ALPB Forum Online

ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: mariemeyer on June 08, 2020, 03:32:57 PM

Title: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: mariemeyer on June 08, 2020, 03:32:57 PM
Racism and the Church,  Overcoming the Idolatry A Report of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations of the LCMS (February 1994)

LCMS pastors may have a copy in their files. Is so, I hope they join a conversation on how Christians might confront individual, cultural and institutional racism today. If not, copies are available from Concordia Publishing House ($3).

From the CTCR Report Introduction
“Racism is at its core idolatry… It is a sin against the first commandment….It is to this malady of the human heart that we address ourselves in this report.”

The church’s response to racism is complicated because sociologists and anthropologists differ on the definition of racism and how certain facets of racism are played out in society and culture.

I.Racism and the Necessity of a Christian Response.
What is racism? “The theory that there is a certain causal link between inherited physical traits and certain traits of personality, intellect, or culture..."

Characteristics of racism:  1)the actions of one group adversely affect the lives of others….2)one group is in a position of power to enforce their influence on others and even to exploit them…3)it is paternalistic…4)includes a misuse of power… 4)  race is a distinct biological group -an inherited identity 5) there is “patterned dominance” that is neither a random nor an unpredictable relationship. 

“Since all are born into their respective groups (one does not chose to join or have the privilege of resigning,) racial privileges and liabilities  accrue to the individual regardless of his or her choice.”

Influence of culture on racism:  the totality of our culture transmits behavior patterns, beliefs, institutions, other products human work and thought characteristics of a community or population.

II. Racism as an Ideology
Racism is a belief system…"life squeezed into the idea and made to conform to its dictates”…as an ideology racism seeks to justify racial divisions and may even provide a rational to divide and/or govern society. 

"Racism is publicly spurned  and declared abhorrent in America.  ‘But racism as an ideological reality is, unfortunately, not dead. Quite the contrary racism in its variable forms shows up at every level of our life today, and it is precisely because it most often posses an ‘incognito character” that is so ominous.”

Racism manifests itself in the individual level.  “It is also possible to speak of institutional racism with respect to the way institutions operate (through their laws, customs, practices, procedures.”  Thus racism is manifested at individual, cultural and institutional levels.

II. Necessity of a Christian Response at All Levels
“We confront racism now because of the urgent need to assess where we as individuals and as a church body committed to putting into practice our Christian faith.”

“As a church body The Lutheran Church-Missouri has made numerous efforts over the years to deal with the evil of racism.  Since 1956 the Synod adopted resolutions, held conferences and created new structures and policies aimed at addressing the problem in our midst. The same can be said of numerous other church bodies. The question remains, however, whether such efforts  have effectively isolated the real causes of racism and applied the biblical solution. To underline the necessity and urgency of our present task, we consider the following… " 

The report then addressed a 1994 response... What needs to be be the response of the Christians today, June 8, 2020??? There were roadblock then??? What are the roadblocks today????

Marie Meyer



Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: James J Eivan on June 08, 2020, 03:45:41 PM
Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry (https://files.lcms.org/wl/?id=2ZSjBpgjY39Eo1lH1vqCgI79YUGmfrve) is also available instantaneously as a download.
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: Dave Benke on June 08, 2020, 04:03:21 PM
Quite the contrary racism in its variable forms shows up at every level of our life today, and it is precisely because it most often posses an ‘incognito character” that is so ominous.”

This was in my recollection one of the better papers the CTCR came up with.  The part I've highlighted gets at "systemic" racism.  I like the use of 'incognito character' in that regard, because it identifies us with Paul's understanding of Christian vocation in Ephesians 6.  It seems as though we're wrestling with flesh and blood, but behind that lie the principalities and powers, the systems and structures that continue to enslave. 

Janis Grant McDaniels, whose husband is a member of the Black Clergy Caucus, and who herself holds a position on the National Missions board of the LCMS, put a post on Facebook that has drawn a lot of comments because it identifies Lutherans and specifically Missouri Synod Lutherans as responding to what's happening with racist remarks. 

In other words, 'incognito character' extends into our denominational lives and relationships as well.  What is not only possible but necessary today is to listen, to analyze, to examine all of our institutional character across so many lines - congregation, wider church, board and commission - no matter the faith group, and find ways to develop policies and activities that expose what's wrong and sinful, bring grace, and eventually bring not only healing but a fresh set of intentions in ministry and in mission.

Thanks, Marie, for bringing this article to our attention at the ALPB Forum Online!

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: James J Eivan on June 08, 2020, 04:05:29 PM
God’s Word Rejects Racism ... Recent statement by Rev Matthew C Harrison
 (https://blogs.lcms.org/2020/statement-on-the-death-of-george-floyd-and-the-ensuing-riots/)


Discriminatory treatment of human beings on the basis of race is irrational evil and results in evil. It is folly, which can produce only anger and hatred. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” America’s original sin of legal racism, the denial of human rights based on race, has reaped the whirlwind.

God’s Word rejects racism. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “No one is righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). All are equally created by God. All are equally accountable to God. The sins of all are equally atoned for by Christ. All are equally precious to God. Racial animosity is the result of sin and is sin in itself. Racism is not acceptable in the church. Jesus Himself bids us love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31) and did so precisely while rejecting racial preference (cf. Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25–37).

Unity in the church according to the Augsburg Confession is defined by Article VII: “For it is sufficient for the true unity of the Christian church that the Gospel be preached … and that the sacraments be administered in accordance with the divine Word.” Christ and His gifts bring unity and equity in the church. Racial discrimination in or by the church is sin. Racial conflict in our nation calls every Christian to introspection. “It is time for judgment to begin at the household of God” (1 Peter 4:17). “Righteous indignation” without self-reflection and repentance is meaningless, or worse, hypocrisy.

The one who grievously and unjustly took the sacred gift of life from George Floyd — resulting in a charge of 3rd-degree murder — will, ironically, be given the very thing he denied his victim, due process of the law. Justice must be meted out according to the law. Others may be charged.

We weep for George Floyd, for his family and loved ones because he was robbed of life. We weep for our nation. We weep for those across our nation who believe their only recourse is destruction. We weep for police officers everywhere, who carry out their honorable vocations with courage and goodwill but find their task infinitely more challenging and dangerous in the wake of the sad events in Minneapolis. We pray for the safety of all and the welfare of those who have lost property and livelihood. We pray for the police who must stand against mayhem. We support the First Amendment rights of the peaceful protestors.

We deplore injustice. We deplore destruction, robbery and doing physical harm to others. That, too, is injustice. We plead to citizens and governments of this nation for communities beset by poverty, crime and injustice. We plead for rational and unifying policies that will end injustices and address social breakdown, lack of economic access, and other factors that fuel anger, hatred and dissension.

We shall pray, but we shall do even more. We shall follow the ancient mandate of the prophet of Yahweh: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8

And we shall proclaim Christ, “in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). “For one will scarcely die for a righteous person — though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:7–8

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:1–17 ESV).

Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison
President
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: Dave Benke on June 08, 2020, 04:14:20 PM
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:1–17 ESV).

Take a knee.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: James J Eivan on June 08, 2020, 04:26:32 PM
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:1–17 ESV).

