We Cannot Afford Unity at this Price
Daniel Johnson
256

Whoa. As a White Christian, I have to say the writer leaves out what was certainly my experience. When I went to seminary at the turn of the 21st century, 50 percent of my class was Black. Of course we talked about how “11 am on Sunday was the most segregated hour of the week.” But what I learned from listening to my Black colleagues was that they absolutely WANTED it that way, much to my surprise. The LAST thing they wanted was “multicultural” churches or integrated churches — to them, the Black church was a site and source of Black power and culture, and anyone who talked about changing that was viewed with suspicion. To the average White Christian, why there are few Black people in their church is a mystery and I really don’t know any who would regard an integrated church as a problem. Are most White Christians unaware of systemic racism and White privilege -yes. Are we trying to learn? Some are, yes. But that doesn’t mean those people are actively seeking to oppress — yes- their Black brothers and sisters. Why does the writer have to “be nice to them”? Well, if you say you follow Jesus, he commanded it. Well, no — more than that. That you love them as he loves them. Just as they are commanded to love you as he did. Love is complicated and hard and isn’t always the same as “being nice’ — but it is an unavoidable part of being a Christian. I do not pretend to understand the writer’s frustration. But I will stand against this line of thinking as being Christian.

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