How hard have we made it, as white evangelicals, for people of color to be in our supposed multi-ethnic spaces? How hard have we made it for black brothers and sisters to voice their concern, their pain, and even their joy in our spaces? Some examples:
We fail to understand the extreme tax we put on the mental and physical health of our black brothers and sisters living right in our neighborhoods!
We ache in our bodies when white people perceive us as being out of our place. We get followed in stores. We get mistaken for “the help.” We get ignored when we should be heeded, and we receive extra attention when we’re minding our own business. We inwardly groan because of slights, microaggressions, and especially encounters with authority figures that often quickly escalate to dangerous altercations.
Then we, as good evangelical white Christians, think we “give platform” to certain black brothers and sisters (but not too many), only to find out we’re comfortable with that to a point.
After preaching in a predominately white church, I found out that the leaders who prayed for me shared racist jokes before I arrived. I voiced my concerns to denominational leaders, but they denied any existence of racism and got upset with me for even suggesting the idea. I shook their dust off my feet and moved on (Mark 6:11).
There is a judgment moving through the white spaces of the conservative American Church. It’s still being vastly ignored, but that doesn’t mean God is doing the deep work of judgment and pruning. He moved in judgment on Israel through Isaiah, through Jeremiah, and through Ezekiel, often without Israel even recognizing what had been going on even though they had been constantly warned.
There is a phase of the Babylonian captivity of the church that we face. It is my heart to keep us aware (though largely ignored and I get it) and keep us prepared. The remnant will always show the way.