What motivates and inspires me in this sacred work is the unconscious idolatry practiced, the investment of belief, the gut- level faithfulness exhibited toward race in the practice of the Christian faith. I have been called to separate race from God, to erase the color line in our churches and to do the groundwork for the ministry of reconciliation. I don’t like that we have allowed the social construct of race such access into our spiritual lives and the practice of Christ’s life and ministry in the world.
I realize that there is a lot invested and there is quite a bit of history and tradition associated with the partnership between race and Christianity. We might think that there is too much to lose, that we won’t recover or come back from this. But, I would remind us that we are the resurrection people and the promise of being a new creation far outweighs the comforts of the old way of being the body of Christ.
I am tired of the same old stereotypes and prejudices. I want something more than a racial identity. I want to be like Christ.
Along with our pride and sinful inclinations, our allegiances could hold you and I back. This carnal, self- centered and in the case of race, social attachment could prevent this spiritual transformation. And if you are having trouble letting go of who race says that you are and they are, then maybe the image of God is not what you see at all.
Maybe there is an competing image. Maybe you have another god. If you’re not sure, consider these descriptors.
Your god might be race if…
You believe that race was in the beginning with God, an honorary member of the Trinity, offering counsel and techniques during the creative process;
You believe that race is a part of God’s plan, that God created us based on the stereotypes of race and categorized us according to races;
You believe that God sees, loves, cares for, blesses/ curses, chooses us according to the social coloring of skin;
You believe that God’s will is prejudicial and therefore, no mystery, choosing based on physical appearance and not the condition of the heart (First Samuel 16.7);
You believe that the social construct of race is used by God to “separate the sheep from the goats” and not our confession of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord (Matthew 25.32), that salvation is based on the social coloring of skin (i.e. appearance);
God must be on your side (versus you being on God’s side) and fulfilling your will;
God must be a member of your race and in effect, made in your image;
You cannot accept the gospel of Jesus Christ without the inclusion of the social construct of race;
Any and/or all members of the Trinity must come in your social color and must come in a social color; and,
The social coloring of your skin is more important than your identity in Christ Jesus. Please note that the two cannot be combined.