By / Jun 12

I serve in a city with a rich heritage. It is the birthplace of Mardi Gras, the home of Hank Aaron, and a place known for seafood and Southern hospitality. With our rich history also comes painful wounds from the past. There are scars from the Jim Crow era in the hearts and minds of many, and lingering challenges from redlining (a type of housing discrimination practice). 

Yet, my hope and prayer is that my city will also be remembered for its legacy of racial reconciliation, as churches in our city chart a course for a better tomorrow.

In a previous article, I unpacked the reasons why I am committed to a racially reconciling church. Here, I am going to give some of the theological pillars supporting that commitment. 

My understanding of race starts with how the Bible defines the image of God and how it describes different people groups. I also see God’s heart for racial reconciliation demonstrated in his radical call of Jonah, through Jesus’ confrontation of racial prejudice, and his reconciling death. Peter and Paul both grappled with racial reconciliation, as well. They addressed it in how they taught the Church and planted churches. All of these scriptures have been instrumental in convincing me of God’s priority of racial reconciliation. 

The image of God and race

I believe the image of God in the Bible is defined by internal features, not external ones, especially regarding how we look. Humans alone were created with the capacity to have relationship with God (Acts 17:26-28; Rom. 1:19-22). The creation account focuses more on the purpose of the human race, rather than a description of race (Gen. 1:26-31; 2:7, 15-28).

Since all human beings have common ancestry, the human genome has always included diversity. When different people groups appear in the Bible, they are almost always categorized based upon their place of origin, heritage, experience, or culture, rather than the pigmentation of their skin. According to civil rights hero John Perkins, race is a modern concept that often can be too broad to accurately describe a person’s ethnic heritage.  

For example, at my church we have people from five different countries in South America. Although their complexions might be similar, their culture and heritage are very different. Years ago, when we considered having a celebration for Hispanic families in our church, we considered Cinco de Mayo, but our families graciously informed us that they did not celebrate that holiday because it was only significant to families with Mexican heritage. 

The image of God is what unites all people as part of the human race. What distinguishes a people group is a diverse integration of factors and experiences. If the Church is to live as one unified people of God, then understanding these distinctives is paramount.

Ethnic animosity and God’s salvation

The story of Jonah and the Ninevites is a clear indication of God’s commitment to saving people groups that were far from him. The Assyrians and the Jews had long-standing animosity. Jonah was God’s reluctant prophet, caught between his sense of God’s call and his sense of nationalism. The situation was complex for Jonah because of the history of hatred and brutality between his nation and the Assyrians. For Jonah, racial reconciliation meant uncovering persistent and painful wounds. 

The story of these two nations is not unlike the story of our nation. If the Church is to face issues of racial reconciliation, then matters of nationalism and political ideology among people groups must be addressed. But also like the story of Jonah, the only hope for both people groups is a merciful God, ready to heal, save, forgive, and draw diverse people into his family. 

Jonah’s story is one of many in the Old Testament where God intentionally weaves different people groups into the tapestry of his covenant people.

The cross and reconciliation

Jesus continually fought back against the racial biases of his day. The Jews and the Samaritans were engaged in an enduring ethnic feud. Yet, he traveled to Samaria and interacted with those that his own people regarded as untouchable, preaching the Good News. God was not just saving people in Jerusalem; he was saving people in Samaria too. 

Jesus shared the love of God with a people group that he was supposed to hate. He confronted powerful Jewish leaders with the hypocrisy of their lack of love for the Samaritans. Jesus’ life and teaching centered on reconciling people with God and with one another (Luke 15; John 17; Matt. 5:43-48, etc.).  

The cross was the ultimate act of reconciliation. Jesus not only paved the way for human race to be fully in relationship with God, but he also paved way for human beings to be restored in relationship with one another. As he prayed for forgiveness over his lynch mob, he led the way in reconciliation.  

I have been asked by pastors how I keep racial reconciliation from decentralizing the gospel. Can you separate the Great Commandment from the Great Commission? I do not think that you can separate the endless lengths that Jesus went through to reconcile the human race to God from the endless efforts that he calls the Church to pursue in reconciling people to himself. 

The cross of Jesus will forever stand as the metric for God’s desire to reconcile. Jesus’ Church is to be a reconciling embassy. 

