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Christian Resources on Ethnocentric Oppression in America Today (Racism)
"The Church and Ethnic Harmony" week at The Master's University:
Resources for really understanding the context and discerning the oppression going on today:
Seven Pastors discuss the Race Issue in 2020 in the USA (Video): Understanding Race and Reconciliation – a really helpful panel (16:00 in) that helps you hear the heart of gospel-loving, theologically minded African American pastors share their hearts.
My sermon on ethnocentric oppression in America Today and our need to follow Jesus:
Article: George Floyd and Me by Shai Linne
Bearing the Image Identity, the Work of Christ, and the Church (T4G 2008 plenary sermon)
Panel: A Time to Speak discussing Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and a Conversation on Ethnic Strife Issues with Voddie Baucham, Thabiti Anyabwile, Bryan Loritts, Matt Chandler, and Darrin Patrick moderated by Ed Stetzer
Essay: The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates
From the other side (which I think is incorrect): James White goes on for 2 hours on issues with my perspective (and the ones shared at T4G)
Albert Mohler on structural sin and systemic racism (audio and manuscript)
Also, we confess as a church in our confession of faith: 16. The Christian and Social Order. Recognizing whose created order this is, every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the scriptural principles of righteousness, truth, and love. Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause without compromise to Christ. Improvement of society can be permanently helpful only when rooted in the regeneration of individuals. (Ex. 20:3-17; Lev. 6:2-5; Mic. 6:8; Zech. 8:16; Matt. 5:3-16; Luke 4:18-21; 10:27-37; Rom. 12-14; Phil. 1.9; Col. 3:12-4:1; Philem.; James 1:27; 2:8)
T4G Affirmation and Denial 17 (2006): We affirm that God calls his people to display his glory in the reconciliation of the nations within the Church, and that God’s pleasure in this reconciliation is evident in the gathering of believers from every tongue and tribe and people and nation. We acknowledge that the staggering magnitude of injustice against African-Americans in the name of the Gospel presents a special opportunity for displaying the repentance, forgiveness, and restoration promised in the Gospel. We further affirm that evangelical Christianity in America bears a unique responsibility to demonstrate this reconciliation with our African-American brothers and sisters.
We deny that any Church can accept racial prejudice, discrimination, or division without betraying the Gospel.
On Defining Ethnocentric Oppression:
What is ethnocentric oppression toward African Americans today?
Ethnocentric oppression: (to borrow words from one pastor-theologian), The cumulative effect of ethno-centeredness and practices that become embodied and expressed in the policies, rules, regulations, procedures, expectations, norms, assumptions, guidelines, plans, strategies, objectives, practices, values, standards, narratives, histories, records, and the like, which accordingly disadvantages, causes indifference toward, and/or dismisses one ethnic people group and unfairly benefits another particular ethnic people group. It does not have to be intended or self-conscious as a group or as an individual. It is not necessarily individual personal irrational prejudice toward other ethnicities.
The cumulative effect of ethno-centeredness and its practices that become embodied and expressed in the cultural patterns, which accordingly disadvantages, causes indifference toward, and/or dismisses one ethnic people group and consequently benefits another ethnic people group (or other groups).
What is ethnocentric oppression not?
It is not necessarily personal, self-conscious prejudice
It is not necessarily corporate, self-conscious prejudice
It is not necessarily codified laws in a nation-state
To what group does ethnocentric oppression belong?
It belongs as a subset to the larger of sets of sin, ethnocentrism, oppression, injustice, and indifference.
How can ethnocentric oppression be broken down into parts?
Ethnocentric refers to the idea of group-centeredness based on one's ethnic people group. See Genesis 11:1-9.
Oppression refers to using or perpetuating power and patterns of society that unrighteously press down on a particular group of people. It doesn’t have to be self-conscious or intentional perpetuation.
Cumulative effect refers to the various past incidents, ideas, and dispositions that work together to guide the shape (singular) of our society today.
Cultural patterns refers to the way we relate in interpersonally as a society. These patterns, traditions, and ways of living life together inevitably presses on everyone in society. For some the overall pressure is good, for others it is bad. Additionally, at some points the pressure is unjustly making things more difficult for some to the correlative advantage of the others.
What are the essential qualities of ethnocentric oppression?
Unawareness of the effect of the system as one participates in it
A minimizing of the weight of the oppression
Reductionism: a focus on personal behavior and not on (1) sinful people, (2) sinful systems, and (3) demonic forces (to use Fikkert's list for poverty)
What are the characteristics of ethnocentric oppression?
Distraction from the issue
Denial of corporate responsibility
Dysfunctional understanding of unintentional sin