Wednesday, October 16, 2013

95 Theses for Christian Racial & Ethnic Unity: #80

[I]n the discussions of race, for those of us born after the Civil Rights Movement, the discussion is focused, not so much on reconciling past oppression, pain, tensions, and grievances, as on moving forward—putting on display before a watching world how the gospel creates the platform for racial solidarity (Galatians 3:28) . . . . I am convinced that the church will be able to lead society on race only if it moves beyond reconciliation and pursues racial solidarity, which means embracing our common human dignity (Genesis 1:26-28) as a human family in ways that celebrate and respect differences between ethnic communities for the common good. This goes beyond the failed concept of “colorblindness” and recognizes the importance of racial, ethnic, and ideological differences as a catalyst for loving our neighbors well (Matthew 22:36-40; John 17). I believe that racial reconciliation has largely failed . . . for four reasons: 
1.      Racial reconciliation fails to interrogate white privilege.
2.      Racial reconciliation often advances according to the limitations of white social norms.
3.      Racial reconciliation does not advance or advocate whites submitting to minorities in authority.
4.      Racial reconciliation misunderstands homogenous ethnic churches as outmoded.

Moving forward, if Christianity is to put the difference the gospel makes in relationships on display in our American churches, colleges, and seminaries, then we need a racial solidarity movement that seeks to do at least the following:

1.      Situate discussions of race within an understanding of white privilege.
2.      Advance racial solidarity in ways that do not require minorities to conform to white evangelical cultural norms.
3.      Understand that multiethnicity is not necessarily progress.
4.      Develop leaders who are not white males.
5.      Recognize the necessity and importance of homogenous ethnic churches because of the reality of white dominance in American society.

Anthony B. Bradley, “Afterword,” in Aliens in the Promised Land: Why Minority Leadership is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions, ed. Anthony B. Bradley (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing, 2013), 151-155.

[Read the Introduction to 95 Theses for Christian Racial & Ethnic Unity here.]

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