Peter’s battle with racial reconciliation

After Jesus’ resurrection, God used Peter to preach the gospel in 17 different languages, leading to the immediate diversification of the early church (Acts 2:1-42). Yet, Peter still had his struggles with accepting God’s desire for a diverse family. God repeatedly made his heart for racial reconciliation clear to Peter. God confronted him with a vision, took him to Cornelius’ house to witness non-Jews receiving salvation, and used the Apostle Paul to rebuke him before he understood and embraced God’s desire for a multiethnic family (Acts 10:1-48; Gal. 2:11-14).   

Be encouraged: Much like Peter, anyone that is on a journey of racial reconciliation will have points of disbelief, hesitation, or disillusionment. Racial reconciliation is a continuum of relationship, not a destination. 

Paul’s theology of racial reconciliation

When Paul states that there is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, he is not doing away with these distinctions. Rather, he is making a case for gospel unity superseding these distinctions. While these distinctions describe the family of God, they are not the basis of their identity. Instead, identity in God’s family is based upon adoption in Jesus (Gal. 3:26-29).  

Throughout his writings, Paul addresses distinctions within people groups that lead to tension within the Church. In many of the situations, the point of tension is methodology, not theology (Rom. 14:1-23; Col. 2:16-23). Because methodology is driven by cultural norms, people groups of different cultures often collide. Culture is a reflection of the diversity within those created in God’s image, but division based upon those cultural distinctives is a reflection of the fall. As followers of Jesus, our love for people should be based upon their dignity as those created in God’s image, not simply a response to their color, class, or culture.  

A theology of racial reconciliation means striving for unity in our diversity, valuing the distinctives that make each person unique, and refusing to give up our unity as one human race made in the image of God. And as Christians, we worship the God who made us one in Christ, and we call others to do the same. 

By / Mar 1

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 1, 2023The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention is highlighting key organizational efforts this week to encourage racial unity across SBC churches. 

In a new video conversation between ERLC President Brent Leatherwood and former Missouri Baptist Convention President Jon Nelson, the two leaders discuss challenges Nelson has faced as a minority pastor and their commitment to pursue racial unity in the SBC. 

This video conversation followed on the heels of a recent ERLC webinar where former SBC presidents, Ed Litton and Fred Luter, joined Leatherwood to discuss how the SBC can improve its pursuit of racial reconciliation. They also discussed The Unify Project, a pastor-led initiative designed to equip and inspire pastors and churches to become leaders in racial reconciliation and bring hope and healing to their communities through the transformative power of the gospel. 

“This conversation with my friend, Jon Nelson, provides a timely and important opportunity for us to reflect and consider ways we can bolster our work pursuing a biblical mandate of reconciliation. Time and time again, our churches have said this is a priority for our convention. This resource reflects that heart and my hope is it will assist our pastors and wider Baptist family as we move forward with this vital, God-honoring work.”

As a part of the ERLC’s commitment to pursue racial unity, the organization will be partnering with The Unify Project at this year’s SBC annual meeting to host an event on Monday evening, June 12. More information will follow.

To view more assets from the ERLC on racial unity visit ERLC.com/racialunity

By / Mar 1

It is no secret that contemporary American society continues to be embroiled in conversations about race and interracial tensions. America has a blemished history as it pertains to historical racial injustices and that history’s reverberations continue to resound today. 

However, as I look at the complicated issues here in the United States as they relate to prejudice and the tendency to segregate, I find myself seeing these current issues through the lens of our experience having lived abroad in the Middle East. And the tensions we encountered there led me to a deeper sense of why it is so important for the church to lead the way in exhibiting a reconciliation between people who share in the same blood of Christ despite bearing different tones of skin.

On the mission field 

One of the problems we faced in our ministry in the Middle East was how best to help believers from a Muslim background enter into fellowship with those from a Christian background. As I sought outside counsel, I was told by a well-respected missionary strategist, “You should just start two different kinds of churches—one for Muslim background believers and one for Christian background believers. It will slow things down too much if these new believers have to work through all the historical and cultural baggage that comes from bringing former persecutors into the community they persecuted.”

To be honest, I was stunned by the answer. I asked him later in the day if I had heard him correctly when he said we should not encourage believers from a Muslim background to fellowship with those believers who grew up culturally as Christians. He confirmed that I had heard him correctly: start two different kinds of churches because there is too much baggage to hope for unity.

This was a man who had overseen some reportedly incredible movements of people to Christ in another context. He had been brought into our training as an expert missiologist. But his advice to avoid dealing with conflict within the fellowship of believers was grossly dissatisfying—both theologically and practically. 

The more I reflected on it, the more frustrated I got. The pragmatism reflected in this advice was being allowed to trump the beauty of the enemy-reconciling effect of the gospel. I mean, think about it: What would have been the result for the early church if in Acts 9 Ananias had refused to receive Saul because of the sociological tension that it would cause to fellowship with a former persecutor?

Back at home

These sentiments, however, aren’t exclusive to the mission field. I also had a disappointing experience in a classroom in the U.S. once when a Christian professor dismissed the discussion about multiethnic churches altogether. His comment was that this is just a fad that is responding to contemporary sensitivities and that churches would do better to stay culturally homogeneous. 

Is it true that bringing together different communities might require each community to begin to appreciate expressions and forms of worship that are not native to their subculture? Certainly. But is the potential for discomfort sufficient reason to not pursue fellowship with brothers and sisters who share a common faith and theology? Hardly. 

What is lost if segregation of churches remains a practice of convenience? We lose multiple opportunities to learn from one another as we seek to live out a shared faith in different circumstances. And we lose multiple opportunities to display to a watching world how compelling the fellowship of the gospel is.

Beautiful unity as an embodied apologetic

A few years after the disappointing advice from the missiologist, however, I got a taste of what could happen if we didn’t allow socially-defined distinctions to determine the composition of our fellowship. 

I had been given the privilege of getting to teach a church planting course in an underground Bible school. The 20-or-so students who composed the class came from various Christian upbringings, and some had come to faith in Jesus out of Muslim families. Some of those of a Muslim background were even connected to high-ranking government and military officials who would have been responsible for overseeing various waves of targeted persecution of Christians throughout their country.

Standing in front of the classroom and observing small groups of those diverse students huddled together and strategizing about how they might link arms and plant churches together was one of the most stunning displays of the unifying power of the gospel I have ever seen. Those who were formerly aligned with persecutors were collaborating with those whose families had encountered persecution. And the only thing that brought them together was a common gospel-given identity and goal. 

The pain and history they shared was not erased or forgotten. But the gospel was sufficient to call both parties to walk through the painful history toward repentance and forgiveness and to continue working together toward a shared vision of the future on the basis of a present understanding of the gospel they held in common.

As those communities began to work toward planting churches, their friendship, fellowship, and partnership displayed the healing power of the gospel. It was not unlikely that there would be conflict and tension along the way. Still, that they were drawn together by a common task and vision testifies to the reconciling power of a shared gospel identity. This unity is encouraging to those sharing in the fellowship, and it is compelling to those observing from the outside.

Applied theology

So how does all of this discussion relate to contemporary American churches and their approach to addressing ethnic tensions? From the outset, I hope it gives us a confidence in three things:

  1. We are all sin-stained and in need of reconciliation to God and then to one another as God’s people.
  2. The community of believers draws confidence in the work of reconciliation to one another that comes from a shared reconciliation to God.
  3. The secular world is attempting to manufacture human unity without a compelling reason to believe it is possible.

Yet as they observe the Church manifesting and enjoying a unity amidst diversity, they have to stop and marvel. It will take intentional work, but the result will be an embodied apologetic that supports the gospel claim to make one new humanity in Christ. The work and effort that it will take is worth it—both due to its theological foundation and its missiological impact. 

Adapted excerpt with permission from Hope for American Evangelicals by Matthew Bennett. Copyright 2023, B&H Publishing.

By / Jan 12

Many people recognize the importance of racial unity, but don’t know how to achieve it.

The Unify Project is a gospel-centered, ethnically diverse, racial reconciliation ministry designed to mobilize Southern Baptist pastors and leaders in unifying their communities. 

Co-chaired by two former presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Ed Litton and Dr. Fred Luter, the Unify Project provides simple, practical, and effective resources to aid pastors in this work. Below, Missie Branch, a member of the Unify Project’s steering committee, talks about the project and its goals.* 

Jill Waggoner: What is the Unify Project, and how did you become involved?

Missie Branch: The Unify Project is beautiful. Dr. Litton and Dr. Luter had been doing work in this space, created this steering committee, and invited me to be a part of it. For the first several meetings, I just listened.

