If race has offended your identity, threatened your sense of community, attacked your neighbor, provoked only by prejudice, then you should say something. You should confront race and you should not be afraid to “speak the truth in love,” telling her or him, the ominous “they” and “them” that what was said was prejudiced or hateful or stereotypically informed and thereby wrong, misleading, offensive, unChristlike (Ephesians 4.15).
And I don’t have ten steps to a reconciled world, no deep breathing and meditation technique here, no one hundred percent guarantee that it will work right now. No, this sacred work is case by case, one relationship, one person and then two people at a time. We must look in the mirror and talk to ourselves first.
After self- confrontation, then we can turn in our Bibles to the process outlined there: Matthew 18.15-17. Yes, we are familiar with the chapter and it verses. We like the way they sound and the fact that our faith thinks so highly impresses us and makes us feel good. Yes, we have studied it in Sunday school. Yes, we have heard it preached. We said, “Amen” because we agree. But, how often do we practice it? When we have been offended by race, how often do we speak up, talk about it, tell some one in our church and then, the Church?
It’s time that Christ’s members started working together and we cannot do that until we discontinue this practice of segregated worship. Justified and divinized, it is not supported by Scripture and is not the goal of kingdom of God. If race has caused us to be offended by the appearance of a member of Christ’s body, by the sound of their worship, by the practice of their faith, then we need to talk about it.
No more excuses. This can’t wait. We need to talk now and here’s how we do it.
“15 ‘If another member of the church sins against you go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. 16But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax-collector.”
2 thoughts on “If race has offended you”
Here’s the episode. It’s ‘Act 1’.
The prologue is very telling too – about how we treat (people) changes their behavior. Kind of obvious, but there are exceptions like with some mental conditions I would think.
I would say it’s racism and xenophobia that offend me. I’m okay with whatever label we want to use to recognize different phenotypes, and haplotypes.
I just heard on This American Life this week (episode 544: Batman), one of the stories is about a blind professor who put forth the theory that Blindness is a social construction. It’s a VERY interesting episode. My mind was blown. What he means is that the label of ‘Blindness’ that is put onto blind people causes society to disallow them the freedom to do many things that they CAN actually do.
I thought, Whoa! This is similar to the concept of Race as a social construct. The racial label causes some segments of society to disallow certain groups of people the freedoms and dignities that they SHOULD actually have.