Tag Archives: Romans 2.11

Train Up A Child…

“If you have the same skin, you can play together but if you don’t have the same skin, you can’t play together.”

~”Kids On Race: The Hidden Picture” with Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper’s report serves as a reminder of the power of parenting and the need to teach our children about cultural differences in a manner that is informed by our Christian conviction to love as God loves– unconditionally. The need of children to be accepted and to receive the approval of their parents can have devastating effects when that approval is based on such harmful practices as racism and prejudice. It is my prayer that parents would not use their position as nurturer, their role as primary teacher to enforce old hatreds and unfounded traditions of prejudice and separatism.

Also, this discussion of race by these future adults and parents is an occasion for examination and reflection. How were you taught to relate to persons of other “races” as a child?  Were persons of different cultures “allowed” in your home? How were good and bad people described or identified? Was the stranger/ foreigner/ alien/ outsider defined by the social coloring of skin? Did you feel that you would be punished or that your parent or guardian would be disappointed or upset if you chose to play with someone who was not a member of the same socially constructed race? How have these teachings, this racially informed upbringing determined your relationships as an adult?

How does it impact the practice of your faith today? For example, do you attend a church where most or all of the attendees are of the same culture or socially constructed race? Do you talk to your children about race and if so, how? Is your discussion of race informed by your Christian beliefs and if so, how?

We must be mindful of the lessons that we teach our children and I would encourage us to examine the ones that we have received from our parents. Be assured that it is the approval of our Divine Parent that matters most and God has no favorites (Romans 2.11).

Living Scarcely: Race and Christ’s Abundant Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

~Jesus Christ, John 10.10, New Revised Standard Version

“A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”

~Jesus Christ, John 10.10, The Message

Race is a thief. We know this because of its works. We know this tree by its “strange fruit” (Luke 6.44). All that race has done in American society and in our lives is kill, steal and destroy. Race has convinced us to kill persons based on the social coloring of one’s skin. We have served as accomplices– stealing, taking, holding as if we are the only ones worthy of possessing esteem and worth. Race has destroyed our sense of self- knowing that we belong no matter where we are. Race has only taken from us. It has nothing to give that does not do the same.

If Christ came to give believers an abundant, real and eternal life, a life that is more and better than we could dream of (and He did), then what did race come to do and what can it offer us that Christ does not already provide? What does race do for our lives and our living that would necessitate our continued dependence upon it? Race is not real or eternal. It is a life that is abundant based not on the works of Jesus Christ but that of the social construct of whiteness. Its abundance is only maintained by the scarcity that it produces in the lives of those not considered socially colored white. Race takes in order to give.

Race has given us nothing because it possesses nothing. There’s nothing in its hands. In fact, race tells us that there is not enough meaning, not enough purpose, not enough worth to go around, that our God is not able to bless all that God has created. Race says that God does not love and care for all of God’s children. It is for this reason that there are haves and have nots, center and marginalized people groups, minority and majority cultures. Race suggests and implies that the purpose, the good will of God for humanity is limited and lacking. According to race, God is not a good divine Parent as there are favorites. But, God shows no favoritism (Romans 2.11).

Still, race points the finger at God and says, “God has done this.” But, whose report will you believe?