The goal of the Unify Project is to create resources for pastors and church leaders to be able to approach the conversation of biblically-based, gospel-centered racial reconciliation in their homes, in their communities, but particularly, in their churches. 

JW: How would you define the term, racial unity? 

MB: Unity, at its basic level, is oneness or harmony around one thing. When we talk about racial unity, it’s really the heart behind seeing all of humanity operate as one. As Christians, we know this was God’s plan for humanity—to be operating around one mission—and that mission is God’s glory and for him to be known all over the earth.

The things that divide us because of the fall—like race, for example—were not God’s plan. It was not God’s plan that looking different and having different ethnicities would be used to divide us. Actually, [these] should bring us together. So, when we’re pursuing racial unity, what we’re saying is that we would like to see God’s plan for oneness amongst his people [the Church]. 

JW: Why do you think it’s important for pastors and church leaders to prioritize racial unity? We both know how busy pastors are and how many things come across their desk. But why would you say this deserves their time and attention?

MB: Because it’s a priority of the Lord’s. He was very intentional when he made all of us different. We believe in God’s intentional plan with male and female, and even God’s intentional plan with how we grow from children and into adults.

When God decided that people were going to be born all over the world, have a bunch of different experiences, look differently, and approach life differently, I think there was intentionality in that. If God makes something intentionally, then it’s something to be celebrated and honored.

Because that was God’s intentional plan, I think as pastors, church leaders, and Christians in the pew, we need to say, “What am I doing to [advance] God’s intentional plan?” 

JW: Can you describe the types of resources that a pastor can find at the Unify website

MB: Pastors and church leaders can find videos, resources, and downloadable information. We’re working on a curriculum, as well. Things are still being built, but the goal is to be able to come to that one location and grab all those things quickly.

JW: When you think about this project and its future impact, what do you hope to see in the way that it shapes the SBC? 

MB: This is going to sound cliche, but whenever I think of what it will look like to be around the throne with the Lord, I really don’t see us separated off into groups. I see us excited to see our brothers and sisters who we spent time with and excited to see people that we’ve heard about but never got to meet. I don’t think that we’re going to be with the King of kings and Lord of lords fighting over the color of our skin and whether or not this person is more valuable or needs to be spent time with. 

It’s my dream that the SBC really models for the world, and especially for broader Christianity, this idea of coming together as brothers and sisters who reflect the love of God. 

When my kids were little, one of the main verses I made them remember was John 13:35, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” They will witness us loving one another and they’ll say, “Oh man, those people belong to Jesus!” That’s what I’m hoping for the SBC—that people will look at us and say, “Man, I know they’re Christians by the way they are loving each other.”

*This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

By / Feb 22

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 22, 2022—The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, will host a special online eventWednesday, Feb. 23 at 11:00 a.m. EST, on the topic of racial reconciliation and the SBC.

Event panelists include:

  • Ed Litton, President, Southern Baptist Convention
  • Fred Luter, Senior Pastor, Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, La.
  • Missie Branch, Assistant Dean of Students to Women, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary 
  • Jon Kelly, Lead Pastor, Chicago West Bible Church in Chicago, Ill. 

During the event, panelists will address questions and topics such as:

  • How to navigate challenging conversations about race;
  • How the SBC has worked together towards greater unity in recent years;
  • What practical steps churches can take to create unity; 
  • How the SBC can continue to advance racial reconciliation;
  • How to pursue racial reconciliation in your community. 

The ERLC is committed to working towards racial unity and has hosted several events and provided training and content to better equip church leaders on this issue.

Below are ERLC past assets calling attention to racial unity:

Event registration is free and available online.

By / Nov 20
By / Aug 26

Steven Harris moderates a panel discussion with Trillia Newbell, Rachel Metzger, Jason Paredes, Byron Day, and Ashfin Ziafat on raising children who will embrace God's plan for racial unity and reconciliation. 

