Friday, December 07, 2007

Racism in our country's and fellowship's past

Here is an article on race from a member of our fellowship back in 1941. It will probably sadden and anger you that blacks were treated so poorly at this time. Shaking hands with black preachers, sleeping in the same room as them, or marrying an African-American was viewed to be a "violation of Christianity."

These racists attitudes were pervasive across the United States, and sadly, across the vast majority of religious groups in the South at this time. Racism has no place whatsoever in Christianity, for all men and women, regardless of race, are created equal in the sight of God.

We need to understand the sins of the past so that we can understand the issues of the present and seek to continue to move towards a more positive future. Racism still exists. All of us surely fall prey to this one way or another, often in unconscious ways. If we want to know why there is still a racial divide in our country and in our fellowship, we need to understand our history. We have made much progress on racism as a country and as a fellowship. We need to continue to do so.

Clearly, there was a blindness on this issue that was so pervasive in our culture that it was not even seen by Christians. Here is a positive point on this issue. Some hold the view that if anyone is wrong on any point of doctrine, that they are lost. If this is the case, then the vast majority of Christians in this time--including so many of our grandparents and great-grandparents--would have to be lost. I thank God for his grace, that he forgives us when we are seeking him, even sometimes to things to which we are blind. I am sure that I am wrong on many things, and blind to many things. I have to believe that God forgives me.

How can we continue to overcome racism and prejudice in our nation and in the church?


The Dude said...

James, this is one of the better things I have read recently...thank you for saying what needs to be said.


James said...

Thanks, Ric. Thankfully younger generations have grown up without Jim Crow laws and some of the abhorrent behavior described in the article.

Sunday morning still continues to be one of the most segregated hours in America. And while not as extreme as in the past, African-Americans still continue to experience hurt over attitudes. For an article on this, as well as how some churches are striving to overcome this, see this month's Christian Chronicle.

Good to hear from you, bro.