I believe in the power of the Gospel. I believe Jesus changes hearts, and that his calling is a daring summons to a truly social justice – to a salvation that changes our minds as well as our souls. But much of the preaching I hear these days makes me cringe.
The president is a racist who readily uses xenophobic and white nationalist rhetoric of biblical proportions. It is past time for the American church, Republican and Democrats alike, to speak out with a singular voice and tell the truth.
No matter the misappropriated moral algebra that the Supreme Court used to come to its higgledy-piggledy majority opinion, the fact remains that the Christian cross is not fundamentally a secular monument any more than the American flag is a religious symbol.
In examining how we discern the Word of God, I discovered Julia Foote, a 19th-century African American preacher and evangelist. She demonstrates that everything in our public life is touched by God’s Word(s).
How do we assess claims of “I am not a racist” widely used by those who engage in racist comments and behavior or defend others who do so? Applying different forms of reasoning can help.
This isn’t just about the law or the president. It’s about us, the “white us,” engaged in actions with frightening implications for, with or about white Christianity, compelling us to ask hard questions of our churches and each other.
Hundreds of thousands of people have gone online to get ordained – not because they had a calling, not because a congregation had affirmed their gifts for ministry, not because they had completed a theological education and preparation for ministry – but so they could certify marriages.
What I will take away from my five days in south Texas is this: Unless we are willing to let go of systems and theologies that target the vulnerable, unless we are willing to recognize our own Saul-like tendencies, I don’t think the scales will fall from our eyes.
The challenges for Baptist women around the world continue to be immense, especially in churches where their gifts and callings are restricted and undervalued. We need to invite girls and women into God’s inclusive way.