Saturday, June 07, 2008

Unashamedly white and unapologetically Christian?

It's been bothering me since I read about the issue [on BBC News] a week ago, and I thought I'd mention it here.

Would it ever be OK for a church to describe itself as: "Unashamedly white and unapologetically Christian"? Or is that a denial of the fundamental truth that there is no race or sex or colour in the Kingdom of Heaven?

It's just that Barak Obama's old church refers to itself as "unashamedly black and unapologetically Christian". They'll even sell you the slogan on a T Shirt. It's not only the order that these come in - colour first, faith afterwards - that bothers me. It's the contrast between a God who accepts all who turn to him, regardless of colour, and our own human tribal tendencies - expressed in a church that presumably tries to follow God's teaching.

Sure that church may not be in the most racially mixed of areas. Indeed, the congregation may be entirely black. As a church they may have to live out Christ's teaching by opposing racism and injustice in today's society. And, as individuals, they may well be proud to be black (or, perhaps, "African American"). But to advertise in the church's slogan that you are not a place of worship for Native Americans, Latin Americans, Asians, Arabs, Hebrews or white people? Can that be right?

It's wrong when parts of the Christian church in India segregate themselves by Caste. And it was wrong when the church in South Africa allowed itself to be co-opted by the Apartheid state. Churches anywhere which refuse to include people based on race, nationality, or the colour of their skin are ignoring the basic truth about human beings' relationships with Almighty God. We are all in the same situation!

As it says in Galations 3 v 28: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

Not the least of the ironies of this unrelenting blackness is that it would seem to exclude Christ himself. And that can't be right!


Monique said...

wow, I don't even know where to begin with Jeremiah Wright. I think we may hear a lot more from him in Canada than you do, but I could be wrong. He's made me twitchy from the first time I heard him speak (not in person, just on newscasts, video clips, etc). He spouts these inflamatory statements, with just enough "truth" to fool his audience.

For me, the depth of his ignorance was made apparent in the rant he was on about Jesus being "a poor black man who lived in a country and who lived in a culture that was controlled by by rich, white people." He goes on to deduce that the Romans were rich (yes), the Romans were Italian (not really), which means they were European and therefore white (huh?). Such sweeping leaps - where does one begin?!?

First off, Rome was an Empire, yes? Hardly confined to the peninsula we now know as Italy. It would be about another 1800 years after Jesus walked the Earth that we had a country called Italy.

Secondly, the Romans white?? Hardly! They invented multi-culturalism. When Rome came a' conquering you could either join their army (& become Roman), become a slave (& belong to Rome) or die.

Oh there's more, so much more about this Jeremiah Wright that pisses me off, but I know I'll just be preaching to the choir. I am saddened that a man who has the chance to really make a difference in the social fabric of the US chooses hate as his message. It's a shame and a waste.

Oh yeah, here's the clip I was refering to way back there in this rather long comment.....

Paul said...

It sounds like the guy goes to enormous lengths to make the real world fit his narrative - and I think that's a danger sign for any philosophy.