While some will certainly disagree, I like the notion that there are times when white Christian folk need to have a conversation among themselves, and black Christian folk need to have a conversation among themselves. This is of course true for other ethnicities, as well. In the horror film genre, one of the scariest and most notorious lines comes from a realization that the bone chilling phone call is actually coming from “within” the house, not from outside of the house. While it’s a hair on fire revelatory moment, it’s still invaluable information!
Like others, there have been scores of times when I’ve been compelled to do some "in-house" phone calling (so to speak) to strongly annunciate some inconvenient ugly truths I believe the black church community NEEDS to face. Likewise, it’s my view that the white “dominant culture” church community needs to talk among itself about some things, recognize some things, repent from some things and change some things.
The example of Jesus is interesting because He was not only speaking into a new dispensation by way of recognizing the progressive program of God that was unfolding in real time for humankind, He was also pushing against the much beloved cultural biases of His own native culture that needed to re-envision Gentiles as God saw them.
Jesus understood that it was necessary to loosen the death grip of perspectives and practices that His beloved fellow Jews held dear. I like the definition of racism offered by Dr. Brian Bales, lead Pastor of Christian Fellowship Church, Ashburn, VA. He says, “Racism is addressing people through their non-given identity by God.” By calling (so to speak) over and over again from within the house, Jesus held Jew-to-Jew, tense “come to Jesus” meetings, and He did it with holy boldness and without regard to the names He would be called, the prospect of being misunderstood and at risks to His own personal safety. Those in-house conversations had notable impact on the lives of many who chose to swallow the bittersweet pill of those biblical dialogues that expanded their thinking and transformed their lives. Arguably, there are at least a few things we need to talk about, perhaps not exclusively in-house, but nevertheless, in-house.
Whether you agree or disagree, can we still talk? Don’t miss the Dec. 6th NorthStar workshop fellowship on Racism. Registration closes December 3, or when we reach max capacity. Click here for more information or to register.