Missional Journal Vol. 2 No. 8 – Walls of Hostility

Any thoughts on racism as a missional issue?

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4 Responses to Missional Journal Vol. 2 No. 8 – Walls of Hostility

  1. Steve says:

    I think about this fairly often, but the church I serve is in a very white suburb of St. Paul, MN. A major initiative toward racial reconciliation would feel like I’m looking for a problem to solve and ignoring all the ones that are actually in our own neighborhood. And yet, something also feels wrong about leaving this large issue for someone else to deal with.

    Anybody else in the ‘burbs doing something that the rest of us could learn from?

  2. Albert Griffin says:

    I am always brought to a place of amazement, and I’m not proud of that, when someone of a different ethnic group is sensitized to the impact of ministry which takes place outside of the context in which they are familiar with. And before you get offended, allow me to say that I too am always surprised at myself first. Being a black christian in America and becoming aware or how little “I” understand my ethnic culture is always surprising to me. It is a true statement which attests to the reality that although one can be “in” the group and yet still remain not a part of it is surreal to say the least. As per Dave’s observations: I truly admire your ability to remain open to see your blind spots. Your desire to understand and appreciate the work of ministry in a format which has not necessarily been supported by great western theological training encourages me greatly. I too am learning how to appreciate such awareness and esteem it as I am exposed to it. Regarding Pauls sensitivity to the cultural division which existed in his day, I believe truly that this is a reflection of the ethnic divide which looms within our pastoral studies; when I listen to celebrated personalities such as Chuck Swindol and James Dobson and I see clearly that they do not make room for people of color to participate in their discussions or platforms except for the noted celebrated black preachers such as Tony Evans, I cannot help but see how there still remains this divide in relationships. No matter how subtle or (in)significant they might think they are. Until these realities are looked upon squarely as they are, the mortar will remain intact. Cured by time, fear and thoughts of supuriority. But with the understanding of Pauls teaching, I am hopeful that all things are possible through Christ Jesus.

  3. Dave Dunbar says:

    Albert:

    Thanks for this encouraging interaction. You are saying something very important for those of us in the white community to hear: we often exclude people of color without intending to do so or even being aware that it is happening. Part of the key to a better future must be a greater willingness on my part to own the problem and a greater willingness of those in minority groups to identify the specific mechanisms (social, ecclesiological, theological, etc.) that result in this sense of exclusion. The worst thing for the church and the kingdom would be for us to give up on the discussion!

  4. Albert Griffin says:

    AMEN

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