WHY I LOVE THE CHURCH

A small essay.
  1. THE CHURCH DEFIES RACE AND CULTURE.
  2. The church does not eliminate race and culture. In fact, it celebrates them because any race bears the image of God and any culture reflects His creativity.
  3. But the church creates ties that go deeper than race and culture to challenge the broken institutions that perpetuate prejudice and stereotypes.
  4. Of course, the church is not historically or currently perfect. The church past has proposed horrible ideals, waged horrible wars, and encouraged horrible oppression.
  5. But that is what happens when people misconstrue a powerful movement for a movement towards power.
  6. The church is not about historical popes making land grabs or frightened bigots trying to maintain their social superiority.
  7. THE CHURCH IS ABOUT LOVING JESUS AND LOVING PEOPLE.
  8. The church is what reminds me that I am imperfect, that I have judged and hurt other people, that I cannot bring about justice on my own.
  9. Jesus is who moves people to reconciliation, who pushes people to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.
  10. I cannot recognize the extent of my own privilege without the ability to empathize. That comes from Jesus.
  11. I cannot say that I want to change this system without sounding prideful until I exchange the "white man's burden" for the call to love my neighbor as myself.
  12. I cannot comprehend the beauty of diversity until I realize that it all stems from the same God, that we are a tapestry woven to celebrate His power and His love.
  13. But when I do realize the beauty of all this humanity, what a celebration ensues!
  14. Literally, I have never met a Christian who is not excited to worship in another culture.
  15. We learn so much about each other and about our Father by singing in different languages, recognizing different traditions, and praying with different manners.
  16. We stop viewing each other as "outside" and fold one another into our flocks.
  17. I have seen this happen so many times, and it is the most beautiful and powerful phenomenon I know.
  18. When I tried to write a list about white privilege earlier, I couldn't convince myself that I was being completely honest. (See @RStrout's list about being a theater ally.) My words and my promises to fight injustice sounded hollow.
  19. That's because I can't honestly dialogue about race without honestly dialoguing about Jesus.
  20. Even if you're not a Christian, please know that I view you as a child of God and as a valuable human being whatever your race or religion.
  21. Please know that I want to see a world where everyone is treated as a valuable human being whatever their race or religion.
  22. I just happen to work towards that world through the church. The church as Jesus intended her to be.