Racial Reconciliation from a White Man’s Perspective

I had the honor of presenting my perspective on Racial Reconciliation at Bridgeway Community Church on Sunday, October 14th, 2018.  Listen to the entire presentation on YouTube HERE.  Or, on Facebook HERE. Podcast download HERE.

I’ve shared a few thoughts and images from the presentation below, including my personal resolution.

I’m late to the party when it comes to this topic, humbly standing on the shoulders of my teachers: David Anderson, John Perkins, Craig Garriott, and Robert Gelinas.  I speak not as an Expert Witness, but only a Witness – offering my perspective.

Is there a problem?  We have a 250 year legacy of slavery from 1619-1865.  And, then a century of extreme mistreatment leading to the Civil Rights movement.  And, today we still have inequitable access to education, culture, justice, and income.

The problems are many, and not the thrust of this presentation… Let’s think solution.

Solutions are based on the principles of the Bible, here are some informative verses to support multiculturalism, equality, and reconciliation…

2 Corinthians 5:17–18 (NIV) 17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” [= “to reestablish proper friendly interpersonal relations after these have been disrupted or broken”]  God broke down the walls, and we resurrected them… Not subtraction by reduction, but additional by enhancement and enrichment…  Better together…

Ephesians 2:14-16, 18 (NIV)

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups [Jew/Gentile] one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, [we are compatriots, better yet – family – we are better together – Enhances Life, Enriches, Broadens] 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

 

Galatians 3:26–28 (NIV)

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

 

Racial Reconciliation must include Confession.

Nehemiah 1:6 (NIV) “let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.”  Wait a minute! 605-445 BC. Nehemiah confessed the sins of his ancestors that occured 160 years earlier.  In America, we are only 153 years removed from slavery… – 1865-2018.  Moreover, what of the ongoing oppression AT LEAST through the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s, and we’ve demonstrated that we STILL have inequities and differentiating favor and access today.  I wish to acknowledge and take responsibility for the favor I’ve been entitled to in America as a white man.

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About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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