By / Jun 14

WHEREAS, SBC President Ronnie Floyd has rallied Southern Baptists to “rise up and cry out against racism that still exists in our nation and in our churches,” recognizing we are in a “desperate hour” that calls us to “replace these evils with the beauty of grace and love”; and 

WHEREAS, In 1995, the Southern Baptist Convention repudiated “historic acts of evil, such as slavery,” and committed “to eradicate racism in all its forms from Southern Baptist life and ministry”; and

WHEREAS, In more recent resolutions the Southern Baptist Convention called “all Christian men and women to pray and labor for the day when our Lord will set all things right and racial prejudice and injustice will be no more” (2014) and expressed continued grief “over the presence of racism and the recent escalation of racial tension in our nation” (2015); and 

WHEREAS, More than 20 percent (nearly eleven thousand) of our cooperating Southern Baptist congregations identify as predominately non-Anglo and for the last two years more than 50 percent of Southern Baptist new church plants are predominately non-Anglo; and 

WHEREAS, We recognize that the Confederate battle flag is used by some and perceived by many as a symbol of hatred, bigotry, and racism, offending millions of people; and

WHEREAS, We recognize that, while the removal of the Confederate battle flag from public display is not going to solve the most severe racial tensions that plague our nation and churches, those professing Christ are called to extend grace and put the consciences of others ahead of their own interests and actions (1 Corinthians 8:9–13; 10:23; Philippians 2:3–4); and

WHEREAS, The state of South Carolina, with the support of state Baptist leaders, responded to the tragic slayings on June 17, 2015, of nine precious believers at Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston by removing the Confederate battle flag from their Capitol grounds and placing it in preservation at a military museum in Columbia; and

WHEREAS, Oklahoma Baptist University recently removed an image of the Confederate battle flag from its campus chapel; now, therefore, be it

RESOVLED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, June 14–15, 2016, commend the governmental officials of South Carolina, Baptist leaders in that state, and the Oklahoma Baptist University administration for their sensitivity and for fostering unity; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we acknowledge both the importance of remembering family heritage and sacrifice, as well as the urgency of pursuing a unified Body of Christ and racial healing in America; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call our brothers and sisters in Christ to discontinue the display of the Confederate battle flag as a sign of solidarity of the whole Body of Christ, including our African-American brothers and sisters; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we urge fellow Christians to exercise sensitivity so that nothing brings division or hinders the unity of the Body of Christ to be a bold witness to the transforming power of Jesus.

By / Oct 19

As an evangelical scholar of color, I live in a divided world. At the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, I teach in a evangelical context where most of my colleagues and students are white. As an evangelical preacher, I get many invitations to preach in predominately white evangelical contexts and some in predominately black and brown contexts.

As a member and contributor to the broader academic guild, I spend most of my time critically engaging black, brown, white and various international scholars in my academic sphere and outside of the evangelical world. Although vast, each context plays a role in shaping me as an evangelical scholar and churchman of color.

Taboo race discussions

What often strikes me is how much I disagree on matters of race with those in the evangelical world with whom I have much in common theologically. I’ve discovered it’s very difficult at times for white evangelicals to talk about race, or to admit these discussions are an important and necessary step toward gospel reconciliation. Some even wonder whether talking about it is helpful at all.

One might think only white evangelicals in the U.S., who either have never or have suffered very little racial marginalization because of their racial identity, are the only ones guilty of the above.

But I’ve discovered some black and brown evangelicals, whose lives are entirely assimilated within a predominately white evangelical context, also wonder whether constant race discussions are profitable or helpful efforts of gospel unity. They may even recoil at these discussions.

In what follows, I offer some personal reasons why race matters and why evangelical discussions about race are necessary.

My story

I grew up in a small and racist town in Eastern Kentucky. My father was African-American. My mother is a combination of African-American, Anglo and Cherokee Indian. I was called n****r by whites, and called half-breed, high yellow, n****r-white, red bone, and Uncle Tom by the few blacks in my community.

I was always the only black person on my athletic teams throughout my childhood and teenage years. With the exception of my uncle, all of my athletic coaches were white and most of my teammates were always white—many of whom had very little if any social interaction with black people apart from sports. I played sports for at least two racist coaches, one of which called me a racist slur to my face.

In high school, my uncle had to explain to me why I, a black kid, could not take a white girl to the local drive-in theatre—and this was in the 1990s! I also had at least a couple of racist high school teachers. One particular white teacher made it a practice to say n****r in a class full of white students and one black student.

During my freshman year, a gang of white students attacked one of our school’s few black students. And a white teacher slammed the black student against the lockers to break up the fight, in spite of the fact that he was the one being assaulted. And the white principle put both the black student and the white students, who started the fight, in detention together—even though the black student was the victim. When the word spread that some of these white students planned to attack me for no apparent reason other than they did not like blacks, the best that one of my white teachers could say was “watch your back.”

