Today I spent my morning and my early afternoon attending the SCORR (student congress on racial reconciliation) Conference here on Biola’s Campus. After the morning session, I walked away confused and somewhat offended about the focal point of the conference. We watched a video entitled: In Search of Shalom- the role of White people in Racial Reconciliation. Being a person who has grown up in suburbia white America my whole life has been characterized by being around people just like me, namely, white/middle class. So as I watched the video, I definitely felt the weight of my ignorance. Yet at the same time of feeling a sense of compassion for those people of color in our society, I ironically felt oppressed. Furthermore, it was hard to get a grasp as to what I am supposed to do as a 22 year old white american male to help aid this process of racial reconcilation. Am I obligated to go to a multiethnic church? Am I sinning by not doing this? Many other questions arise in me which I won’t go into here…
A few other thoughts/questions that I had that came out during the video are below…
1. One professor said that shalom is a rich word which vaguely means ‘peace.’ Then he said, “we don’t achieve shalom by pursuing shalom we achieve it by pursuing God and his Kingdom, and shalom naturally follows.”
My question- at what point are we pursuing racial reconciliation simply to see diversity or to achieve equality rather than for the higher, and objectively better goal of seeing an image of God’s Kingdom on earth? While I admit that people are all equally created in God’s image, and thus we should all have an equal playing field in terms of worth as humans, yet I am interested in when one is pursuing this equality for simply the sake of equality? Obviously this should not be our end goal
2. It seems that during the morning session there was a tendency to bash intellectual thinking, almost to the effect of saying that this discussion can not be had by debating issues… I find this troubling.
3. What does progress look like here?
4. Equivocation abounded in discussion- people talking passed each other, people using the same words with different definitions, progress will not be attained here until people learn how to use terms more precisely, as well as become more passionate with the importance of pursuing geninue truth in these issues rather than using persuasive rhetoric….
All that being said, the afternoon session was awesome. Chris Ratay gave a Theology of Racial Reconciliation that was great… and ironically I walked away from today thinking the same thing I began going into today. The Church and Christians across America need to simply begin to read and understand their Bibles again. We need to go back to the text….