Theology at the intersection of woke and cringe. Public meme-ologian.
IN MOST CASES: "Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother."
Kenny Hart, lead pastor at The Gathering Harlem, recounts the story of an adoption agency that rejected a family as too white to adopt a black child, visualizing their alleged inadequate cultural diversity with white and black marbles going into a jar.
Instead of lamenting that believers were blocked from caring for an orphan, he affirms the agency's declaration that the family was "not fit to raise a black child."
This clip is from a Zoom discussion Hart held with Aaron Brockett of Traders Point Christian Church, a multi-site megachurch in the Indianapolis area.
Jesus has three Son of Man statements in the gospel accounts. Only three. Three self-descriptions of what his ministry focus was. The first one's the Son of Man came to seek and save that which is lost. We know that one. We love that one. The second one is the Son of Man came to to serve and not be served. We know and love that one. But the third one is the one we never talk about: The Son of Man came eating and drinking.
Think about that for a second. Jesus defined his ministry around his dinner table. What does our dinner table look like? And let's be honest, right? Just reading the gospels, we know that Jesus' dinner table has some questionable company around it. Jesus has some Pharisees, [inaudible] and prostitutes at his dinner table. And so Jesus has everyone of all race, class and gender at his dinner table and everyone of all socioeconomic backgrounds and everyone of all criminals and non-criminals and Jews and non-Jews and religious and non-religious. Why does our dinner table look so segregated? think I think that's a powerful question for the white church to wrestle with.
A friend of mine, Asian friend, told me a story about a white family who wanted to adopt a black child, and the adoption agency actually had just created a new policy where they said, Hey, if you're adopting a child of another race, there's an assessment you have to go through to get approved in order to do that. So they passed every other assessment, great family, great Christian family, everything else they passed. But now they got to this assessment on ethnic culture and race.
And so when they got there, the person from the adoption agency asked them a couple of questions. They said, "What was the skin color of the last three songs of the artists of the last three songs you listened to?" And they had white and black marbles on the table in a jar, and they said, "Just put the skin color into a jar." And so they put the marble in. Then they say, "What was the skin color of the author of the last three books you've read?" And then they put that in. "What was the skin color of the last five people you ate with?" And they put it in.
And then at the end of that conversation, assessment, they said, "Look at the jar," and when the family looked at the jar, what they saw was there wasn't one black marble in it. It was all white and what they said was: "You're a great family, but you are not fit to raise a black child. Until you diversify your relationships, there is no way you can understand what this child who does not look like you will go through in this world."
To me, we change the world when we change our relationships. And so I'll just read to you what a pastor friend texted me this week...He says, "Hey Kenny, I spent the week praying, lamenting and grieving another week of news of horrific, demonic attack on African-American men. I'm so sorry. Yesterday as I was praying and thinking, I was thinking about how every family of color has to have The Talk with their children to prepare their kids for this foolish systemic oppression."
He said, "It struck me that it's time for white families to have our own version of The Talk. Explain to our children how the systems have been set up in our favor, how the oppression of others has benefited them and how they have a role to play in ending injustice for their friends."
That, to me, is how we change the world: repentance and relationships, and then I think the last step, AB, is we think about redistribution. It's back to the question of who's flourishing because we have power...The gospel does not make us colorblind, it makes us love bound. We're bound by love to love one another across those lines that divide. And so how are we willing to redistribute some of the power that we have. Think about how we vote.
Source video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M13MtEFs_AI