It is my life’s purpose to encourage persons to hang this sign on their soul in response to race, its stereotypes and prejudices: Do not enter. While I believe that God is without boundary, that God cannot be limited or restricted by the designations of society and culture, that God’s Being cannot be changed, I also espouse the position that the human’s understanding of being is too easily challenged. I want to argue that there are truths about our being that must be protected and that a line must be drawn, a standard raised, a wall built and a watchmen hired.
We learn from the story of Job and from the mouth of Satan that God does put a fence around righteous persons (Job 1.10). Satan argues that this is the reason for Job’s goodness and asks that the Lord would remove the hedge. And while God does allow the devil entry into the life of Job, touching his family, finances, flesh and the perception of some of his friends, God does not allow the accuser to touch his soul, his essence, his life (2.6). This story reminds me that there are some things that are not up for discussion or up for grabs. There are some parts of us that are negotiable.
The increased connections made through social media allow us to share our lives minute- by- minute. Our screens allow us to be seen by persons all over the world. But, what of ourselves do we know? Note: Social media updates are not synonymous with personal and spiritual awareness. I understand that it is done in an attempt to be transparent and authentic, bearing all in hopes of seeing more of ourselves. We have nothing to hide.
So, when we are introduced to the Church that keeps secrets and wears masks, we become angry. The Church is supposed to show us who we are according to God’s Word– not according to the status quo and social suggestions. This is why this generation has charged the Church with hypocrisy.
Frankly, the charges stick. We don’t have to wait for a trial; we are guilty as charge. There is a case against us when it comes to the social construct of race. Because we have shared in society’s lie, in history’s ruse. We have racialized the will of God and the Word of God, the presence of God and the people of God. We have justified segregation. We have demonized and sanctified the social coloring of skin.
God came to earth and was revealed in Christ; still, we have yet to understand what we have been entrusted with, that there is a need to keep some things for ourselves and from our selves. Race is one such thing that must be pushed away in order that we might be found closer to who we are in Christ.
The house of God is for all people and all kinds of people. The Church is not a box, a container or a storage space. It is the place where we empty of ourselves in order to be filled with God’s race-less Spirit. How else will we fulfill the Great Commission? How can we go out into all the world? We must place signs up in the souls of humanity and on the doors of the Church. Do not enter. Because there must be a separation between the Church and race.