Today I attended a presentation and dialogue on changing the way the Church views racism. With me were six people representing various member congregations of the Columbia Metro Baptist Association.
It was sponsored by the Fellowship of South Carolina Bishops. Guest speaker was Drew Hart of Messiah College in Pennsylvania, and author of Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church View Racism.
In the dialogue around our table, one team member suggested there is competition between Jesus and our brain. Here is my spin on what she meant.
Our relationship with Jesus is one of unconditional love. Through such a relationship external racial reconciliation is possible. It involves our awareness of racism in our words and actions, repentance of racism in our lives and the systems of society we enable, and forgiveness for our sin of racism. This awareness may ultimately lead to actions to rid society of unjust laws and systems, racist cultural practices, and racial privilege.
The challenge is our brain. Among things that may be missing in the Jesus-focused actions of racial reconciliation is forgetting. Reconciliation is about repentance, forgiveness, and forgetting. Forgetting is the harder of the three to achieve.