Many African Americans today are rightfully angry with the way slavery was handled historically by the church, and the way some are dealing with the sins of partiality today.
“It is in light of this discriminatory milieu that the aforementioned Dubois confessed that he regarded the [white] evangelical church as “an institution which defended such evils as slavery, color caste, exploitation of labor and war.” It is that shared perspective of [white] evangelicalism that served in 2008 as the impetus for black liberation theologian and former pastor of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, to pronounce the anathematic “God damn America!” upon this nation because of its history of slavery. And though not usually expressed in such malevolent terms as Wright’s, the sentiments inherent with his imprecatory malediction are nonetheless shared by many black Christians today. It is an indignation that is grounded not in actual sins committed against them personally, mind you, but a tribalist ethos which proffers that a shared ethnicity equates to a shared experience, regardless if that experience is historical (e.g. slavery) or contemporary (e.g. police violence).
It is an ethos to which I do not subscribe.”
The reason why there is so much resistance against the views of those on the side of social justice is that the level of animosity towards those who are white Christians at times matches or exceeds the level of hatred expressed by slave owners.
“In expressing their collective resentment over the current state of “racial discord” in America, one question no one seems to be asking is: by whose standard of morality must we be reconciled to each other in the first place? Perhaps a predecessor question would be: what is it that necessitates this ethnologic rapprochement to begin with? Was there a time in history when humanity existed in a universal state of conciliation with one another? If so, when did it cease to exist? What dismantled it and how? To answer to these and other such questions is also to find the answer to what is at the root of the anger that is being harbored by many black evangelical social justicians today; and only in the pages of Scripture is that answer to be found.”
As Christians we are given the ways in which we are to handle those who have hurt us. The efforts for reconciliation need to be most directly made to address the root, and the benefits will naturally flow into society. The foundation must be in Christ first.
“Reconciliation that results in fruit that is in keeping with a repentant heart does not happen in a vacuum (Matt. 3:8). It is only as you and I are brought into right relationship with God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ that we are reconciled to one another (2 Cor. 5:18-19). Only as our hearts are made new by the power of the gospel of Christ are the prejudicial attitudes that foster ethnic discord among us are rooted out and crucified at the cross of Christ (Gal. 2:20).”