February 18, 2018
My friend, John Mark Hicks, is a great encourager; however, at times he digs up troubling tidbits from church history. Yesterday he shifted my morning with this: This is from the minutes of the “Church Record of the Congregation between Canton and Sully, Missouri, 1850-66.”
It reports why one of their members is no longer part of the congregation and has been dropped from the roll.
“Amanda, the slave of H. White… sold at St. Louis…”
Sobering, lamentable, and convicting.
“Much as I may sympathize with a black man, I love a white man more.” (Alexander Campbell, Millennial Harbinger, 1845, 234.)
Appalling, maddening, and distressing.
For me, I wonder in what ways I am blind to my own brokenness and injustice.
May God have mercy!
Source: David Edwin Harrell, Jr., Quest for a Christian America, p 94, 97
With all of the spiritual disciplines that we might ascribe to apply to our lives, with all of the intensive Bible exploration that we might engage in over time, and with all of the innate intelligence one might possess… we can be so spiritually blind to such basic tenants of Scripture as “love your neighbor as yourself” or being “created in the image of God.”
Micah 6:8 says; “…what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Pretty straightforward I would think. But somehow we can rationalize under nationalism, patriotism, or ‘unalienable rights’ a denigration of others based on appearance, race or country of origin. We impugn the integrity of the poor, the disenfranchised, the social outcasts by using words like lazy, dirty, or labels that stigmatize.
But our comfort with our “faith” is unchallenged? Perhaps not. When I read such history from those I respect, I am taken aback and cause to ask myself, “Where are my blindspots? What am I not seeing?"
We exist to honor our God. We seek to offer support and strength to God's people, to encourage and teach those who are lost, and to learn together what pleases Him.