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.
J.D. Greear says the solution is not to take rights away from one group and give them to another but for people who experience privilege of any kind to want people from different races and backgrounds to have access to the same opportunities.
I posted a list on Facebook of 10 bogus ideas I learned growing up in America’s white culture. The responses were interesting and sometimes surprising.
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.
Among the unavoidable claims of the gospel is that those following in the way of Jesus will be wounded. The Way leads to abundance, but it is not painless. A false gospel — or a half-gospel — wounds, but not in a way that brings about healing. White Jesus wounds the body and soul of everyone he encounters, but lacks either the power or the gentle touch to bind up our wounds.
Sure, Black Panther is a fantasy film about action heroes, but it’s not so far from real life either. Citizens of the continent of Africa are strong. They are hardworking. They are dreaming big about their future and would like us to see them that way.
White navel-gazing is not the proper orientation toward Black History Month. We’ve got to do the needed self-examination, but we are not the center of the narrative. Using the work of blacks to put ourselves back at the center of the story is not the right strategy. But while reading all that black history, it does help to know what seat we are sitting in.