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Interfaith Collective of Cabarrus County: Where are the courageous Christians?

Interfaith Collective of Cabarrus County: Where are the courageous Christians?

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Interfaith Collective of Cabarrus County

Views expressed in this series of columns represent the individual views of members of the Interfaith Collective of Cabarrus County.

Discussions on race and white supremacy will continue to be difficult until both Black and white people realize they are infected by the disease of white supremacy.

This disease impacts each very differently. The humanity of both is debilitated because this corrosive evil denies the omnipresent God within Black people who, like white people, are created in the image of God.

To dismantle the ravages of this disease (white supremacy), it will take courage from white Christians to do some soul searching to evaluate their understanding of God, Jesus, and the Gospel. Jesus doesn't accept injustice enacted against God's creation. Jesus doesn't sleep with and isn't in cahoots with the Empire. Jesus doesn't attempt to gain favor with the political or powerful oligarchs; rather, Jesus disrupts and challenges their actions and points them to the Kingdom of God!

Jesus' purpose (salvation plan) isn't to leave people dreaming about a heaven in the sky while living in hell on earth. Jesus modeled his intention: "thy (God's) will be done on earth as it is in heaven". Do Christians believe that God's heaven is racially divided? Will God have lesser kingdoms in heaven for the poor and oppressed? Will God have a portion of heaven for people having darker pigmentation? Surely, all of our white robes in heaven will shine with equal brilliance.

God works through those who believe in a Gospel of inclusiveness to bring about love, justice, mercy, grace and a restored hope in God. God created human beings in the image of God with the purpose of Oneness. We, the human family, are destined to live entangled in the Oneness of love – loving God and each other in shalom. Shalom means peace but more importantly it is the absence of war, the absence of injustice, and the absence of violence (spiritual, physical, emotional). The root of the word of shalom is wholeness.

Yet, this wholeness is absent in culture, in society, and even in the church.

Certainly, anyone even with limited awareness knows we live in a divided world of despair vs, prosperity, white vs. Black, rich vs. poor, white privilege vs. discarded, Christian vs. Muslim, American vs, Other, Christopher Columbus vs. Terrorist, quality education vs. denied education, prison vs. college, and minimum wage vs. the top 1%, among others.

How do Christians reconcile this world with the one Jesus speaks? Jesus says: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10).

The continued silence of Christians on issues of oppression and white supremacy emboldens the thief.

All people are created in the image of God. Hence, God is embedded in each human being. Hatred and vitriol against Blacks and other people groups is unacceptable. It is not of God. It is an assault against God. How can we say we follow and love Jesus, when we participate in, condone and even promote systems that oppress people (created by God in the image of God) whom God loves?

Why will this require courage from white Christians? Admitting the existence of a pernicious system in which one is a willing or unwilling benefactor demands courage. Furthermore, courage is imperative to expose the system of white supremacy and requires examining history and the Gospel from the margins, not from privilege.

Read what Jesus says: “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40, 31-45). In that light, how could you respond to issues of race, poverty, and justice? How do you respond as part of a society that "thingafies" Black people and poor people as monsters and takers, making them the least of our great Union?

Reimagine the world through God’s point of view. Jesus calls white Christians to courage. If you affirm and accept his call, the disease of white supremacy can be cured. Then, Black people, Brown people, Native people, White people - people of all colors - will be healed and restored in the image of God!

“But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24).

“Courage, do not stumble…

Perish policy and cunning,

Perish all that fears the light!

Whether losing, whether winning,

Trust in God and do the right.

Trust no party, sect, or faction;

Trust no leaders in the fight;

Put in every word or action…

Trust in God, trust in God,

Trust in God and do the right.”

Pastor Marcus Singleton

Marcus Singleton | Interfaith Collective of Cabarrus County

Marcus Singleton is pastor of Aldersgate United Methodist Church and a member of the Interfaith Collective of Cabarrus County.

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