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.
You might wonder if my condemnation is too harsh. It is not, for the Spirit of the Lord has convicted me to shout from the mountaintop how God’s precious children are being devoured by the hatred and bigotry of those who have positioned themselves as the voice of God in America.
More than 400 Christian leaders have signed a document condemning white supremacy beyond the “alt-right” brand of hate recently seen in Charlottesville, Va., extending to more subtle forms of racism including white privilege.
Prophets rarely fare well in their own historical setting. Their clarity of vision disturbs the nonchalance with which most people engage their personal context. Prophets scrutinize those policies and practices that most of us blithely ignore, and they shine the…
Donald Trump’s unsophisticated rise in this presidential election cycle has been referred to in some corners as a redefining of electoral politics. It is not. It is simply a third, national galvanizing of the historical white backlash to substantive African-American advancement and the browning of America.
It is a Friday night not long after I have moved to Enderly Park, which is located on Jesus’ side of the tracks. Our living room is filled with teens. We are playing cards, not because we like cards that…