The Gospel Has Never Been Colorblind

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With eyes wide open to the colorfulness of distinction, we can see the full beauty of humanity.

It is often suggested (usually by white brothers and sisters in Christ) that the good news of Jesus Christ drives the Christian to no longer “see color”. The stated rationale for this comes from a certain interpretation of Galatians 3:28: We are all one in Christ! Apparently, union with Christ destroys distinctions to the point that those distinctions disappear. If that were the case, the virtue of a Gospel-shaped community would be conformity rather than true unity. Such conformity wrongly sidesteps a robust reckoning with the violent history of race in America.

The Scriptures give us a different understanding of how to address ethnic conciliation: active peacemaking. Malcolm X said that progress is found in healing the knife wound of racism in the backs of Black people. The issue is that while some refuse to pull the knife out, many deny the knife even exists. You must “see color” for true ethnic conciliation and racial healing to happen. To insist on colorblindness ignores the beauty of God’s creation and shields one’s eyes from the historic subjugation and demeaning of His image-bearers. As a Black man, to see me means to understand that I navigate the world in a different way from my non-Black brothers, sisters and neighbors. Due to the racialization of American society, I must navigate differently to survive. If you are blind to my Blackness, you are blind to me.

Our ethic as Christians is guided not by self-interest and the normalization of our own blinders, but by sympathy and empathy. We must “feel with” one another, as well as “feel in” one another. We place our trust in a Savior who did not pluck us out of our own fallenness in a fallen world, but assumed our …

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