Take a knee.
<Emphasis Added>
Dave Benke
Sorry ... don’t see  any thing to with a knee above ... but it is very clear in the following

Quote from: Philippians 2:9-11 King James Version (KJV)
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: Dave Benke on June 08, 2020, 04:31:47 PM
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/north-carolina/articles/2020-06-08/police-officers-wash-feet-of-black-pastors-in-north-carolina. 

This is a quite amazing article in which the police take the lead in a specifically spiritual and religious and Jesus-initiated activity - washing the feet of the black pastors in Cary North Carolina.  This to me is the way idolatry tumbles and is broken - inside out and upside down Kingdom of God.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 08, 2020, 05:42:48 PM
Quite the contrary racism in its variable forms shows up at every level of our life today, and it is precisely because it most often posses an ‘incognito character” that is so ominous.”

This was in my recollection one of the better papers the CTCR came up with.  The part I've highlighted gets at "systemic" racism.  I like the use of 'incognito character' in that regard, because it identifies us with Paul's understanding of Christian vocation in Ephesians 6.  It seems as though we're wrestling with flesh and blood, but behind that lie the principalities and powers, the systems and structures that continue to enslave. 

Janis Grant McDaniels, whose husband is a member of the Black Clergy Caucus, and who herself holds a position on the National Missions board of the LCMS, put a post on Facebook that has drawn a lot of comments because it identifies Lutherans and specifically Missouri Synod Lutherans as responding to what's happening with racist remarks. 

In other words, 'incognito character' extends into our denominational lives and relationships as well.  What is not only possible but necessary today is to listen, to analyze, to examine all of our institutional character across so many lines - congregation, wider church, board and commission - no matter the faith group, and find ways to develop policies and activities that expose what's wrong and sinful, bring grace, and eventually bring not only healing but a fresh set of intentions in ministry and in mission.

Thanks, Marie, for bringing this article to our attention at the ALPB Forum Online!

Dave Benke
Pastor McDaniels and his wife were part of a visiting team of clergy to our church from whatever the synod's traveling evangelism training program was called a few year ago (Missionaries for Christ, perhaps? Something like that.) They stayed several days and evaluated every facet of our ministry, he preached for our services, and they were nothing but complimentary about the way we approached racial diversity.

I object to the idea of systemic racism as applied to our current situation. What system is racist? Systematic racism is a system designed with racist goals, like Jim Crow laws or like birth control policies as originally proposed by Margaret Sanger. We don't have any such systems in place. We have sinners running everything, as we always have and always will. All Utopianism is idolatry; it looks to the secular order to solve a spiritual problem and treats the human condition not in terms of original sin but in terms of systemic flaws.

Group identity based on race cannot square with the Gospel. The great throng in Revelation consists of people from out of every race or tribe or nation, not various races, tribes, or nations gathered collectively. God saves white people and black people as individuals. We all, white and black, must give up the further idolatry of solidarity with those of our skin color; it is not a spiritual reality and it certainly doesn't survive Judgment Day unless it happens that every individual member of a given tribe or race all enter in as individuals, not as a collective. 

So much of progressivism today is premised on group identity, and it is so well-meaning and seemingly beneficial, that Christians can sometimes unwittingly swallow the utterly anti-Christian nature of racial group identity. Their solutions then become part of the problem. If you simply want to help the less fortunate and victims of historic and hidden racism, and if you're looking at public policies, your best bet as a Christian is to work for anything that dissolves the idolatry racial solidarity based on group identity assumptions. That is the stuff of Nazis and the klan. Racial solidarity is a necessary survival mechanism in the face of official, race-based oppression. The imposition of a racial identity on people is the crime. Embracing it and trying to get the racial equality on those terms simply perpetuates it. Thus, for example, I think school choice desegregates schools more slowly but more effectively than busing, because school choice eliminates a forced race-group identity while busing depends upon reinforcing it.       
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: aletheist on June 08, 2020, 05:53:27 PM
I object to the idea of systemic racism as applied to our current situation. What system is racist? Systematic racism is a system designed with racist goals, like Jim Crow laws or like birth control policies as originally proposed by Margaret Sanger. We don't have any such systems in place. We have sinners running everything, as we always have and always will. All Utopianism is idolatry; it looks to the secular order to solve a spiritual problem and treats the human condition not in terms of original sin but in terms of systemic flaws.

Group identity based on race cannot square with the Gospel. The great throng in Revelation consists of people from out of every race or tribe or nation, not various races, tribes, or nations gathered collectively. God saves white people and black people as individuals. We all, white and black, must give up the further idolatry of solidarity with those of our skin color; it is not a spiritual reality and it certainly doesn't survive Judgment Day unless it happens that every individual member of a given tribe or race all enter in as individuals, not as a collective. 

So much of progressivism today is premised on group identity, and it is so well-meaning and seemingly beneficial, that Christians can sometimes unwittingly swallow the utterly anti-Christian nature of racial group identity. Their solutions then become part of the problem. If you simply want to help the less fortunate and victims of historic and hidden racism, and if you're looking at public policies, your best bet as a Christian is to work for anything that dissolves the idolatry racial solidarity based on group identity assumptions. That is the stuff of Nazis and the klan. Racial solidarity is a necessary survival mechanism in the face of official, race-based oppression. The imposition of a racial identity on people is the crime. Embracing it and trying to get the racial equality on those terms simply perpetuates it. Thus, for example, I think school choice desegregates schools more slowly but more effectively than busing, because school choice eliminates a forced race-group identity while busing depends upon reinforcing it.
Amen to all this, which expresses eloquently what I have been thinking lately but could not find the proper words to say.  Thank you.
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: Dave Benke on June 08, 2020, 06:09:30 PM
Quite the contrary racism in its variable forms shows up at every level of our life today, and it is precisely because it most often posses an ‘incognito character” that is so ominous.”

This was in my recollection one of the better papers the CTCR came up with.  The part I've highlighted gets at "systemic" racism.  I like the use of 'incognito character' in that regard, because it identifies us with Paul's understanding of Christian vocation in Ephesians 6.  It seems as though we're wrestling with flesh and blood, but behind that lie the principalities and powers, the systems and structures that continue to enslave. 

Janis Grant McDaniels, whose husband is a member of the Black Clergy Caucus, and who herself holds a position on the National Missions board of the LCMS, put a post on Facebook that has drawn a lot of comments because it identifies Lutherans and specifically Missouri Synod Lutherans as responding to what's happening with racist remarks. 

In other words, 'incognito character' extends into our denominational lives and relationships as well.  What is not only possible but necessary today is to listen, to analyze, to examine all of our institutional character across so many lines - congregation, wider church, board and commission - no matter the faith group, and find ways to develop policies and activities that expose what's wrong and sinful, bring grace, and eventually bring not only healing but a fresh set of intentions in ministry and in mission.

Thanks, Marie, for bringing this article to our attention at the ALPB Forum Online!

Dave Benke
Pastor McDaniels and his wife were part of a visiting team of clergy to our church from whatever the synod's traveling evangelism training program was called a few year ago (Missionaries for Christ, perhaps? Something like that.) They stayed several days and evaluated every facet of our ministry, he preached for our services, and they were nothing but complimentary about the way we approached racial diversity.

