To overcome racism, to be justice and righteousness in this world and live out the conviction that racism is not compatible with Christian teaching is a complex, nuanced endeavor. It is also essential if we are to be a people who make disciples for the transformation of the world – all the world.
This is why we’ve spent 6 weeks with this. To live out the conviction that racism is not compatible with Christian teaching is to be a just people –justice and righteous go together in the Hebrew scriptures, indicating a recognition of the injustice and working to make things right. We talked about how we must first understand and accept that God is Just pleased with us; that we don’t have to be superhuman, but are Just enough; that we are better together and must be of one heart, a Just unity; and that it is a vocation, a way of being, a Just calling.
We also considered what doing justice looks like: To be known as a people who do something about injustices and work to make things right, a people that can be trusted, a people who are safe, empowered by the Spirit of God; and, God brings about growth, and for transformation to occur, it is crucial that we Just grow up!
Growing up means we have a broader view. Our perspective becomes more expansive. We’ve moved beyond object permanence. We have the ability now, our brains are capable of meeting someone from a different neighborhood or culture and learn to understand that culture.
So, for instance, Allen Hernandez lives in LA and describes himself in this way: “I am indigenous. I am Mayan and I am a Christian.” His arms bear the tattoos of the deity worshiped by Yucatan Mayan people on one, and the praying hands of Jesus on the other.
Latinx Christians often “feel in the spiritual borderlands.” They have both Spanish heritage and indigenous. People make assumptions immediately about their socioeconomic status, their religious and political preferences, and about their citizenship. Their very identity is instantly presumed. How might that information impact my own view of spirituality, my role as a Christian in this world?