Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

"White Guilt" and Corporate Repentance

Last March 30, on his "Cross and the Jukebox" podcast, Dr. Russell Moore, Dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, noted:
Invariably, when I do anything on the issue of race, racial reconciliation, and so forth, I'll get some hate mail from some white supremacists or individuals, and one of the things that they'll often say is that I'm a victim of white guilt... I think, to some degree, it's true that there is a sense of guilt of a people for injustice that as taken place, but I don't think that's a bad thing. I think that the feeling of guilt is indicative of a real guilt that is present there...
As Dean Moore said these words, I remembered the 1995 resolution of the Southern Baptist Convention, repenting and apologizing for racism: with specific reference to the racism that, in part, motivated the founding of the Convention. Particularly, I remembered that this resolution was controversial: some people objected because they argued that a person or group of persons could only repent for his/their own sin(s), and not for the sins of others.

I think, however, that sometimes-- just as liberals tend to be hyper-communitarian (thus socialism)-- conservatives can tend toward hyper-individualism. We can overlook the fact that when our community sins, we often become entangled in that sin. Also, there is a since in which we must intercede for our communities. See, for example, Daniel 9:1-19. Notice-- for example-- verse 5, in which Daniel prays, "We have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules." Now, as is clear from everything else in the book of Daniel, the prophet Daniel's life was not characterized by wickedness and rebellion against God. And yet he so identifies with his people that he includes himself in a statement of repentance on their behalf. Christians in America today must, in addition to making sure that we are laying aside our own personal sins, be willing to intercede on behalf of the sins committed by our particular communities, with racism-- especially in some Southern denominations-- being a prime example.

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