Last night I had the privilege of having a discussion with some people on race and the church. Here are a few of my mental notes I was working from.
Blacks have been severely mistreated in America and throughout the Western society. Some people use this statement as a crutch. Others use it as if it's been cured.
It's been only fifty years since our nation fought against major systemic racial injustices that affected blacks as a whole. Racism isn't going anywhere. We must not look at progress and use it as an excuse to ignore present personal and systemic racism.
If you are white, it's important to understand race. Some white people will feel guilty and others will make whites believe that they should feel guilty, solely because they are white. That is not the correct response to racism as Christians. That is not the gospel. There is no condemnation in Jesus. He has borne the guilt and shame of sin. But if you are guilty due to the racism of your own heart, or if you feel a historical guilt that comes with the burden of the previous generations' racism, that guilt can be turned to grace. It can open a way to listening, bearing the burdens of others and healing through the gospel.
Many people look at racism and say that the solution is to "just peach the gospel". That's a good answer and true but it's often interpreted as a cold response, detached from any practical out working in our lives. What does it look like for the gospel to combat racism in the hearts of those who are unaffected by it and what does it look like for the gospel to combat racism in the hearts of those directly impacted by it?