You call yourself a Christian. Well, how can you be a Christian and …
It is so easy to ask this question of others. We are good at observing and judging the behavior, sitting in the bleachers of life pointing out the mistakes of others and what we would have done if we were in their position. We seem to know all the right things answers when someone gets it wrong. We know the key to success but only after someone else fails. But what of self- inspection, of introspection?
How can we be Christians, practicing the religion of a God whose name and nature are love, who is capital L, supreme love, the first person pronoun of love, who is not defined by love but is its very definition: Love is “God” and be defined by who we hate? How can we be led by Love and live a life that is influenced by hatred of particular people and cultural groups? How can these two ways of life walk together when they obviously do not agree (cf. Amos 3.3)?
What kind of Christian is a racist? All kinds. Racists are found in every culture in America. Race has no respecter of person. They are in every socio-economic bracket. You can be rich or poor and be a racist. You can be illiterate or well- educated, live in a gated community or be homeless, be sick or well, happy or sad and still be a racist. Both the oppressor and the oppressed are racist. It is not gender- specific; both males and females are racist. It does not matter your position; both the parishioner and the preacher can and are racist. It is not a matter of political vantage point; you can be progressive or liberal, Democrat, Republican, Independent, a member of the Green Party or Tea Party.
Our belief in race and practice of racism is a social condition that continues to dictate our spiritual lives. This confession is good for the heart: I am a Christian and I am a racist. One of them has to go. Choose this day who your life and identity will serve (cf. Joshua 24.15). Give it up for Lent. Give it up for life and call yourself a Christian.