By Trillia Newbell

My editors are constantly encouraging me to develop a catchy introduction that captures readers’ attention to encourage further reading. When I was thinking about writing about why writing on race and ethnicity can be difficult I literally thought I’d just skip the introduction and get to the facts. Why? Because writing about race is so incredibly hard. Some even question the need.

“We are in 2013 and surely we are all past the race issue,” I’ve heard.  My short answer is no, we aren’t past these issues.  As evidence I’d like to invite you to jump over to Christ and Pop Culture where I write about a recent conversation that I believe clearly displays the need for continued conversations. People are still quite unaware of the struggles of various members of our society. This, I believe, has great implications on the great commission which is ultimately why we at the Reformed African American Network (RAAN) continue to feature articles about these issues.

Ultimately it’s about the gospel. We want to proclaim the gospel. But there are other reasons why I take up the task to write about a topic like race and ethnicity. Really there are only two that are of any importance to me.

  1. God cares: The Word addresses race and ethnicity extensively. Genesis 1 through 11 seems to focus rather intently on developing creation and establishing cultures. We see God rebuking racism in Numbers.  Head over to the New Testament and God establishes that the gospel is for all nations and on the last day all nations will be present worshipping Him. I am only scratching the surface of God’s Word. He cares deeply about all nations and tribes and tongues. This is a great motivator to write (and I would say for those who aren’t writing, to read).
  2. It’s important to Jesus: There are probably several verses I could draw our attention to but I can’t help but think of the most overused but oh-so rich verse in the Bible. John 3:16 is rich because it sums up the gospel and includes the profound words, “God so loved the world.” Jesus died for anyone, specifically for “whoever” believes in Him and places their faith and trust in the finished work on His cross. Jesus gave his life for the nations, for whoever believes!

I write because I am convinced it is important to God. I write and address these topics because until Christ’s return strife among nations and people will continue. Maybe in some small way writing will help advance understanding. Perhaps a catchy introduction will help you to read but I believe it is the gospel that will cause our hearts to be knit together in a way only God can do. RAAN features and will continue to feature articles related to a wide range of subjects including theology, current events, Bible study, and Christian living; yet we will also be faithful to address this difficult and often confusing topic.

An Invitation

I’d like to invite you to join the conversation. Do you believe we’ve moved past issues on race and ethnicity? Why or why not? How can we all learn to gain better understanding of each other? How do you think the gospel applies to this conversation?

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Trillia Newbell  is a freelance journalist and writer. She writes on faith and family for The Knoxville News-Sentinel, and serves as the managing editor for Women of God Magazine. Her love and primary role is that of a wife and mother. She lives in Tennessee with her husband Thern and their two children. Follow her on twitter at @TrilliaNewbell.


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