Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Gracism.

Gracists, here are a few questions for you: What signs do you see of race fatigue, nationally and/ or in your own world? Have you ever felt it? When and how? This is a question from the book "More than Equals", by Spencer Perkins and Chris Rice

Monday, September 04, 2006

Gracism
This past Wednesday night we had our second "Gracism" meeting. We discussed the trouble with race fatigue and it was hot! The opinions were wide and varied. The group discussion was insightful and very open. There were some who felt like we shouldn't have to have this discussion. One African-American brother said he didn't feel right making jokes and his white friends didn't feel like they had the same freedom. Then another one of my white sisters said she felt like she was walking on eggshells. Then someone said that they didn't think that white people should feel like they were walking on eggshells around black folks.
This is the give and take of cross-cultural relationships. It is in this kind of dialogue that we find out the strength of our relationships . The fact that we all walked out of the meeting as brothers and sisters is evidence that God is at work in our midst. We are taking responsiblity for our individual attitudes and behaviours. If we give into the fatigue that comes from dealing with the issues of grace and race we will soon lose connection wth one another. A connection that is vital to us being the community of God, the "Body" of Christ.
If the world wants to embrace the mentality of separate but equal and lose the beauty of unity and diversity then let them be. But we who are God's "chosen people", His "holy nation", we dare not settle for anything less then the fullest expression of the beauty of God's workmanship. I am thankful for this second meeting of the "Gracism" talks and I look forward to drawing some conclusions on dealing with race fatigue. May the Lord give us the stength to pesevere in the business of loving one another.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Wow! It has been a couple of weeks since this blog has been posted and there are no comments! Is this so because people don't have the time to make any entries? Perhaps it is not clear how to make the entries. Could it be that the matter of grace and race is irrelevent in today's world. I don't really know what the deal is, but I wait nonetheless for a reply.
I read and interesting qoute from a Newsweek article at the end of the 20th century that read something like this,"Blacks remain, on substantial measure, a race apart in America: a race admired, even emulated, yet held at arms' length. It reflects a particular American schizophrenia. We embrace equality and yet struggle with it in reality. We have come so far, and yet we have not escaped the past." How can this be that we are "schizophrenic"? That blacks are a race apart?. This was stated in 1999. Hasn't the Civil rights movements had more of an impact on society than this. That we embrace equality and at the same time struggle with it in reality is a sign of the problem that every kind of relationship faces. Namely how do we live together and how do we blend our differneces and still like each other? It is the body of Christ that should take the lead in this matter. But then again maybe we just don't have the time, or we can't figure it out and it isn't worth our energy, or maybe we just don't give a..who shot Johnny! SOME BODY TELL ME SOMETHING! GIVE ME SOME SIGN OF LIFE OUT THERE IN CYBER WORLD!!!! Does this sound like a gracious gracists prompting? (Gracious Gracists could be a tongue twister!)

A Puzzled Preacher

Monday, August 07, 2006

Is the 11:00 o'clock hour still the most segregated hour of the week? That charge has haunted the body of Christ for years! The challenge is laid out for those of us who are followers of Christ to answer this charge with grace. In an informal survey among the members of the last gracism meeting, we discovered that most of us felt that the unsaved world was doing a better job of handling racial reconciliation than the church. But it was also noted that this is just on the surface, because laws are in place that compel the world to at least appear as if the races are reconciled. However the church still remains the best hope for racial reconciliation. Though I sometimes think that people get weary of talking about the whole race matter. Racial fatigue is a real problem. Fatigue is a problem in any kind of relationship. We can become tired of the energy that it takes to sustain a friendship, a marriage, a business partnership, and so on and so forth. The trouble with leaving the fatigue unaddressed is that you will steadily grow apart in the relationship at the least. At the worst you will treat the person with indifference. And along with indifference comes this mentality that we are separate but equal. This is a problem that even the church has taken on. Thus the charge of 11:00 o'clock being the most segregated hour of the week hits us right between the eyes. Does anyone think that this is a problem? If so what can we do about it?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Welcome to Gracism! Maybe you are asking just what is "Gracism?" Well I am glad that you asked! Gracism is a play on the word racism. It is my contention that racism in all of it's forms, whether intentional or done in ignorance, is sin. The only remedy that we have to combat the sin of racism is grace. Hence the creation and introduction of a new word, "Gracism."
The concept of gracism grew out of the study of the book "More Than Equals", by Spencer Perkins and Chris Rice. The book is about racial reconcilation and what the church of Jesus Christ can do to help mend the rift that still exists between the races.
It is our hope that those who come to this blog will find a place to ask searching questions and at the same time find meaningful and helpful answers. We want this blog to be a place where uncomfortable questions can be raised and gracious, biblical answers can be given. I know that the foolish and idiotic folks will probably chime in from time to time, but we will not be moved from our calling of preaching the message of the good news of God's grace to those who are struggling with the sin of racism and racist behaviors.
It is our conviction that preaching the gospel will yeild the peaceable fruit of reconciliation between races, classes, and tribes. This is the power of God. This is the power of the gospel! Remember the words of the Apostle Paul, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to everyone who believes. To the Jew first and then also to the Greeks." (Rom. 1:16) The gospel was meant to cross racial, cultural, class and tribal, lines. This has always been the plan of God, for He told Abraham that in him,..." all the nations of the earth will be blessed".
It is my privilege to be a pastor in a church that has as its mission the pursuit of racial reconciliation through the preaching of the gospel in word and deed. Through doing good works we are looking to turn the tide of injustices, and intentionally tear down the walls that years of racism has erected. To learn more about us you can check out our website, www.newcityfellowship.com, There you can learn more about us, e-mail the pastors, listen to the sermons, and see us at work and play. God has smiled on us and we believe, as the song says, "We ought to be livin' by the grace of God." If you agree with this then you are a Gracist! come on and celebrate with us!