It’s taking me two days to work my way through the foreword and introduction of Dennis Edwards’ new book Might from the Margins: The Gospel’s Power to Turn the Tables on Injustice. I read a paragraph, put the book down, weep and repent, then try to get through the next paragraph.
There is a paragraph to quote here from his book that answers the shameful tact white Christians are trying to use on the phrase “BLACK LIVES MATTER.”
African Americans — men and women — often fear the police because of the history of brutality. The slogan and hashtag “Black lives matter” served to energize and mobilize many in the wake of several high-profile cases of police brutality. However, many white Christians are among those most offended by what may be seen as an innocuous slogan. Those three simple words are a cry for dignity, yet white Christians push back with “All lives matter,” failing to recognize the fear that many of us have because of them. White Christians whose faith energizes their nationalism do not understand the type of power inherent in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel of Jesus empowers. But the power of the gospel is not that of secular government. The gospel’s power is not about social hierarchy. The gospel is the power of God for salvation. The gospel brings transformation. It creates witnesses who speak and act on behalf of Jesus. Systems energized through bullying bodies and suppressing spirits of fellow human beings — those who are also made in the image of God — do not portray the power of the gospel.
It is utterly shameful the way I see culturalized Christians try to shame people using the phrase “BLACK LIVES MATTER” as a call for justice by saying, “Well, that’s a Marxist organization.”
This shameful approach is nothing but a play on their part to try and retain their privilege and deflect their irresponsibility. At it’s minimal point, it is just plain ignorance and a lack of trying to understand those who are oppressed.
Dr. Dennis Edwards has an Ivy League education, a PhD in New Testament studies, has pastored churches and now is a professor at a seminary. And he told me directly that he still wants to know what about his black body threatens white people around him!
ENOUGH of the cheap shots of “All lives matter” or “Blue lives matter” (AS IF THAT’S ACTUALLY A RACE OF PEOPLE!!!).
First of all, get this book.
Second, spend some time in deep reflection and repentance.
Third, once you’re about 5 pages in and finding yourself offended, do yourself a HUGE favor and make friends with a Black Christian. How? Go visit their churches. Don’t have them meet you on your turf. You go to them. You ASK for understanding. Then, go through their experience and this book with them. And for God’s sake… SAY NOTHING. Just listen!
Our failure in this moment to join our brothers and sisters in this struggle will only leave us as embarrassing examples of what could have been done in 2020… just like those white “Christians” in the 1960s who did nothing.
God help us.