Race Brought to the Forefront

America has just elected Barack Obama as its 44th president, and, historically enough, he is our first African-American president. This was done amid cries of racism and bigotry as many who objected to many of President-elect Obama’s policies were questioned by his opponents. It has quickly been followed by affirmation by Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, and the entire campaign was flavored by racist remarks by Barack Obama’s former pastor, the Reverend Wright. All the while, polls showed that there were people who would be voting solely on the issue of race, many voting for Mr. Obama because he is a black man, and many voting against him for the same reason.

All this to say that racism has not died in America. It is alive and well. It is something we must deal with, something Christians must deal with, as we continue to be conformed into the image of Christ.

Here are a few short clips of a pastor named Thabiti Anyabwile speaking on reconciliation of races.

I’ve mentioned Anyabwile on before.  He has written a lot on the African-American church and theology. I feel his comments on race are of utmost importance, and cuttingly insightful. His comments can be found here, from a conference held in Louisville, Kentucky last summer called Together for the Gospel.

Anyabwile holds that we separate ourselves based on race, which is a flawed concept. We are all sons and daughters of Adam, and united in that bond.  We are all on the same playing field. As Christians, it is absolutely imperative that we accurately understand race and ethnicity. Very few things have been affected by the Fall as race has been.  And so we must work to redeem it.  

Christ has showed us the way. On the cross, he suffered and died to reconcile men to himself and to unite men in himself. Just look at his disciples. Many of them were of factions that would have been enemies in Jewish culture. Matthew was a tax collector, a hated man in 1st century Israel. They were seen as having sold out their countrymen for gifts from the foreign ruling power. Also among the disciples was Simon the Zealot, a man sworn to fight against the foreign oppressors. Yet they came together, in Christ.

In Christ (in the Christian Worldview) races are redeemed. Christ is head and his church, in love, seeks not itself, but the good (growth, edification, blessing and joy) of others. As the Psalmist says, let the nations be glad!  They rejoice in Christ – every tribe, tongue, people and nation. And yes, that includes every race.

 

Feel free to comment. I’m trying to figure out race in American culture, just like everybody else.

Published in: on November 11, 2008 at 9:51 pm  Comments (1)  
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Constructing A Christian Worldview: Fallen

Recently I published an article on creation, on the origin of our world and our society, on how things were at one point and how life was projected to work out properly.  This is not that article.  To put it bluntly, this article is about how all that stuff got messed up.

We left off at the end of Genesis 2.  God had made the world.  He made everything in it, including people – male and female – whom He made in His own image.  Life in the garden was good.  He gave them a job to do and they began doing it.  Everything was just rosey.

Then Genesis 3 rolls around.  The serpent shows up, tempts Eve, then Adam to sin.  And they fall.  Yes, they fall.  God curses them to toil and to die.  He curses the ground because of their sin.  Everything that he made, though pronounced “very good” has taken a turn downward.  Our rebelliosness has cost us.

The nature of the sin is that we sought to disobey God’s good and perfect law and make up our own.  We saw ourselves as the ultimate authority on what was right.  We stood ourselves up as the pronouncers of “very good” and we threw God’s law down.  We disordered everything.  In other words, we totally screwed up.

It may seem like it was only Adam and Eve who committed the sin, who ate the apple.  But each one of us has disordered, in our own lives, the law of the Creator.  It was a law just like gravity, built into the fabric of creation.  And when it was broken, all creation changed.  All creation fell.  It wasn’t just that death was introduced into our lives.  Everything in creation took a downward turn.  Everything.  Nancy Pearcy writes:

Music is good, but popular songs can be used to glorify moral perversion.  Art is a good gift from God, but books and movies can be used to convey nonbiblical worldviews and encourage moral decadence.  Science is a vocation from God, but it can be used to undermine belief in a Creator.  Sexuality was God’s idea in the first place, but it can be distorted and twisted to serve selfish, hedonistic purposes.  The state is ordained by God to establish justice, but it can be perverted into tyranny and injustice.  Work is a calling from God, but in American corporate culture it is often an addiction… In every area of life, we need to distinguish between the way God originally created the world, and the way it has been deformed and defaced by sin.

But the Christian Worldview is not the only worldview that involves the idea of a Fall.  Remember when discussion creation.  Just as Marxism involves the idea of an original creation – perfect and pristine – it also involves an understanding of the Fall.  The Marxist worldview holds that the fall was property ownership – that when people became property owners and went into business for themselves, everything was turned upside down.  According to Marxism, there is no God and the Fall is not a result of rebellion against Him, but of man’s desire to own property, to work to put food on his table and a roof over his head.

Paul tells us in Romans 8 that “creation was subjected to futility” by One who did it in hope.  Who can subject all creation in futility in hope?  Only God.  That hope is for redemption.  God didn’t leave the world fallen.  He hasn’t forsaken the world or destroyed it.  He is still at work here.

Coming Soon:  Construction a Christian Worldview:  Redemption

Published in: on September 12, 2008 at 6:12 pm  Comments (1)  
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