Racism and the People of God

The story of America cannot be told without coming to grips with its heritage of racism in its advancement of slavery and white supremacy. America’s “original sin,” as many call slavery, continue to affect the lives of its citizens to this day.

Unfortunately, that same story has affected the people of God as well. Some Christians in the past supported American chattel slavery. Many others deeply imbibed from the wells of race theory which were taken for granted as true for the better part of three hundred years. Many Christians actively defended the deeply segregated and white supremacist ways, not only of the South in the Jim Crow era, but also in the smug superiority prevalent in the North.

Much has changed over the past fifty years. Yet people of color and many others in American culture make it clear that racism and white supremacy remain. They may not always take the explicit forms manifest over fifty years ago, yet their pernicious effects still cause great pain, distress, and fear among people of color.

In this section we will explore some of the heritage of God’s people as it relates to the issue of race. We will have opportunity to explicitly identify and document precisely what was said and felt. We will lament and mourn what has transpired. We will also explore what heritage of racism and white supremacy may still exist among the Lord’s people, however consciously recognized, and why we must recognize our complicity in the racism and white supremacy in our culture, lament it, strive to reduce and eliminate it, and seek to advocate for those who do not share in our benefits and privileges. This humble service and seeking the welfare of the less fortunate is the way of the Lord Jesus (Matthew 25:31-46, Philippians 2:1-11).

Documentation of Primary Sources