I Was Just Thinking About - - -
One of the issues of our day is an orientation toward defining many situations as being “Racism.” That there is a racial divide in this country cannot be denied. To allow there is inequity in housing, employment, education and cultural values is also a reality. There are a few people within our nation who never saw a normal incident they could not interpret as racist. Some may do it out of sincere desire to achieve some semblance of equal justice under the law, whereas others create a narrative that will inflame people to civil unrest and disrespect of the law.
Major religious denominations usually convene in June to discuss varying issues in their Conventions or General Assemblies. One Presbyterian denomination, near the conclusion of their General Assembly, saw nearly one-half of the assembled men sign a protest in terms of racial reconciliation. Two ministers from Mississippi rose to offer a resolution in this regard. It was routinely sent to the Bills and Overtures Committee. The denomination’s official magazine, By Faith, reports the following: “The resolution was debated in committee for over nine hours. Those against adopting the resolution argued that the PCA didn’t exist during the Civil Rights era, that individual presbyters themselves did not do these things and therefore could not confess, that the resolution seemed to cave to political correctness and white guilt, and that if prominent PCA churchmen were racists perhaps they have repented of it thus we shouldn’t call them out. Others argued that this was new information and thus they needed more time to digest it. Arguments for adopting the resolution were that corporate confession is biblical, we as a denomination have already delayed this for far too long, and that there are members of our denomination, including pastors and elders, who greatly desire this confession. Others also argued that we must stop hiding the past and be honest about what we did.”
The racial discussion and distinctions are not new. Some were challenged by an Inter-Varsity Press publication in 1971, “Your God Is Too White.” It was followed by an auto-biography in 1976 by John Perkins from Mendenhall, MS, “Let Justice Roll Down.” From a secular point of view, Langston Hughes was a very direct and somewhat crass poet. One could not avoid being impacted by one of his books of verse/poetry in 1956, “The Panther and The Lash.”
On a Facebook Link that is discussing racial reconciliation, I have submitted two entries: (1) We need to begin by embracing Daniel 9 as a model for any confession before God about anything; and (2) “There is a difference between voting for something and actually doing it. Some of us "dinosaurs" have quietly attempted to "do it"! A group of 4 white ministers and 1 black minister attempted integrated activities, national day of prayer, worship times together, etc. in a widely segregated town and county. At first, it was met with degrees of suspicion - Could/Would the Black community trust the intentions of the White Ministers? Gaining Trust does not come via statements about racial reconciliation. The visible Church - both white and black - have to patiently try to meet the most minimum measure of the high priestly prayer of Jesus Christ in John 17 and the idea of being one as the Godhead is one. Just think of the heart of Jesus Christ prior to His ascension and His last mandate given to His disciples in Acts 1:8. It meant involvement with people (Samaria) where there had been generations of distrust and despising…”
In the denomination of which I am a member, I hope I live long enough to see the visible church move from its fantasy, theoretical approach to one that is factual and reality as ministry purpose will involve reaching out to the black and hispanic communities and genuinely convey that they are a welcomed part of the local body of Christ. A gnawing question for the denomination of which I am a part: Why are there so few black people and families in our churches across the United States? How many Black Elders were present and voting on a Racial Reconciliation Resolution? Protests and signing statements is a good emotional act - BUT - if it is not followed by purposeful action in the churches and denomination, it is similar to I Corinthians 13:1-3, “Sounding brass or a clanging cymbal (just noise).” Consider these things with me!