For over twenty-five years, New Life Fellowship in Queens, has been developing a paradigm for the practice of unity in the midst of great diversity. Today’s post includes the remainder of Pastor Scazzero’s reasons why racism, one great source of disunity, continues in Evangelical and other church traditions:
Most American Christians attend churches with people who look like they do, perpetuating a subculture of minimal contact with people of different races and cultures. As a result: ‘Despite devoting considerable time and energy to solving the problem of racial division, White evangelicalism likely does more to perpetuate the racialized society than to reduce it.’ Michael Emerson and Christian Smith*
7. Naiveté regarding demonic powers and principalities.
Evil, unclean spirits are real, feasting on the wounds of a split nation and church. To drive them [out] involves us in a spiritual warfare beyond discussions and statistics. It calls for our following of Jesus to the cross.
8. Lack of skills to love well.
Learning to love well is among our most important tasks as Christ-followers. Learning to listen, ‘fight’ cleanly, and speak clearly and honestly (to name a few) are foundational for being a healthy community. Bridging barriers requires we create a new culture with a new language. For this reason we developed Emotionally Healthy Skills 2.0 out of our life together at New Life over our 29 year history.
9. Obliviousness of systemic racism.
Peggy McIntosh said it well: “I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group.” (See her “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack“)
10. Emotional Immaturity.
It is not possible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature. To engage in this level of warfare without addressing people’s immaturities (e.g. unawareness, defensiveness, ignorance of how our families of origin impact us) is a sure recipe for further wounding and division.” Pete Scazzero
“grow up in all things into Him who is the head”
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Is your church helping to perpetuate our “racialized society?” Don’t be too quick to answer.
- Did you read McIntosh’s words about white privilege. Are you oblivious to the reality of white privilege?
- Does the ministry of your church help you be a more mature person? …a better human being?
Abba, help! We’re in deep waters.
*For More: Divided by Race: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America by Michael Emerson and Christian Smith
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. Thanks for reading and sharing my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)
“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”