Racism and Clans
If we want to combat racism, we must go live and interact with people who are not like us. This option needs to be meditated upon and considered.
We are clannish as humans. We feel devoted to our group, however defined, and we tend to care for those in our perceived group. The “clan” we initially embrace is the nuclear family. We expand in small increments to include more distant family members and then friends and schoolmates. Still, we tend to be very stingy about those we include in our “clans.” That’s the issue, that stinginess. We craft or create our clan, and our devotion is primarily to them.
In Christ, on the other hand, our essential relation to people is defined by “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” (Matt 22:39), and we see the entirety of Scripture as an illustration of that point. Scripture says we don’t get to choose those we love and tend to. Every boundary we create, each limit we craft, negates the teaching. Still, our actions always belie that teaching. This situation isn’t right or wrong, per se. It’s just the way it is.
We craft or create our clan, and our devotion is primarily to them.
This reason is why, although I have encountered a lot of racism within Christadelphia, I have remained. I don’t think it would be much better in any other group, and this one at least understands “the Way.” Also, I have developed a real affection and love for members of the body.
What I’m getting at is that to combat racism, there needs to be an understanding of our clannish mentality and, more than a willingness, a positive commitment to embracing those without our clans. When Paul writes, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:28) he is offering a vision of a body that is one clan.
The uniqueness of our time means we have the wherewithal to obtain this vision on an actual basis rather than an ideal. We can physically interact with those from afar, and we can expand, in fact, our clan and our family. This fact means more than casual interaction and an occasional visit. It means a commitment to entering into relations with those afar. Rather than just telling them they can come to us “any time they want,” we need to engage, befriend, mingle with, and live with those not in our group. The onus is NEVER on them; it’s always on us.
although I have encountered a lot of racism within Christadelphia, I have remained
If we want to combat racism, we must go live and interact with people who are not like us. This option needs to be meditated upon and considered. Counteracting racism begins with coming to grips with the clannish spirit within us and acting consistently with that understanding.
Peter figured it out. The transition from the Peter of Acts 10:14 (NIV) “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean,” to the Peter of 1 Peter 2:10 (NIV). “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy,” is a transformation only achievable with the intervention the unstinting assistance of our Savior. It is a journey as far as the east is from the west, and Peter made it.