The exercise of benevolence is necessary but not sufficient to solve the racial quagmire in which America and its Church find themselves. For too long we have engaged in the abstraction of spiritual and social; accepting the Church as a spiritual institution that might, but need not, surprise us with occasional social activism or pleas for justice. Embarrassingly, this behavior has become normative in many American congregations. But rarely do we annihilate this abstraction by demanding that the Church fulfill its social and biblical responsibility to speak for the voiceless and engage in self-critique to ensure that it does not succumb to the seduction of power. In fact, beyond conceptions of evangelism and benevolence, we are largely unaccustomed to speaking about the “responsibilities” of the Church at all.
Darryl Scriven, “Theological Afterword: The Call to Blackness in American Christianity,” in Christians and the Color Line: Race and Religion after Divided by Faith, eds. J. Russell Hawkins and Phillip Luke Sinitiere (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), 255.