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I am a proud associate pastor. A group at our United Methodist church has been meeting for about nine months. Inspired by the protest and tragedies in Charlottesville they started meeting to discuss racial reconciliation. They’ve used resources that the UMC’s General Commission on Racial Reconciliation has offered and they have learned a lot. I want to offer something else that may help continue to move the conversation forward; and that is the Gospel.
GCORR does good work charting the nature of systemic racism. Fortunately (or unfortunately as the case may be) such resources addressing the nature of systemic racism are not hard to find in our culture. Many other outlets are examining the reality of systemic racism in our culture and many do so better than the Church. If someone is looking for a thorough and thoughtful analysis of systemic racism and how it impacts all of us unawares, I’m not sure the Church is the institution to which they should turn. I don’t mean this apologetically. I mean only to suggest that this isn’t the particular gift God has given the Church to offer our culture when it comes to race and racism.
GCORR - Work - Impact - Christians - Language
I think the GCORR’s work could have even broader impact if it helped Christians use more theological language in our conversations about race.
That is, I wish our conversations on racial reconciliation (and social justice) could more often begin with the acknowledgment that Jesus Christ has already begun and guaranteed our reconciliation. Indeed, I suspect it would change the tenor of our debate about race (in the Church, at least) if it was couched in terms of scripture’s gospel promise that reconciliation- including racial reconciliation- is already an accomplished fact to celebrate and not an aspiration to exhort. The Gospel given to us...
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