Ignorance Is Not Excused

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Comments (5)
  1. bkelile says:

    I’ve read the post a few times and I still don’t understand the main point. I agree ignorance is not an excuse for sin but it sounds like you’re saying that ignorance itself is your sin. Nevertheless, I don’t get what sin you’re actually confessing. Are you referring to the racial profiling you mentioned in the intro?

    1. Ian Hammond says:

      I appreciate your feedback. Clarity is something I strive for, though do not always achieve.

      The main point is that much racial sin on the part of the majority stems from ignorance. Therefore, alleviating ignorance deserves much patient effort.

      The confession I made was my ignorance. Yes, I was ignorant of things such as systemic racism and racial profiling. However, though I started with that confession, the focus of the post is not necessarily on myself.

      Moreover, ignorance is not necessarily a sin. However, “Ignorant sin is still sin.” I could have used that phrasing repeatedly in the sections, but I shortened it to “ignorance is sin.” I can understand how that could be confusing.

      Hope that helps.


      Ian Hammond

  2. Sean Wagenaar says:

    Thanks for this Ian. I appreciate your three points. No doubt you see these as just the beginning, but I would be keen to make at least two more explicit, right at the start.
    4. The work must involve restitution as we become aware of wrongs committed. This should be an active, sincere attempt to repair what was broken and return what was taken.
    5. The work must involve confronting and dismantling the systemic injustice you mention. As we become aware of the structures that continue protecting the privilege of some, and imposing disadvantage on others, we realise that repentance and moving forward means addressing the offence of this unfairness wherever we find it.
    Thanks for your writing!

    1. george canady says:

      Sean, Hey, I remember your comments from a previous post and the gracious way you handle the language. I think I may have over reacted to one of your comments. Please forgive me. Ian makes a point that some of us have been facing for many years, and especially the last few years: “Both come with a willingness to take a risk” I find my group slow to act, quick to speak. Yet I find that many black leaders seem to be one’s with more grace and patients. I have felt like a fish out of water for the last few years and only just in the last year have a place to think out loud with out the crushing rebuke(factious, hyper critical, unloving, hot buttons, hyper sensitive, not like minded,…ect.) of the white Christian church. I have been without a patients some times but I almost feel like if we, the church, don’t speak STRONG now, some how we miss this time in history and like the civil rights salve, we can say, “well we tried”. You say “confronting” is part of it. I think that too but I think the greatest part must come from where it started. I agree that restitution is a part also, but I think that a hard sell, at least in the environments I have observed. I think that Ian is most right when He says “without the knowledge of sin, there can be no repentance.” Have we just gotten so hardened to what is in our own back yard that we only see the degree when it is in another country. I must confess, I just don’t understand the Ignorance in the brouder American Christian church.

  3. george canady says:

    Ian, Thank you for this confession. It is mine too. I wish I were prepared as you are to bring biblical light to this subject. It could be that there are many more like you than we suppose. They may be waiting for bold men to confess this sin. If you look at the number of people who viewed “shopping while Black” in reference to the numbers who comment and ask yourself why it didn’t it get pickup by the mainstream bloggers, the answer might be fear. Who would want to expose themselves to the potential of being black listed in one’s own “in-group”. Please Know that you are such an encouragement to me. You can not know how my heart leaps when I see another person ask for forgiveness for this sin, especially young men with a seminary degree.

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