Sunday, April 05, 2015

A whiff of resurrection

The preacher explained:

“The fundamental problem that we have when it comes to [racial reconciliation] in the American church, even when we understand that there is a problem, is that those of us who are white, born-again Christians tend to assume that the Body of Christ is white with room for everybody else,” he said. “White people are normal, and the others that we minister to are ethnic.”

“We are not the state church of the Confederate States of America,” [he] said. “We are not inheritors of a lost cause but of a new creation. The cross and the Confederate battle flag cannot coexist without one setting the other on fire.”

“If what we’re conserving is 1950s Dixie, then we’re conserving something other than the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we will be fighting God, and we will not win,” he said.

“For a people who have all the marks on our history that we have, it seems to me that God is working and God is giving us another chance to get this right,” [he] said. “In order to do that we must repent, not just rebrand.”

The speaker was Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, that is, the chief flack for what Ed Kilgore labels "The Church of the Day Before Yesterday." In the year of #BlackLivesMatter uprisings, it has to be a good thing to have him speaking for racial reconciliation, even if his idea of what that might means seems to be primarily about integrating church buildings on Sunday morning. Gotta start somewhere ...
I can't leave out that Mr. Moore has been one of the cheerleaders for Indiana's phony "religious freedom" law, permitting private businesses to claim a religious exemption from treating their customers equally. He refuses to admit that this provision made the Indiana law a novelty, very different from the federal law of the same name. Apparently there are contexts in which freedom to discriminate does not, yet, move him to want to "repent" or "rebrand."

But on Easter, let's be glad for whatever tidbits of Good News that seem to have penetrated the fastnesses of fearful evangelicals. And all of us remember we're no more more "normal" or loved than anyone else.

1 comment:

Rain Trueax said...

The annoying part of this for me, given that Indiana has backed off, is the pizza owner getting over $800,000 from donations around the country to make up for the business he'd lose by something he had talked about but hadn't actually done. That many people wanted to reward his bigotry and from many states :(. The whole thing is making me more down on religion than I already was and I already was. I get it that some religious people don't hurt anybody else with their beliefs but too many do-- and it's not just Christianity.

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