Tag Archives: the social construct of whiteness

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?