Saturday, March 22, 2008
One Nation Under The Blood?
My last post drew a comment that began with this question ‘In all honesty, why bother attempting to bridge the divide?’ The commenter went on to wonder in light of our past and current circumstances why we (i.e. black believers) should bother to bridge a gap created by white believers who it appear wish to maintain it even if they do so benignly.
Brothers and sisters whether we achieve a genuine level of ethnic harmony among the body of Christ in this life or not I believe that this is a discussion worth having. And since I know that I don’t have all the answers I would invite those of us who maintain blogs to participate in the conversation by hosting topics related to the pursuit of ethnic unity among Christ’s church. It really is high time for us to stop having conversations about having a conversation regarding ethnicity and actually begin the conversation. The question voiced by the anonymous commenter probably echoes the feelings of a good many believing black people. They hold no ill will toward their white brothers and sisters nor white people in general. They do not hate America nor do they wish this country any harm. However, my guess is that if you asked a majority of them if pursuing ethnic harmony with whites was high on their agenda they’d reply that it wasn’t.
In fact my own extended family may be quite typical of where most black believers are in this regard. They live in mainly or all black neighborhoods, go to all black churches and though they have white acquaintances at work they are just that, co-workers and little more. My best guess is that the only time any of my extended family comes into contact with white Christians is when they visit our fellowship. And I can tell you that from their point of view it’s no skin off their nose. I can also tell you that unless I had embraced reformed theology I would have been just like them.
So let’s begin with the question of the hour. Why should we attempt to bridge the divide? You’ll find that question and a very good, gospel focused answer to it posted by brother Lionel Woods who maintains the Black and Reformed blog in the comment section of my last post. But before we tackle that question I’d like to ask another and aim it mainly toward brother Lionel’s response and those who would agree with it. Should African-Americans pursue genuine ethnic harmony with our white brothers and sisters what would that harmony look like? We all agree that we don’t yet have it therefore I want to know what would it look like should we actually achieve it? We know the purpose in pursuing unity, I want to know what goal are we aiming for.
Please feel free to comment on this and Lord willing let’s begin to generate an authentic dialogue. Of course as believers we are to be mindful of our words being careful not to use them to tear one another down. At times the discussion will become passionate and that’s okay as long as that passion doesn’t become anger that’s expressed in an unbiblical manner toward anyone.
And here’s a homework assignment. (yes there will be homework and we might even create a list of required reading) Check out our fellow elder’s post that features the entire sermon by Rev. Jeremiah Wright in which he said ‘God damn America’. Listen to the message and follow brother Thabiti’s directions making comments on his site.
And above all please pray. Pray that the church of our Lord Jesus Christ will seek to bring Him glory in this area and not just protect our own ethnic or ideological turf. Pray that the main agenda of white and black believers will be the extension of the kingdom and the removal of anything on our part that prevents that. Pray that we can engage in a genuine dialogue that will result in the biblical fruit of Christ-like love and true unity. And pray that our example might result in the Name of Jesus being given high honor and praise among those who don’t know Him and yet truly want better ethnic relations in this country.
Lastly, here’s a message I preached on ethnic unity around this time last year. It’s entitled ‘One Nation Under The Blood’ and focuses on what God has done in Christ to create one new people.
To Him Who Loves Us…