My heart is often burdened by the racial strife and pain that continue to plague our nation. The most recent debacle with Virginia’s governor is another reminder that racist actions of the past haunt us all today.
This incident is timely.
For Black History Month this year, I had already planned to share some of the burdens I carry as a black Christian. I want to tell my own black history. Specifically, I will share how race has played a role as I’ve navigated evangelical circles.
This idea has been percolating for quite some time, about 10 years to be exact. It was 10 years ago when I came to grips with the fact that my white Christian friends don’t know the burdens I carry as a black American. It was two years ago when I realized so many of those same friends also want to understand and hear my story. In fact, someone sent me a text message just the other night that read: “I would like to learn more from you about how white Christians can understand our black brothers and sisters, and better promote unity in Christ.” She had no idea I was prepping this series.
Since most of my friends are white, much of what I will share is directed at them. I have worshiped in predominantly white churches for all but three years of my adult life. I hope that is sufficient evidence to prove I am not against white people. Yes, I know that there is only one race: the human race. Yes, I know we are all made in God’s image, and that the death and resurrection of Christ eliminated cultural barriers between us.
But we do live in a racialized nation and God has allowed this to be so. Once we learn to embrace this reality with wisdom and maturity, God can use us – his children together – to offer healing and hope for the racial burdens everyone carries these days.
I want to be clear that I have no interest in inducing white guilt or talking about white privilege, even though what I say may offend or seem accusatory. My goal is to enlighten and give voice to burdens I am certain many black Christians carry.
If you’re interested in growing more aware and promoting unity like my friend, subscribe to my blog and these messages will arrive in your inbox throughout the month of February.
Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.