Diversity, Oppression, and the God Who Hears

Diversity1-560x560-560x270Here are a few pieces that I have submitted to other blogging networks over the last few weeks:

Does the Church Really Want Diversity
Over the years many American churches have expressed a desire to be more open to people of color so that we feel welcome in the congregation. The thought is that as the number of people of color increase in this nation and the number of white people decrease, our bodies are needed to grow the church numerically. And the sentiments here are true-ish. At last, I believe, we have hit on something of importance that truly sheds light on why the American Church is declining. Still, something just doesn’t feel right.

You see the conclusion is right (we do NEED to embrace diversity) but the analysis and approach at reaching this conclusion is off if not even insulting. In the quest for diversity, what many ‘experts’ miss in their analysis is that there is a reason why we are not currently diverse.

For years, hundreds of years in fact, whites have gone through great lengths to tell people of color that we are not wanted in their places of worship. They didn’t want to eat communion with us, they didn’t want to fellowship with us, and they certainly didn’t want to be led by us! In fact, they literally killed cross cultural movements of the Holy Spirit where people of color were in charge. Read the rest over at the Salt Collective >

#StayWokeAdvent: God Who Delivers the Oppressed
The events of the last few weeks have left many people in our country weary. When the grandjury in Ferguson decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for killing Mike Brown, the shoulders of many black people fell. Our hearts, already broken and bruised as a result of living in an oppressive society, broke even more. Once again, a nation that never intended for us to make it, that never intended for us to do well, failed us. Though to be expected, we couldn’t keep ourselves from weeping. We could not keep ourselves from grieving. And we certainly could not help the feelings of utter disappointment and rage from boiling in our bones, pressing against our bodies, dying to get out. For a moment, we allowed ourselves to hope in a justice system that has had a long track record of treating us with malice. And hope failed us.

For nearly 400 years, our story has remained relatively the same. For nearly 400 years, blacks in this country have been marginalized and exploited by one form of oppression or another. Slavery. Convict Leasing System. Jim Crow. Mass Incarceration. Redlining. Generational poverty. Police Brutality. Though all of these techniques have different faces, the aim of each is to ensure that blacks don’t know peace.

After 400 years of this, you simply have to wonder when will things change. When will those of us who have been oppressed break free? When will we, at last, be able to break the yoke of white supremacy off of our necks? When will we stop drowning in this sea of perpetual turmoil and be able to finally come up from air? When will we be able to stop fighting to simply exist? Read the rest over at #StayWokeAdvent >

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