irk white Christian majorities, but the “camels” we leave in place are large-scale injustices or suffering among minority races, religions and sexualities. Maybe we should leave the gnats alone, if that’s what it takes to get our eyes focused on the “weightier matters.”
From the very beginning, we’ve had trouble incorporating the “other” into our quests for freedom. We did not suddenly figure this out in my lifetime. It’s simply not true that minorities, the poor and women have experienced this country in the same way that I have.
The words “justice” and “social justice” have long drawn the ire of segments of American Christianity, particularly white evangelical leaders. They have consistently said that it is unbiblical, un-Christian, and yes, un-American. Baptist News Global reported on May 18 that…
It is worrying that valueless loyalty has achieved a stranglehold on much of the American psyche, having really ratcheted up in this current era of cable news. But even more concerning is that It has also firmly taken hold of evangelical Christianity and propelled it to unsightly levels of hypocrisy.