I object to the idea of systemic racism as applied to our current situation. What system is racist? Systematic racism is a system designed with racist goals, like Jim Crow laws or like birth control policies as originally proposed by Margaret Sanger. We don't have any such systems in place. We have sinners running everything, as we always have and always will. All Utopianism is idolatry; it looks to the secular order to solve a spiritual problem and treats the human condition not in terms of original sin but in terms of systemic flaws.

Group identity based on race cannot square with the Gospel. The great throng in Revelation consists of people from out of every race or tribe or nation, not various races, tribes, or nations gathered collectively. God saves white people and black people as individuals. We all, white and black, must give up the further idolatry of solidarity with those of our skin color; it is not a spiritual reality and it certainly doesn't survive Judgment Day unless it happens that every individual member of a given tribe or race all enter in as individuals, not as a collective. 

So much of progressivism today is premised on group identity, and it is so well-meaning and seemingly beneficial, that Christians can sometimes unwittingly swallow the utterly anti-Christian nature of racial group identity. Their solutions then become part of the problem. If you simply want to help the less fortunate and victims of historic and hidden racism, and if you're looking at public policies, your best bet as a Christian is to work for anything that dissolves the idolatry racial solidarity based on group identity assumptions. That is the stuff of Nazis and the klan. Racial solidarity is a necessary survival mechanism in the face of official, race-based oppression. The imposition of a racial identity on people is the crime. Embracing it and trying to get the racial equality on those terms simply perpetuates it. Thus, for example, I think school choice desegregates schools more slowly but more effectively than busing, because school choice eliminates a forced race-group identity while busing depends upon reinforcing it.     

Here's a response to your position, Peter, written by the US Catholic Conference of Bishops with some specifics included:  http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/racism/upload/racism-and-systemic-racism.pdf.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: mariemeyer on June 08, 2020, 06:17:59 PM
Peter, in light of the comment I respectfully request that you order Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry.  The CTCR offers a spiritual solution that is also systemic in the LCMS.

"I object to the idea of systemic racism as applied to our current situation. What system is racist? Systematic racism is a system designed with racist goals, like Jim Crow laws or like birth control policies as originally proposed by Margaret Sanger. We don't have any such systems in place. We have sinners running everything, as we always have and always will. All Utopianism is idolatry; it looks to the secular order to solve a spiritual problem and treats the human condition not in terms of original sin but in terms of systemic flaws."

Marie Meyer

Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 08, 2020, 07:11:38 PM
From the USCCB under "What is Systemic Racism."

Today, racism continues to exist in our communities and in our parishes. Racism is what makes us see the "other" with suspicion or to attribute negative characteristics to an entire group of people. This evil manifests itself in our individual thoughts, and also in the workings of our society itself. Today's continuing, inequalities in education, housing, employment, wealth, and representation in leadership positions are rooted in our country's shameful history of slavery and systemic racism.

I've bolded what I consider the key part. Certainly any individual might be, for example, lazy. And that is a negative characteristic. It is racism for anyone to attribute laziness to an individual by associating them with others of the same race. That is my point. Anything that forces individuals to identify themselves by race is a systemically racist system; it binds the individual to the group. Overcoming racism means liberating people from group identity, in themselves and in others. Systems that force them or me to group-identify, no matter how well-intentioned, perpetuate racism.

Consider that dreaded topic, pronoun referents, possibly more dangerous even than passive constructions when one wants to use language to obfuscate. Racial solidarity creates a "we" to refer to some group. There must be something "other" to make the "we" make sense. "We humans" makes sense only if there are animals or aliens in the mental framework. So "we" creates a necessary other. But that same "we" objects to that other using "they" to refer to that exact same group. Language can't survive such chicanery. If an African-American says, "We lack access to education," he or she can't possibly be referring to African-Americans, because then saying, "You are black and therefore uneducated," would be as innocuous and non-racist as saying that you are black and therefore have darker skin than white people." But it is racist to say that because it forces the individual to bear the burden of some characteristic based on membership in a group. Rather, people who go to bad schools lack access to education, and that is true regardless of race. So the "we" is the poor, not the black. Poverty is a race issue only if we assume black people live in poverty.

So when white college students express solidarity with people of color, on what basis? Not color. It is on the basis of a shared agenda. That's why it comes so easily to them to say that black people who don't share that agenda "ain't black." The "we" such white people have solidarity with isn't black people, it is political progressives. But anyone who identifies that same group as a "they" is a racist. Linguistic sleight of hand. That's also why virtually everything a conservative proposes gets called racist in some way.

Consider the vast number of biracial people. I'm reminded of the old Doonesbury comic that came out at the time President Obama was inaugurated. Everyone was cheering and celebrating the first black president, and the lone, sullen Republican B.D. says, "He's half white, you know." That was just Trudeua buying the assumption that objections to Obama must be race-based, and therefore celebration of him by a Republican would only happen to claiming him for "whiteness." In reality, Barry became Barack by a conscious decision to identify with a "we" and therefore to identify a "they." That was a socio-political decision that prevented him from being the post-racial president he aspired to be. You have to eliminate the divide, not reinforce it and make sure both sides are economically and socially equal.   

Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 08, 2020, 07:19:12 PM
In 1993 the ELCA adopted a Social Teaching Statement on Race, Ethnicity, and Culture. It includes a section on racism. I've attached a copy.
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: Fcdwyn on June 08, 2020, 07:38:36 PM
I object to the idea of systemic racism as applied to our current situation. What system is racist? Systematic racism is a system designed with racist goals, like Jim Crow laws or like birth control policies as originally proposed by Margaret Sanger. We don't have any such systems in place. We have sinners running everything, as we always have and always will. All Utopianism is idolatry; it looks to the secular order to solve a spiritual problem and treats the human condition not in terms of original sin but in terms of systemic flaws.

Group identity based on race cannot square with the Gospel. The great throng in Revelation consists of people from out of every race or tribe or nation, not various races, tribes, or nations gathered collectively. God saves white people and black people as individuals. We all, white and black, must give up the further idolatry of solidarity with those of our skin color; it is not a spiritual reality and it certainly doesn't survive Judgment Day unless it happens that every individual member of a given tribe or race all enter in as individuals, not as a collective. 

So much of progressivism today is premised on group identity, and it is so well-meaning and seemingly beneficial, that Christians can sometimes unwittingly swallow the utterly anti-Christian nature of racial group identity. Their solutions then become part of the problem. If you simply want to help the less fortunate and victims of historic and hidden racism, and if you're looking at public policies, your best bet as a Christian is to work for anything that dissolves the idolatry racial solidarity based on group identity assumptions. That is the stuff of Nazis and the klan. Racial solidarity is a necessary survival mechanism in the face of official, race-based oppression. The imposition of a racial identity on people is the crime. Embracing it and trying to get the racial equality on those terms simply perpetuates it. Thus, for example, I think school choice desegregates schools more slowly but more effectively than busing, because school choice eliminates a forced race-group identity while busing depends upon reinforcing it.
Amen to all this, which expresses eloquently what I have been thinking lately but could not find the proper words to say.  Thank you.

I will also say "Amen" to your post, Peter!  This is also advocated by men who have lived it, most of whom come at it as Christians such as Larry Elder https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piwaBO6U43U ; David Webb  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv7hsiUirUU ; Shelby Steele https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWWVzF7B3-s ; as well as Bob Woodson; Thomas Sowell; Walter Williams all of which you can find easily on youtube.com.

Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: Dave Benke on June 08, 2020, 08:41:10 PM
From the USCCB under "What is Systemic Racism."

Today, racism continues to exist in our communities and in our parishes. Racism is what makes us see the "other" with suspicion or to attribute negative characteristics to an entire group of people. This evil manifests itself in our individual thoughts, and also in the workings of our society itself. Today's continuing, inequalities in education, housing, employment, wealth, and representation in leadership positions are rooted in our country's shameful history of slavery and systemic racism.

I've bolded what I consider the key part. Certainly any individual might be, for example, lazy. And that is a negative characteristic. It is racism for anyone to attribute laziness to an individual by associating them with others of the same race. That is my point. Anything that forces individuals to identify themselves by race is a systemically racist system; it binds the individual to the group. Overcoming racism means liberating people from group identity, in themselves and in others. No system that forces them or me to group-identity, no matter how well-intentioned, perpetuates racism.

Consider that dreaded topic, pronoun referents, possibly more dangerous even than passive constructions when one wants to use language to obfuscate. Racial solidarity creates a "we" to refer to some group. There must be something "other" to make the "we" make sense. "We humans" makes sense only if there are animals or aliens in the mental framework. So "we" creates a necessary other. But that same "we" objects to that other using "they" to refer to that exact same group. Language can't survive such chicanery. If an African-American says, "We lack access to education," he or she can't possibly be referring to African-Americans, because then saying, "You are black and therefore uneducated," would be as innocuous and non-racist as saying that you are black and therefore have darker skin than white people." But it is racist to say that because it forces the individual to bear the burden of some characteristic based on membership in a group. Rather, people who go to bad schools lack access to education, and that is true regardless of race. So the "we" is the poor, not the black. Poverty is a race issue only if we assume black people live in poverty.

So when white college students express solidarity with people of color, on what basis? Not color. It is on the basis of a shared agenda. That's why it comes so easily to them to say that black people who don't share that agenda "ain't black." The "we" such white people have solidarity with isn't black people, it is political progressives. But anyone who identifies that same group as a "they" is a racist. Linguistic sleight of hand. That's also why virtually everything a conservative proposes gets called racist in some way.

Consider the vast number of biracial people. I'm reminded of the old Doonesbury comic that came out at the time President Obama was inaugurated. Everyone was cheering and celebrating the first black president, and the lone, sullen Republican B.D. says, "He's half white, you know." That was just Trudeua buying the assumption that objections to Obama must be race-based, and therefore celebration of him by a Republican would only happen to claiming him for "whiteness." In reality, Barry became Barack by a conscious decision to identify with a "we" and therefore to identify a "they." That was a socio-political decision that prevented him from being the post-racial president he aspired to be. You have to eliminate the divide, not reinforce it and make sure both sides are economically and socially equal.   

Better start boycotting Ben and Jerry's, Peter:  https://www.benjerry.com/whats-new/2016/systemic-racism-is-real.
And Ted Talks:  https://www.ted.com/talks/dr_phillip_atiba_goff_how_we_can_make_racism_a_solvable_problem_and_improve_policing?referrer=playlist-talks_to_help_you_understand_r

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: Charles Austin on June 08, 2020, 09:24:16 PM
What the discussion in this modest forum lacks, and probably will never have, is the serious involvement of Black or Latino folks whose experience with and assessment of racism and the systems of society might be quite different from ours. In a fuller more inclusive (O! that dreaded word!) discussion we who are here now would not get priority in defining the problems (which we don't have), identifying the systems (which we largely run), and consider solutions (which we have already largely rejected).
A few here may have some long-term experience with true diversity, which gives their words some authority; but here we are mostly speaking from our positions and experiences which have always reinforced the "rightness" of our views and the thought that "they" need to listen to "us."
I once fervently opposed the idea of "quotas" in the LCA and ELCA, that is our constitutional provisions that women and minorities must hold a certain number of positions at our assemblies and on certain boards. "We are good, non-sexist, non-racist people," said I. "It will happen without subverting 'true' democracy with quotas." Then I heard women say how they were passed over for calls and positions; and I realized that members of minority communities remained - despite our "goodness" - invisible in our various structures. Our "systems" had to be modified. I still don't care for quotas, but I do understand why they are there.
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: Pastor Ken Kimball on June 08, 2020, 10:02:24 PM
[Sarcasm on]  Yes and how well quotas have worked to increase the numbers and percentage of minorities in the ELCA [sarcasm off]. 
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 08, 2020, 10:03:09 PM
I’ve never been much for boycotts. Or Ben and Jerry’s anyway, go that matter.

I don’t say racism isn’t real. I say it is hidden in people, not systems. Systemic racism is an idea that allows people to explain current conditions without letting go of Utopianism. In practical terms, it is a way to claim that conservatism is racist without having to discern real racism on the part of any conservatives. One does not become an “ally” of anyone until one promotes progressive politics. That’s why black conservatives aren’t really black; it isn’t a race but an ideology, to which Joe Biden’s party wants black people chained.
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 08, 2020, 10:11:05 PM
Why is inclusion a dreaded word? Has anyone here argued that racial minorities should not be included in the church? Perhaps you can share with us the ways that the ELCA has made itself a more racially inclusive church? Surely you have some winning strategies that has led to inclusiveness.  Have quotas been the secret to your success?

In 2015, the Pew Research Center published a study of the racial makeup of American religious groups and how racially diverse they are. The least racially diverse religious group of the 30 they studied was the National Baptist Convention who were 99% Black. The second least racially diverse group was the ELCA at 96% White. Third was the LCMS at 95% White. Fourth was the African Methodist Episcopal Church at 94% Black. Tied with them with 94% White was the United Methodist Church.
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: Weedon on June 08, 2020, 10:41:02 PM
Peter, as usual your comments have been lucid and helpful in thinking things through. You are a huge blessing to us. Thanks.
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on June 08, 2020, 11:20:08 PM
There are no quotas in the Orthodox Church.

Unfortunately, in the North American diaspora (with the exception of the Orthodox Church in America) every other jurisdiction is named by an ethnicity, be that Greek, Serbian, Georgian, Antiochian.

But those ethnic labels can be very misleading.  Particularly with relatively young parishes which began as missions, there are a multitude of ethnicities--not quite the fulfillment of St. John's vision of "people of every race and tongue, of every tribe and nation"--but as close as one can find this side of the parousia.

The local Antiochian parish began as a mission 27 years ago with 7 families.  Only two were Syrian.  The others were a mixture of converts, Ukranians, Greeks, Russians, and Albanians.

At my first Pascha (Easter) eight years ago the Paschal Troparion was sung in English, Arabic, Greek, Church Slavonic, Russian, Spanish, and French.  A couple of years later I placed German words to the Greek melody and that was added into the rotation.  The Paschal Greeting "Christ is Risen--Indeed, He is Risen" (exchanged by the Priest and congregation during the singing of the Paschal Canon) was shared in all those languages plus Albanian.

Can it get better than that?

YES!

At the Agape Vespers of Pascha the Gospel (John 20:19-25) is to be read, sequentially, in as many languages as possible.  Last year the parish hit their high-water mark with ELEVEN languages.

Quotas? 

