People of faith, whatever the specific tradition, now confront a 21st-century global reality: Worship can get you killed, anywhere in the world.
An appeal to my white Baptist sisters and brothers: when it comes to talk about the issue of reparations, I hope you will embrace and maintain a penitent silence during the remaining days of Lent.
We want our children to come of age hearing the same message of civil religion in church, at their “Christian school” and on Fox News. For those who live in this kind of environment, reparations talk sounds like heresy.
Wendell Griffen, 66, is all of these things. But his persona is so large, his reputation so loud, his “rightness” so locked in and eagerly defended, that the man’s depth can be lost in the shallows in which he must wade.
In one of life’s delicious little ironies, New Millennium Church now meets on the campus associated with one of Little Rock’s most ardent racists of the 1950s.
View the photo gallery of Wendell Griffen.
“Our sins have “found us out.” Wrongs swept under the ecclesiastical carpet or committed inside the church’s dark corners have gone public, requiring us to move beyond casual piety to encounter the pain, depth and gift of repentance.
Members of my (white) generation continue to recognize the pernicious stain of racism in our politics, economics and community relations. It seems we cannot ever fully repent as we learn how systemic racism is and how it has shaped the Christian imagination.
Whatever moral credibility American evangelicals once had, they have lost. They have chosen to die on the 45th hill, and it has been painful and despairing to watch. Our nation desperately needs strong faith communities that are able to articulate a clear moral voice, even if it convicts them, too.