A friend quoted from memory lines from Langston Hughes’ poem, “Mother to Son.” I was reminded that it is the very definition of white privilege to think we can just sit down on the stairs because the work of racial justice is hard.
For thousands of years a lie has been promoted by the powerhouse religions of Judaism, Islam and Christianity, often with the wedding and bedding of religion and state. The lie said, “Patriarchy works for everyone – especially men.” But the truth is patriarchy doesn’t work for everyone – even men.
In his lovely, gentle way, he was professionally pissed off, never fully comprehending how anyone could ever imagine a God who was not an advocate for the oppressed.
I was raised in a brown evangelical church in a small, predominantly white town in central Texas. Our “mother” church was one of the many First Baptist Churches in the Texas Bible Belt. Our congregation was composed mainly of poor, uneducated, largely undocumented migrants from rural Mexico. And while we were a brown church, the Jesus we worshiped was white.
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The 150-year-old Peace Cathedral in the Republic of Georgia has claimed the mantle of Christian peacemaking, investing in a vision of inclusive and merciful community. Established as First Baptist Church of Tbilisi, it serves as the mother church of the Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia, an Alliance of Baptists’ Active Hope Partner.
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When we think of Jesus, images of a peace-loving, gentle pacifist comes to mind, at least it did to the mind of Howard Yoder. We read our particular ideology into the biblical text when we claim Jesus was a pacifist….