"We don't need no stinkin' quotas" 

(With apologies to Mel Brooks)
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: mariemeyer on June 09, 2020, 03:32:18 PM
I’ve never been much for boycotts. Or Ben and Jerry’s anyway, go that matter.

I don’t say racism isn’t real. I say it is hidden in people, not systems. Systemic racism is an idea that allows people to explain current conditions without letting go of Utopianism. In practical terms, it is a way to claim that conservatism is racist without having to discern real racism on the part of any conservatives. One does not become an “ally” of anyone until one promotes progressive politics. That’s why black conservatives aren’t really black; it isn’t a race but an ideology, to which Joe Biden’s party wants black people chained.

 I do not think Peter's comments are at all lucid.  Once again, LCMS pastors  please read the CTCR report Racism in the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry. 

The LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations is hardly liberal.  They are in every way a group of  conservative LCMS pastors and laymen.   

Racism is as hidden in systems and institutions including the churches.  The last thing we need to do as Christians is to  make this a political issue!

The CTCR did not shy away from calling racism an Ideology and a sin that we of the LCMS need to acknowledge.

I call attention to the section  Barriers to Overcoming Racism. 

"As we Christians - who are at the same time saints and sinners - confront the sin of racism, we must first of all realize that we have to over come a host of obstacles that are constantly being erected by the world, the devil and our own sinful flesh."

Barriers include:  Denial,  Untenable assumptions,  Paternalism,  Different Meanings and Frames of Reference,  Fear of Differences and  Fear of Change.


Keep reading the CTCR and forget this nonsense about who is a liberal (Utopian) and who is political conservative.

Marie Meyer
p.s.  The Lutheran Human Relations Association was considered to be a group of LCMS "liberals."  Without those men and women the LCMS would not have made the progress we have in race relations......  Just thought of it, LCMS persons associated with the LHRA were also supporters of the ALBP.  They wrote for the Forum Letter and Luthran Forum. Just another bunch of "liberals."
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 09, 2020, 04:27:53 PM
I’ve never been much for boycotts. Or Ben and Jerry’s anyway, go that matter.

I don’t say racism isn’t real. I say it is hidden in people, not systems. Systemic racism is an idea that allows people to explain current conditions without letting go of Utopianism. In practical terms, it is a way to claim that conservatism is racist without having to discern real racism on the part of any conservatives. One does not become an “ally” of anyone until one promotes progressive politics. That’s why black conservatives aren’t really black; it isn’t a race but an ideology, to which Joe Biden’s party wants black people chained.

 I do not think Peter's comments are at all lucid.  Once again, LCMS pastors  please read the CTCR report Racism in the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry. 

The LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations is hardly liberal.  They are in every way a group of  conservative LCMS pastors and laymen.   

Racism is as hidden in systems and institutions including the churches.  The last thing we need to do as Christians is to  make this a political issue!

The CTCR did not shy away from calling racism an Ideology and a sin that we of the LCMS need to acknowledge.

I call attention to the section  Barriers to Overcoming Racism. 

"As we Christians - who are at the same time saints and sinners - confront the sin of racism, we must first of all realize that we have to over come a host of obstacles that are constantly being erected by the world, the devil and our own sinful flesh."

Barriers include:  Denial,  Untenable assumptions,  Paternalism,  Different Meanings and Frames of Reference,  Fear of Differences and  Fear of Change.


Keep reading the CTCR and forget this nonsense about who is a liberal (Utopian) and who is political conservative.

Marie Meyer
p.s.  The Lutheran Human Relations Association was considered to be a group of LCMS "liberals."  Without those men and women the LCMS would not have made the progress we have in race relations......  Just thought of it, LCMS persons associated with the LHRA were also supporters of the ALBP.  They wrote for the Forum Letter and Luthran Forum. Just another bunch of "liberals."
What do you say to someone who says a black person ain’t black if they vote Republican? Or are acting white if they pursue academics? Or are Uncle Toms if they support the police? The fact that those things happen shows the reality that the spiritual issue of racism in the sense of thinking someone superior or inferior based on their race is an entirely separate thing from racism as used in common parlance to refer to a set of socio-economic political views.

There is no question that racism affected many, many people in the LCMS. I would argue that a call to start a black church in SC contradicted the Gospel, if indeed it was a call to form a congregation with membership contingent on race. But maybe that was more possible than integrating a SC church at the time and thus a practical concession to the falseness of the world. The fallennrss of our world manifests itself differently. We don’t have legal segregation, so we aren’t confronted with the false choice of starting black churches or not reaching blacks people. But the more we dwell on the segregationist past, the more we’ll think of black and white peoples in terms of their race, and integrating churches will be harder.

A much better way forward is to work to disregard race as a category. I have no tolerance for racism when I see it, but also no tolerance for the assumption that racism is there when I don’t see it. I think such an attitude perpetuates the problem. I’m not going to have our white youth apologize to our black youth, or have kids who have been friends for years try to find the hidden racism that divides them. Nor would I have encouraged our black students to look at the Concordias in a different way than our white students. Let them learn about the past without picking at the scabs. We show the Other Rosa and things like that because they inspire. But we don’t try to teach kids history in ways that encourage them to judge and condemn everyone. Nor will I lead my flick to believe that I think they are racists unless they demonstrate they aren’t, or that anyone bears collective guilt for their skin color. Such things don’t square with the Gospel.
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: Charles Austin on June 09, 2020, 04:56:20 PM
Peter writes:
I have no tolerance for racism when I see it, but also no tolerance for the assumption that racism is there when I don’t see it.
I comment:
I dare suggest, Peter, that you step back from defining and limiting what you think racism is and listen to those who experience it. Then when they have told their stories and what certain experiences have meant to them, you can dispassionately tell them that they are wrong.
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 09, 2020, 05:12:06 PM
Peter writes:
I have no tolerance for racism when I see it, but also no tolerance for the assumption that racism is there when I don’t see it.
I comment:
I dare suggest, Peter, that you step back from defining and limiting what you think racism is and listen to those who experience it. Then when they have told their stories and what certain experiences have meant to them, you can dispassionately tell them that they are wrong.
What do you think I was talking about, Charles? If someone tells me their story and points out racism, I have no tolerance for it. But if someone assumes racism before there is a story about it to tell, I don't join them in the assumption. So...Selma. I don't put up with assumption that it was closed because of racism. But I'm ready and willing to be shown evidence of racism. But what you want me to do is FIRST accept as a premise that racism explains the closing of Selma and look for ways to address that racism or else admit that I haven't really listened to anyone who was hurt by it. That is the opposite of listening. I'm simply saying that when it comes to finding solutions or moving forward, information edifies where negatives assumptions tear down.

Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 09, 2020, 05:46:49 PM
There is no question that racism affected many, many people in the LCMS. I would argue that a call to start a black church in SC contradicted the Gospel, if indeed it was a call to form a congregation with membership contingent on race. But maybe that was more possible than integrating a SC church at the time and thus a practical concession to the falseness of the world. The fallennrss of our world manifests itself differently. We don’t have legal segregation, so we aren’t confronted with the false choice of starting black churches or not reaching blacks people. But the more we dwell on the segregationist past, the more we’ll think of black and white peoples in terms of their race, and integrating churches will be harder.