Racism in the body

At the age of 17 in 1996, the Lord Jesus saved me. In my little Eastern Kentucky town, there were no “black” churches. There were only predominately white churches. I joined the Southern Baptist church in my community the Lord used to bring me to faith. I was the first African-American to join the church in its history. A year later, my uncle was the second African-American. This congregation personified racial reconciliation, but a very small minority within the congregation was not happy about a black kid (who at the time had a white girlfriend) joining their church.

This reality came as a shock, because it reminded me racism was inside of the church. Since then, I’ve discovered the very denomination of which I’m a part of came into existence partly because of racism. The same is true about the evangelical movement in this country.

Intellectual racism

During my four years of college, I did not have any black or brown professors. My white professors never made us read any books written by black or brown authors. Unfortunately, graduate school was not much different. I completed two masters degrees and a Doctorate of Philosophy. During this time, I never had one black or brown professor. And I was never required to read any black or brown scholars.

The most austere example of racial disparity in the academy is intellectual racism. As an evangelical scholar of color, I constantly notice black and brown scholarship is either dismissed or ignored in many evangelical and non-evangelical circles. Most evangelical colleges and seminaries have an overwhelming amount of white leadership with very few, if any, minorities sharing in institutional power and privilege.

Most books published by mainline white evangelical presses are written by white men. And, in many cases, black and brown intellectuals are not taken seriously by evangelicals unless some prominent white evangelical voice grants his stamp of approval. Instead, many within the evangelical movement view black or brown people as intellectually or theologically suspect until they prove themselves otherwise.

Therefore, as an African-American evangelical scholar and churchman with a multi-racial background, race certainly matters to me and to many other black, brown, and white people.

Here are some practical steps forward to help some evangelicals see race and intelligent racial dialogue matters.

Practical suggestions

  1. White evangelicals should not only surround themselves with white evangelicals. If they walk in all white circles with people who do not think race is important or who never think about race, then they will have a limited view of race.
  2. White evangelicals must recognize minorities can minister to them and teach them about many things. Race is only one of them.
  3. White evangelicals must understand there are many black and brown intellectuals. There are many great black and brown preachers. Most white evangelicals I have interacted with never even read one book written by a person of color. Or they’ve never even heard of some of the great black and brown expositors. Ignorance will only reinforce one’s racial biases.
  4. White evangelicals must understand black and brown people do not want or need a white savior. Instead, we want white allies in the work of gospel ministry.
  5. White evangelicals should understand the kingdom of God does not revolve around them. Jesus died for many black and brown people with strange names and strange accents. And God is using many black and brown people to advance the gospel in some of the most difficult places in the world.
  6. White evangelicals must recognize anything other than white is not abnormal.
  7. White and black evangelicals must stop insisting the color-blind theory is true. When white evangelicals deny they see my brown skin, they deny part of my identity that was created into the image of God. Racial progress will not happen by denying the obvious. We must acknowledge our differences and pursue love in the gospel in spite of them.
  8. White evangelicals need to look for ways to show they value the many contributions black and brown people have made, are making, and will make to the evangelical movement by including black and brown people in every part of the evangelical movement, and NOT only when they want to discuss race.
  9. White evangelicals should not play the race card when it serves their political agenda. It’s easy to be pro-black and brown at big conferences, or when a clear example of injustice exists. But it’s difficult when your white daughter says she wants to marry a black or brown man.
  10. If white evangelicals want credibility in black and brown contexts, they must befriend black and brown evangelicals that are without celebrity status. I’ve observed white evangelicals love to affirm black and brown celebrity evangelicals because it comes with privileges.
  11. White evangelicals need to recognize the evangelical movement lacks credibility on matters pertaining to race and justice with many black and brown communities, partly because of a failure to do the things mentioned in points one through 10.

May God deliver evangelicals from thinking race does not matter, and that race discussions are unimportant.

By / Jan 21

NOTE: The 2015 ERLC Leadership Summit will address “The Gospel and Racial Reconciliation” to equip Christians to apply the gospel on these issues with convictional kindness in their communities, their families, and their churches. This event will be held in Nashville on March 26-27, 2015. To learn more go here.

“Black. White. Brown. All others. We've made progress, but we can do better.” Tony Evans discusses race, unity and the people of God. 

Twitter: @drtonyevans