A Gospel Of White Supremacy Is Not The Gospel Of Christ

08/25/2017 12:36 am ET Updated Aug 28, 2017
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If you believe that the cross is at the center of the gospel, but you refuse to listen to, sit with, lament, teach, or preach about the pain that white supremacy and racism has inflicted on your black and brown brothers and sisters, you might be worshiping a gospel of white supremacy.

If you believe in the divine virgin birth of Mary the mother of a Galilean named Jesus who was born in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and blessed by wise men, but you send your kids to private Christian schools that were founded to evade integration, all while doing nothing to uplift black and brown kids who are made in the divine image of God, yet are still languishing in failing schools, more likely to end up homeless, and are still more likely to be more harshly disciplined for the same behaviors as white kids, you might be worshiping a gospel of white supremacy.

If you believe that the incarnation of Christ is at the center of the gospel, that Jesus took on flesh and was the great high priest in the order of Melchiizedek who was willing to bear our brokenness, pain, sin and shame, but you are too "uncomfortable" to ever quite allow yourself to sit in the shoes of Trayvon Martin's mother and father, Eric Garner's wife, or Sandra Bland’s mother, and you refuse to forsake your need to be "right" for long enough to sit and mourn with the people of color in your congregation, you might worship a gospel of white supremacy.

If you believe that Jesus won victory over death, sin, decay and the grave on Easter Sunday, but you are more excited about the numbers of “souls” you can deliver next Easter than the number of bodies you can deliver from the crushing weight of police brutality, incarceration, profiling and surveillance, you might be worshipping a gospel of white supremacy.

If you believe that the power of the confession of sin is essential in acknowledging our brokenness before God and to receive the gift of a pardon for sin through Jesus Christ our Lord, but are not willing to lead your church, be it white, multi-ethnic, black, Hispanic, Asian, or immigrant, in a public confession of structural racism, internalized racism, and white supremacy, you might worship a gospel of white supremacy.

If you believe that in the kingdom of God, Jesus did not seek to invade Rome or to become king by force, but rather lived as a suffering servant in the way of the cross, healing the sick, raising the dead, giving sight to the blind, and casting out demons, but your church is invading black and brown neighborhoods with all of your power, programming, money and resources for "missions" and "church planting", all the while seeing the residents who have been there for decades as being "darkness in the neighborhood", you might worship a gospel of white supremacy.

If your “gospel” is only good news to white people, or to people who desire to ignore or erase their God-given heritage, you might worship a gospel of white supremacy.

To a church that seeks to build an empire or a Christian franchise in the name of the "kingdom of God", Jesus said, "what profiteth a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul (Mark 8:36)?"

To a church that raises and spends millions to export whiteness in the place of a Biblical Christian witness and plantation capitalism in the name of cross-shaped Christianity; to a church that would rather to take selfies with black and brown widows and orphans abroad while judging the black and brown widows and orphans whose daddies and mommies you called the cops on and had incarcerated in your own community, Jesus said, "woe unto you hypocrites, you cross land and sea to make a single convert, but you make them twice the son of hell as you (Matthew 23: 15)."

To a church who is too prideful to admit that it is wrong on important matters of Christian witness, mission, practice, and discipleship, the Apostle Paul said, "a little leaven, ruins the whole lump (Galatians 5:9)."

To a church that is more interested in saving face and popularity than it is in being transformed into the lowly image of Christ, Jesus said, "if you seek to gain your life, you will lose it, but if you lose your life for my sake, you will gain it (Matthew 16: 25)."

What if revival looked like mega-churches and Christian institutions radically sharing their power and truly partnering with local congregations and communities who have been faithfully serving local contexts for years?

What if revival looked like Christian pastors being less concerned with their access to politicians, the corporations on their sponsor list for their next conference, or who is next in line to be deacon, pastor, or bishop, and concerned itself with the radical care of the least of these and the freedom of the captive, and the recovery of sight to the blind?

What if the church in America exorcised the demonic stronghold of white supremacy and its violence on communities of color, women, men, and children and declared the cosmic power of Christ over sin, shame, death and the grave?

What if as my brother, Pastor Michael McBride once said, the church were born again...again? What if the church fell on her knees in a day of prayer, humility, mass repentance of sin and spiritual wickedness in high places? What if we destroyed our own high places and Asherah poles of success, access, significance, and celebrity? What if we could receive and hear even a hard truth like this not in judgment but in deep and heart felt love?

What would we do if Christ got the glory that we covet for ourselves? How many would return to their first love? How irresistible would be the love, mercy, grace, and power of our God?

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