A much better way forward is to work to disregard race as a category. I have no tolerance for racism when I see it, but also no tolerance for the assumption that racism is there when I don’t see it. I think such an attitude perpetuates the problem. I’m not going to have our white youth apologize to our black youth, or have kids who have been friends for years try to find the hidden racism that divides them. Nor would I have encouraged our black students to look at the Concordias in a different way than our white students. Let them learn about the past without picking at the scabs. We show the Other Rosa and things like that because they inspire. But we don’t try to teach kids history in ways that encourage them to judge and condemn everyone. Nor will I lead my flick to believe that I think they are racists unless they demonstrate they aren’t, or that anyone bears collective guilt for their skin color. Such things don’t square with the Gospel.


OK. Don't make race or skin color a category. Call it culture. Cultural divides have been part of Lutheranism from the beginning. The early Lutheran denominations were divided along cultural (or race or language) lines. Germans, Norwegians, Swedes, Danes, Finns, Slavs, all had their own Lutheran bodies.


We purposely start missions to reach Hispanic or Korean or Laotian or Native people. Language is not the only difference between those cultures and Northern European Lutherans. Building architecture can differ. Artwork can differ. The style of music can differ as well as the accompaniment.


I became acquainted with a Black Lutheran pastor who had moved to Denver. He never felt comfortable in the Lutheran congregations in that city. He had come from a Lutheran church in Chicago that had a black Jesus on the cross. The membership was mostly Black Lutherans. There wasn't a congregation like that in Denver. Before a synod meeting we were both at, some folks were telling Norwegian jokes. He was saddened by that. He said that the Baptist churches he grew up in, they would talk about Jesus not Ole and Sven. Even though he had been a Lutheran for many years, the (white) culture of the Denver Lutherans made him feel like a fish out of water.
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: Coach-Rev on June 09, 2020, 06:39:14 PM
[Sarcasm on]  Yes and how well quotas have worked to increase the numbers and percentage of minorities in the ELCA [sarcasm off].

Ken, I'm sure you are as familiar with this as anything:  At least in our Mission district, we were nearly instantly more racially diverse by virtue of an Oromo Congregation in suburban KC, and all this without even trying.  They've been an immense blessing to our mission district, and our mission district has taken them under their wings to ensure their needs be met.

The difference?  Focus on and emphasis of God's Holy Word, whole and inviolate.

(waiting for the usual howls from the dynamic duo on this...)
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: passerby on June 09, 2020, 07:12:07 PM
I’ve never been much for boycotts. Or Ben and Jerry’s anyway, go that matter.

I don’t say racism isn’t real. I say it is hidden in people, not systems. Systemic racism is an idea that allows people to explain current conditions without letting go of Utopianism. In practical terms, it is a way to claim that conservatism is racist without having to discern real racism on the part of any conservatives. One does not become an “ally” of anyone until one promotes progressive politics. That’s why black conservatives aren’t really black; it isn’t a race but an ideology, to which Joe Biden’s party wants black people chained.

 I do not think Peter's comments are at all lucid.  Once again, LCMS pastors  please read the CTCR report Racism in the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry. 

The LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations is hardly liberal.  They are in every way a group of  conservative LCMS pastors and laymen.   

Racism is as hidden in systems and institutions including the churches.  The last thing we need to do as Christians is to  make this a political issue!

The CTCR did not shy away from calling racism an Ideology and a sin that we of the LCMS need to acknowledge.

I call attention to the section  Barriers to Overcoming Racism. 

"As we Christians - who are at the same time saints and sinners - confront the sin of racism, we must first of all realize that we have to over come a host of obstacles that are constantly being erected by the world, the devil and our own sinful flesh."

Barriers include:  Denial,  Untenable assumptions,  Paternalism,  Different Meanings and Frames of Reference,  Fear of Differences and  Fear of Change.


Keep reading the CTCR and forget this nonsense about who is a liberal (Utopian) and who is political conservative.

Marie Meyer
p.s.  The Lutheran Human Relations Association was considered to be a group of LCMS "liberals."  Without those men and women the LCMS would not have made the progress we have in race relations......  Just thought of it, LCMS persons associated with the LHRA were also supporters of the ALBP.  They wrote for the Forum Letter and Luthran Forum. Just another bunch of "liberals."

Peter Speckhard seems to be of the opinion of his late (and great) uncle Richard Neuhaus who once said that "systemic evil" is "just a lot of people sinning." But I think we can speak as racism as being systemic in the way specific laws, policies, and practices (real estate advertising) that are carried out by institutions that perpetuate discrimination. Yet it is also the case that racism is not the only or even main thing about the U.S. (which social justice warriors claim); there are also systems of integration, unity, social betterment that can--and often have-- counteracted racism.
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 09, 2020, 07:16:29 PM
Peter writes:
I have no tolerance for racism when I see it, but also no tolerance for the assumption that racism is there when I don’t see it.
I comment:
I dare suggest, Peter, that you step back from defining and limiting what you think racism is and listen to those who experience it. Then when they have told their stories and what certain experiences have meant to them, you can dispassionately tell them that they are wrong.
The issue of tolerance for racism came up as a special emphasis in Micah Glenn's talk linked in another thread. What he said was that open racism rarely if ever was met with church discipline. That is, when a man flat out told Pr. Glenn that he was a racist who hated black people, Glenn sadly knew that that man would not be forbidden from communion until he repented the way people engaged in other sins, like openly having an affair, would face discipline. That was a major problem.

I think it an excellent point for several reasons. First, it shows that one man's "err on the side of grace" is another man's "err on the side of evil." More importantly to me, it illustrates exactly what I was saying when I said that I do not tolerate racism. When black people ask me, as they have, whether they would be welcome in the congregation, I always say that if they encounter racism they can count on me not to put up with it. But they should bear in mind it is congregation full of sinners, and while most of the members aren't racists and would  be glad to have them, I can't guarantee there is no chance they would encounter racism. We teach against it and don't tolerate it, but it in a group of sinners every kind of sin is likely to rear its head from time to time. The promise is that it won't be tolerated when it happens, not that it will never happen.

Which makes it so important that we know what constitutes a sign of unrepentant racism. The day after the election in 2016, we had an incident in which two eighth grade boys (one black, one white) came into school laughing and chanting "Build that wall! Build that wall!" Some of the Hispanic parents dropping kids off were not amused. We talked about it. All was well in short order. But if, as Pr. Glenn rightfully expects, a fellow pastor like me is going to withhold communion from unrepentant racism, where shall I look for it? Is a MAGA hat racist? In some eyes, yes. Given that I know a few people who have them and none of them are racist, could I take the accusation from a black person-- "That man is racist! Look at what he is wearing!" and use it to discipline the person as though support for Trump is an overt sign of racism? If not, am I guilty of ignoring the voices of those who see it that way? So it is critical that false accusations of racism, suspicion that everything is a dog whistle, teaching kids that every little thing is racist or even to assume that failure to sign on with progressive causes is tantamount to collusion with racism. It is especially important for progressive voices to police themselves when it comes to bogus charges of racism, because such policing from conservatives is likely to be seen as just more racism. 

