We need to listen to the stories of non-white people in our own church when they tell us that our church is not a welcoming place for anyone who isn't of German or Scandinavian descent. We need to listen to the stories of non-white people when they tell us that they experience sanctioned and consistent discrimination and prejudice leveled against them, discrimination that we ourselves are blind to. We need to listen to their frustration and their pain for what it is—hurt and pain.
"There's no way we can possibly do this alone. Last week, I had enough trouble speaking the truth about the racism that is strangling our country and the hatred against same-sex marriage that is destroying good people whom I love. How could any of us do this alone?"
It's never really been a secret that we live in a messed up, broken, constantly-changing world: just look at this week. And we know God is out there! We tell ourselves that every week, or even every day. But slowly, God's abiding presence goes unnoticed, pushed away and covered by everything else happening in life. Where is God when a gunman massacres people in a church? Where is God when anger and hate get in the way of love? It can feel like God isn't present at all.
When hate and racism are considered “normal”, and their symbols are a source of pride instead of disgust; when we fail to confront the evil in our midst, either because we can't see it or we won't; when we as a church, as congregations called to practice the radical love of Christ and to speak out against injustice and hate are too timid to live into that calling; we have a problem.
Adopted by a more than two-thirds majority vote as a social statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by the third Churchwide Assembly on August 31, 1993, at Kansas City, Missouri. Part of a series on the Social Statements of the ELCA. A complete copy of this social statement can be found here. There … Continue reading Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture