The inability to see ourselves as capable of evil is the way to blindness. I am amazed at how many people lose themselves in their goodness. It is flawed Christian theology to think that we are perfect. There is but one who is perfect. The rest of us must stay vigilant to our own capacity to do evil.
I am convinced that part of the problem with dealing with racism is that so many people think they are incapable of doing wrong. If I thought that, I can only imagine who I would have turn out to be. But it was the knowledge of my capacity to do wrong that opened the door to listen to my critics. Listening to my critics informed me about where I might be wrong but also how I might express myself differently. So many times we say things that are offensive because of ignorance, intellectual laziness, or lack of spiritual discipline.
I am sure if you can obtain perfection it will involve being diligent, disciplined, thoughtful, and constantly learning new things and ways of being. I am amazed that people who have no experience with people who are different from them can have such formed opinions of them. If you do not want to be racist I would assume the first thing you need to do is live and be amongst people of color. In fact studies have shown over and over that people who know someone of another race or sexual orientation are less likely to hold racist or homophobic views.
I would also think that you would have to read people of colors’ writings, listen to their music, and participate in their cultural events to escape racism. But to be willing to do this two things must occur. First, you must have a willingness to learn and a loving heart that wants to know. Second, you must realize that you and your own culture are capable of being wrong.
The famous Roman Road to Salvation starts with the premise ‘For all have sinned and fallen short of what they were created for (the Glory of God)’. Accepting this is the beginning of the path to salvation according to the Evangelicals. But the Evangelicals only apply this principle to Salvation in the eternal sense and do not realize it in the sense of the day to day living. So they become strident and judgmental to those who are different from them or their way of thinking.
The pastor of my church growing up said ‘we can become so heavenly minded that we become earthly useless’.We think we have reached our heavenly perfection when we are still pretty damn earthly. So my request is that everyone take a deep breath and recapture their imperfection and maybe we can save this world we live in.
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