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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