The Witness

10 Things Evangelicals Taught Me about Race in 2015

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Comments (10)
  1. Bill says:

    Regarding point #10, sure some will never “get it” if the goal is to “get it” the way some “get it.” Don’t we all “get it” to varying degrees, at a varying pace. I think we are called to speak the truth in love, and rejoice, even if someone’s “getting it” is at a much slower pace than we would prefer. I hope I’m one who is getting it at an increasingly accelerating pace.

    Thanks for writing on this.

    1. Writes this:

      “…there will be many evangelicals who will simply never get it, and they could care less whether they do. Just say the words, for example, white supremacy, systemic injustice, institutional racism, mass incarceration, or racialization in certain evangelical contexts and notice the deer in the head lights look on the faces of the Jesus-loving people to whom you speak those words. Their response of ignorance, apathy, or frustration will symbolically represent the fact that some Jesus-loving, bible-saturated Christians will simply never get the race issue.”

      But then, he calls for this:

      “But we’re still called to love them in Christ.”

      Very confusing. If “getting it” means “getting in line and having one’s position over-simplified, misrepresented, and dismissed,” I hope I never get it. This is no way to start a dialogue. This is how you ram your perspective down people’s throats while treating them as someone merely to be preached at.

      1. “Very confusing. If “getting it” means “getting in line and having one’s position over-simplified, misrepresented, and dismissed,” I hope I never get it. This is no way to start a dialogue. This is how you ram your perspective down people’s throats while treating them as someone merely to be preached at.”

        Can you explain more? I’m not sure I understand what it is you are objecting to.

        What position is being over-simplified, misrepresented, and dismissed? Is there some history here that newbies such as myself don’t understand?

        As far as I can tell–and I am not the most astute of men–the blogpost mentions that there are difficulties in communicating in America about race and racial issues. It’s possible to talk about these issues directly, without requiring anyone to be the Bad Guy.

        I don’t see how this is ramming a personal perspective down anyone’s throat nor do I see how this is treating a fellow believer as someone to be preached at.

      2. I was specifically pointing out how he derides some “Jesus-loving” and “bible-saturated” Christians for not “getting it,” because they either don’t understand or don’t agree with his solution to racism in the church. Then, after a whole paragraph of very condescending rhetoric, he says, but we should love them. The answer to your question is blaringly present in the text I quoted from the article. The title of the article really should be: “What I Learned About Race from Evangelicals in 2015: Nothing. They Should Shut Up and Learn from Me”.

      3. Ah, OK then.

        Thanks for the courtesy of a reply.

  2. There’s a “Bookshelf” link on this site which leads to a list of books about black Americana related to this stie:

    If you buy through the link I think this site gets a small percentage of the price of the book.

    Are you looking for black RAAN bloggers? Are you looking to find a wider range of bloggers? Are you looking to expand beyond a horizon of just bloggers/books that are limited to just this site and this site’s philosophical and religious outlook? I’m not asking because there’s a wrong answer. But the size of the answer can depend upon the risk behind the question.

  3. Ben Hedgspeth says:

    Jarvis, for those of us who want to learn, and don’t know where to begin, will you please give us a list of authors/bloggers/speakers that can help us begin the journey to understanding? Thank you for the article & God bless.

    1. Marx and Engels penned The Communist Manifesto in which they argued for the perpetuation of the notion of “class warfare” within societies to meet their revolutionary goals. Saul Alinsky in his rules for radicals adopts this notion of class warfare indigenous to Marxism and applied it to the racial struggle in America. President Obama being an Alinski disciple has used incidents like Ferguson and Baltimore not to unite the country but to further deepen the divide. Likewise, many Evangelicals have taken to the blogosphere to further the racial divide in churches and lob stones in the name of racial class warfare

  4. JS Boegl says:

    Thank you Jarvis, for this important article!
    This is SUCH important material for American Evangelicalism in 2016…
    The fact that so much of my tribe, “white evangelicalism”, fails to connect race issues and revival must be considered as one of the chief factors as to why America hasn’t seen revival since the generation of the emancipation proclamation…
    I believe racial unity captures God’s heart for revival for four vital reasons.
    1. Racial reconciliation engenders corporate humility, poverty of spirit and grace-giving.
    2. It makes room for unanimity based on common grace, not human-orchestrated (tree of the knowledge of good & evil) agreement.
    3. Racial harmony amplifies the universality of the gospel message and the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
    4. It provides our world with concrete examples of God’s redemptive love. They will know Him by the quality of love we exhibit for Him, and each other.
    If our nation is to see a third great awakening, we, who carry the seed and the burden for it, must cry & work for racial accord. Blessings to you!

  5. Great, great article.

    I am always glad to see men and women of God holding that the Gospel *means* something to us, and that it doesn’t ever give us an excuse to accept the way things are because they happen to please us in our current moment. That the “lines have fallen to me in pleasant places” does not ever mean “and therefore I have no need to seek justice and love mercy and walk humbly.”

    I cannot share a lot of the pain you express because I haven’t had to go through such a wearying and difficult journey, but I can attempt to empathize and understand, and hold *myself* accountable to the Gospel which would, I think, impel me to live a life free from the broken cultural, social, political, and religious powers that require us to maintain the current racial dysfunctions. It isn’t, in my opinion, merely something that we can think about and pray about and change through some slight accommodations of language or process. There is, again, in my opinion, something deeply broken about us here in America, something that affects Christians in the same way as it affects others who are not direct followers of Christ, and something that breaks us when we refuse to call it out for what it is: sin, and brokenness, and rebellion against God, and hatred and distrust of the men and women who are our neighbors and friends and even, if I read the New Testament correctly, brothers and sisters, and fathers and mothers, elders and priests and prophets and teachers.

    I am sorry that it is so painful and hard, and I regret and repent of what I’ve done to add to that, but I hope that in 2016 I will be not only more outspoken but out-acting in my discipleship.

    And I thank you for your honesty and your words.

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