Per Pr. Glenn, racism stems from and is hatred to which Christians must be called to repent. As his fellow pastor I will do so when I see it anywhere in my flock. But I won't do so whenever anyone tells me they see it and if I can't see it I'm blind. Because just as the old Soviet saying was "Show me the man and I'll find you the crime of which he is guilty," so today, show me the person/event/phenomenon and there is a passionate progressive out there who can show you how it is evidence of racism (or as a plan B sexism or transphobia). And I'm not going to declare people hateful and barred from communion for being part of "whiteness," or in some intangible way having benefited from European colonialism, voting to close Selma, or whatever else might be evidence of racism in some people's eyes. If you're accusing someone of being a racist, you're asking me to withhold communion from them until they repent. That's my promise to Pr. Glenn, one he wants and is disappointed not to have found very often in the LCMS. 
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: mariemeyer on June 09, 2020, 09:05:32 PM
The fact that Biden made an inappropriate comment does not given anyone license to follow his example.

Again, I would ask LCMS pastor here please to read the CTCR report. It carefully deals with racism as a spiritual issue as well as a cultural issue. As I  read the report the cultural displays of racism must be addressed by the church.  The church cannot remain silent, deny the reality or ignore racism when it occurs in the church.

In response to the comment made here, " I would argue that a call to start a black church in SC contradicted the Gospel, if indeed it was a call to form a congregation with membership contingent on race. But maybe that was more possible than integrating a SC church at the time and thus a practical concession to the falseness of the world."

Understanding LCMS efforts to address racism within society and the synod during the sixties requires understanding the realty respected LCMS leaders  confronted.  IOW, cut the four district presidents and the St. Louis Seminary Placement Office some slack in the 1963 decision to send four candidates south to start black congregations.

Integrating white Lutheran congregations in Columbia, SC was not an option.  Starting a black congregation and working to integrate it was. During the time we were there Bill and I added four white children to the congregation.  A white Valpo couple settled in Columbia and joined the congregation.  Several members of the Southern LCA seminary worshiped with The Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit from time to time.  Prof. George Anderson's son was the only white kid at our daughters first birthday party. The teen age children of Prof. Raymond Bost attended youth gatherings with the teens of our congregation.

The last Christmas we were in Columbia the SS of the white LCMS Church and the SS of Holy Spirit had a joint Christmas SS program.   Change comes slowly.  In 1970 Bill had three calls; one to CA, one to downtown Detroit and one to Patchogue, Long Island.  Together with church leaders the decision was made that it was time for the congregation to have a black pastor. Bill accepted the call to Patchogue.

Prior to leaving an incident took place that shook us to the core.  The pastor of a neighboring LCMS congregation died suddenly at a church voters meetings. As is the custom pastors from the area came to attend the funeral.  Five pastors came from NC - four white and one black.  The president of the Voters stood on the front steps to the church and would not let the black LCMS pastor into the church.

What to do?  The white pastors from NC left with the black pastor. For the sake of the widow, the white SC pastors attended the service

Ignoring race as a category is not the way forward any more than it is not to recognize racism within the LCMS.  I identify with the young  LCMS pastor who in his sermon acknowledged how racist thoughts creep up on him.     

Marie Meyer


Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 09, 2020, 09:34:23 PM


Ignoring race as a category is not the way forward any more than it is not to recognize racism within the LCMS.  I identify with the young  LCMS pastor who in his sermon acknowledged how racist thoughts creep up on him.     

Marie Meyer
If ignoring race as a category is not the way forward, then I must ask what the destination is. The way toward a church and world in which nobody is judged by the color of their skin is to stop considering the color of their skin.
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 09, 2020, 09:53:11 PM

What do you say to someone who says a black person ain’t black if they vote Republican? Or are acting white if they pursue academics? Or are Uncle Toms if they support the police?
To take up my own question, what do people make of this?

https://twitter.com/DrTyroneWilson1/status/1270122814754848768

My guess is that if a white person posted the exact same thing, the truth of the content would remain unchanged, but the person posting it would be derided as racist and probably lose his job. Since the doctor is black, people can't do that. But they have to somehow explain to themselves why the nation should stop for George Floyd's death when none of the people saying that ever even heard of or acknowledged the 67 deaths this doctor mentions. So they'll say my reposting it is insensitive or unhelpful. Or that the doctor is being used as a tool of the right wing. Something, anything, to claim this doctor doesn't represent a legitimate black voice or that it is illegitimate of me to think he has a point.
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 09, 2020, 10:18:39 PM
The death of George Floyd at the knee of a white policeman (not the correct way to take a knee) was a tragedy, especially because the duty of the police officer was to protect George not end his life. It graphically demonstrated a perennial problem in American life that absolutely demands addressing. One item that has been featured repeatedly in the news was "the talk" about how to be safe from the police.


But as Dr. Wilson pointed out,  there are greater dangers out there than the police, but those dangers are not considered especially newsworthy.  There are some more talks that need to happen. Statistically speaking is being killed by police a leading cause of deaths among Blacks? Any such deaths (when the officer does not legitimately fear for his life) are too many and measures must be taken to prevent them. But do the lives lost in Black on Black violence matter? Police brutality must be addressed, but so must the othe4.
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on June 10, 2020, 09:39:26 AM
I dare suggest, Peter, that you step back from defining and limiting what you think racism is and listen to those who experience it.


Peter can speak for himself, but he makes perfect sense to me, a white, middle class American whose ancestors came from various lands surrounding the North Sea who has personally experienced racism and has seen it expressed, sometimes virulently, by people and institutions of all races.

Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: DCharlton on June 10, 2020, 07:27:39 PM
One form of White Privilege that the ELCA has an urgent need to address is what I call "Woke Privilege."  This is when high status white people think that their "wokeness" gives them the right to tell people of color how to think and what to feel.  This "Woke Privilege" even gives high status white the idea that they can call people of color racist.  I have recently heard first person accounts of such outrageous behavior.
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: mariemeyer on June 11, 2020, 12:11:40 PM


Ignoring race as a category is not the way forward any more than it is not to recognize racism within the LCMS.  I identify with the young  LCMS pastor who in his sermon acknowledged how racist thoughts creep up on him.     

Marie Meyer
If ignoring race as a category is not the way forward, then I must ask what the destination is. The way toward a church and world in which nobody is judged by the color of their skin is to stop considering the color of their skin.

Ignoring the realty that humans have different skin colors, be they black, brown, yellow or white, is unrealistic.  In this instance, having  a white person suggest that having black skin is best no longer considered a category of being human denies that persons of black skin have for centuries been regarded as a different category of humanity.  Black persons have every right to say, "Are you kidding?  That's fine for you to say from your position of privilege. Get real man!"

How our country regarded men and women of color began in our country with slavery, went on to include lynching, Jim Crow laws, segregation in the military, housing, education and heath care.  Remnants of how whites regarded blacks continues to exist today.  Persons of black skin are excluded in not a few hidden housing patterns, schools in black communities often lack the same resources as schools on white communities. When our Asian foster son was stopped by police as he walked home from school, "What are you doing here?"  When a black boy arrived early for confirmation class and was sitting on church steps waiting arrived for Pastor Meyer,  a police car and stopped to ask what he was doing there.

The way forward is to recognize that persons of color are still  not given the same status, opportunity, education or housing as white persons in some American communities.   There are Lutheran churches in these communities. Some, but not all, have been proactive in recognizing what the CTCR calls on them and us to do and say.

