Framing our race conversations in light of the Gospel
Views 45 | Time to read: 3 minutes | Uploaded: 3 - 27 - 2019 | By: Lucas Vieira
In the last edition of the Horizon, something I said in an interview about #WestmontWhiteJesus was isolated outside of the full context of my comments, and because of that I felt they were misused and therefore misunderstood. The conversation surrounding race at Westmont is a vastly important one, and I hope to provide some personal thoughts and clarity on how a follower of Christ should approach the discussion in general.
First, may we as a community of Christ-followers seek to always live with self-sacrificial love. This challenges us to consider others before ourselves. I’m consistently heartbroken by our inability to seek to understand one another for the sake of loving one another. We are often far more concerned with our own desires and rights than our concern for those around us. Thank God that Jesus didn’t take that approach.
Second, may our desire for justice always flow from the Gospel and toward the Gospel. I’ve become concerned that some of our initiatives for justice can stem from societal ideologies that aren’t initially motivated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we start to act for the sake of a political agenda instead of our love for Jesus and those around us, our initiatives will inevitably fall short. May we passionately pursue justice because of our commitment to the Kingdom of God.
Third, may we seek to have conversations and not just make comments. Let’s not just speak to be heard. Let’s listen in order to love. We need to seek understanding first and seek change second. If we attempt to bring change without seeking understanding, we end up ignoring voices and harming others.
Fourth, may we see ourselves as a family of believers united by the Spirit of God instead of groups who see one another as the “other.” We are family. Yes, it is a broken family, but a family nonetheless. Don’t see those who are in Christ as in opposition to you. Jesus tells us, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste.” Choose to see one another as one family, and then strive for change within that mindset.
Lastly, may we constantly ask ourselves, “What can I lay down in order to love my brother or sister in Christ?” All of us need to sacrifice different things for the sake of love. Love requires us to empty ourselves like Christ and to exalt those around us.
In light of this, my answer to the question, “Do we replace the stained glass window?”, is that I’m not sure. I’m really not sure. But if we as a diverse community of Christ-followers try our hardest to begin our discussions with the mindset, “How can I love my brother or sister well in light of the Gospel?”, then I think the conversations that follow will be more fruitful than we could have ever imagined.