The prophets’ call to “heal the earth” is being awakened in surprising places — like police forces.
Baldwin’s “mystical” solution to the lies of white supremacy is immensely practical. Such spirituality looks like organizing our communities to attend to the political and economic wounds our nation inflicts and to bring into practice a community that is at once more grounded and more beautiful than we have dared to imagine.
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.
In confronting white nationalist terror and the Washington-based bigotry that has invited it into the mainstream, we must be both fierce in our struggle but also prayerful in our devotion. We must call this nation to repent for its sins and call it too to save itself from this “corrupt generation.”
I’m praying that God will comfort suffering victims and afflict their political and religious victimizers. That’s not a “God bless the USA” prayer. It’s a “Thy will be done” prayer.
My work on the case of Curtis Flowers over more than a decade exposed me to three kinds of Christians: Kingdom Christians, Culture Christians and Conflicted Christians. I have learned that Kingdom Christians are almost always driven to the margins by the clarity of their convictions.
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.
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.