Speaking the Truth (About Racism) in Love
August 30, 2021
Updated January 4, 2022
1 comment 556 views
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” (Eph. 4:15 NIV)
One of the benefits of COVID is virtually visiting diverse congregations. It has been a blessing even after returning to in-person worship services.
My father-in-law, 94, a dyed-in-the-wool Pentecostal, lives with us. Lately, he stopped driving to church. He still longs for corporate worship. So, after our worship service, we attend church with him over the virtual airwaves (i.e. YouTube or Facebook). Most times the preacher sounds almost Reformed. However, last Sunday was horrible. His sermon on the end times and political barbs was excruciating. My father-in-law on the other hand was lifting his hands to the heavens and praising Christ.
Cornel West says “…I’ve got a gangster in me. I was a gangster before I met Jesus. Now I’m a redeemed sinner with gangster proclivities.” (Cornel West on Why the Left Needs Jesus)
As I reflect on my own theological and socio-political views, as well as my own sinful inclinations, I wonder: How am I like Cornel, or the preacher, or possibly worse than them? The complexity of our times has created hyper vigilance against the other. A major fault line is having to choose between truth or love. And how do you address it in the humility of one’s own depravity? The response has been disheartening. The more vocal continue the destructive debate. The silence sustains racism.
We are living in complex times and seeing horrific events. These are times to lean into Christ. It is also a time to remember what we believe and speak it in love:
As a staff person for the Office of Race Relations, I am grateful to serve you, the church. The complexity of racism seems overwhelming, but it is the work of a roaring lion defeated by Christ. As you decide to integrate ways to address racism into your ministry we would like to help you facilitate conversations and provide resources. It is a long journey, but you will be amazed at how God will equip your church.
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I don't quite understand why the CRC and other churches don't talk about and stress the root cause of racism. As Christians we have a unique perspective on the root cause of racism that we can share with everyone and begin to build ways to decrease the amount of racism in our society. Until we do that, I don't think the usual programs will have much influence in the post Christian culture.
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