For whites to deny the reality of how their status in American culture offers advantages not afforded blacks is, IMO, paternalistic, perhaps even arrogant. 

Yeas ago Christianity Today featured an article on George Washington Carver.  Carver is quoted to have said that the white man has to get off the black's man's neck.  Why? So that the black man can get up and help the white man see the truth of his wrongful treatment/regard for the black man.  I submit that whites today need the black man to help us come to the reality of our privileged  status in America.  We need black Christians to being us to repentance for our sin.

The solution is not to deny the reality that humans have different colors of skin.  It is for persons of white skin to recognize the truth that they are responsible for past and present cultural, institutional and personal egocentric sinful silence for how color has contributed to differences within humanity that are offend the true God as revealed in the Written and Incarnate God.

Marie Meyer
     
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 11, 2020, 12:18:02 PM
A friend send me a copy of this service at an Episcopal Church in Tucson, the sermon takes a powerful look at racism through the ages. The sermon begins about 27:50.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oy-c1jUl4o8&t=3133s (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oy-c1jUl4o8&t=3133s)
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 11, 2020, 12:49:12 PM


Ignoring race as a category is not the way forward any more than it is not to recognize racism within the LCMS.  I identify with the young  LCMS pastor who in his sermon acknowledged how racist thoughts creep up on him.     

Marie Meyer
If ignoring race as a category is not the way forward, then I must ask what the destination is. The way toward a church and world in which nobody is judged by the color of their skin is to stop considering the color of their skin.

Ignoring the realty that humans have different skin colors, be they black, brown, yellow or white, is unrealistic.  In this instance, having  a white person suggest that having black skin is best no longer considered a category of being human denies that persons of black skin have for centuries been regarded as a different category of humanity.  Black persons have every right to say, "Are you kidding?  That's fine for you to say from your position of privilege. Get real man!"

How our country regarded men and women of color began in our country with slavery, went on to include lynching, Jim Crow laws, segregation in the military, housing, education and heath care.  Remnants of how whites regarded blacks continues to exist today.  Persons of black skin are excluded in not a few hidden housing patterns, schools in black communities often lack the same resources as schools on white communities. When our Asian foster son was stopped by police as he walked home from school, "What are you doing here?"  When a black boy arrived early for confirmation class and was sitting on church steps waiting arrived for Pastor Meyer,  a police car and stopped to ask what he was doing there.

The way forward is to recognize that persons of color are still  not given the same status, opportunity, education or housing as white persons in some American communities.   There are Lutheran churches in these communities. Some, but not all, have been proactive in recognizing what the CTCR calls on them and us to do and say.

For whites to deny the reality of how their status in American culture offers advantages not afforded blacks is, IMO, paternalistic, perhaps even arrogant. 

Yeas ago Christianity Today featured an article on George Washington Carver.  Carver is quoted to have said that the white man has to get off the black's man's neck.  Why? So that the black man can get up and help the white man see the truth of his wrongful treatment/regard for the black man.  I submit that whites today need the black man to help us come to the reality of our privileged  status in America.  We need black Christians to being us to repentance for our sin.

The solution is not to deny the reality that humans have different colors of skin.  It is for persons of white skin to recognize the truth that they are responsible for past and present cultural, institutional and personal egocentric sinful silence for how color has contributed to differences within humanity that are offend the true God as revealed in the Written and Incarnate God.

Marie Meyer
   
As I mentioned on another thread, I think Dr. Mauchen did an excellent job of refining the distinction between being colorblind and defining people by their skin color. I recommend you give it a listen.

 
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: mariemeyer on June 11, 2020, 02:20:37 PM
Peter writes:

"As I mentioned on another thread, I think Dr. Mauchen did an excellent job of refining the distinction between being colorblind and defining people by their skin color. I recommend you give it a listen."

And I recommend that you respond directly related to the CTCR report, the letter from the LCMS Black Clergy Caucus and other posts here that refer directly to the reality of racism as it exists in the USA today as part of our culture, our institutions and in our individual lives.

Age brings with it a variety of life experiences.  It wasn't until I confronted the reality that Bill and I could take our children to a State Park, but we could not take our neighbor's children with us that I had inkling of our culture.  When the LWML had a zone rally at a local school rather than in their church building so that the black women from my church did not enter their sanctuary  I came face to face with LCMS racism.  When laws were passed so we could take our youth group to a state park, Bill rented a van to take the Youth group to a state park.   While there a group of white men who had been drinking  approach our group with hateful racial slurs.  Bill directed me to get the youth in the van while he confronted the men. I  experienced a fear I had never known before.  Trembling, Bill was able to get in the  van and drive us out of the park.  Laws had changed, but the hearts of men had not changes.

To think that one can become color blind in America today without systemic changes or by ignoring the words of George Washington Carver reveals how personal defensiveness is a barrier to change. Carver claimed that whites needed the blacks to be lifted up from out of their white racist ideology.   We, whites, need eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to understand the realty of existing racism in our culture and institutions.  Seeing persons as persons of color is not the problem.  Being blind to the reality that humans come in different colors serves no purpose. Needed are changes within... changes in our self image, changes in our heart, changes in our thinking.   

How I see myself today is a direct result of having black neighbors and being part of a black community of believers. How they related to me enriched my understanding of what it means to be a Christian and a US citizen. 

We have made progress since the sixties, thanks in large measure to the blacks who have stood alongside whites as mentors in confronting how racism has and continues to impact on their lives and ours. Until we see how racism of any color diminishes us, I think there is work to be down within our country and in our churches.

Marie Meyer
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 11, 2020, 02:37:37 PM
You act as though I’ve never read CTCR documents that were published when I was in seminary. You act as though I haven’t responded to the letter from the black clergy caucus. I was one of the first to post a response. If you can’t be bothered to listen to Dr. Mauchen’s talk, so be it. I find myself in broad agreement with him and even posted that I thought his categories and distinctions were better than the ones I had used. I’m not going to transcribe or translate him for you when the link is available in multiple places. If you want to know what think, you’ll listen to it. If you don’t want to know what I think, you’ll quit asking me.
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: mariemeyer on June 11, 2020, 05:22:58 PM
You act as though I’ve never read CTCR documents that were published when I was in seminary. You act as though I haven’t responded to the letter from the black clergy caucus. I was one of the first to post a response. If you can’t be bothered to listen to Dr. Mauchen’s talk, so be it. I find myself in broad agreement with him and even posted that I thought his categories and distinctions were better than the ones I had used. I’m not going to transcribe or translate him for you when the link is available in multiple places. If you want to know what think, you’ll listen to it. If you don’t want to know what I think, you’ll quit asking me.

Peter: I checked back to all your emails for the Dr. Mauchen's talk and could not locate it. If the link was available in multiple places, I missed them.

I do want to know what you think, which is why I referred to how the CTCR report outlines cultural (USA), institutional (LCMS) and personal (mine/yours) racism.  In reading your posts I did not find mention of whether you thought how the CTCR applied their definition of racism to our American culture, to our synod and to individual members of LCMS congregations was valid.

IMO, the solution to moving forward, not being color blind, is unrealistic. It fails to acknowledge the reality of how racism has and continues to impact upon the life of many black Americans.  I have acknowledged changes that have taken place since the sixties.  At the same time I have openly and consistently maintained there is more work to be done within our American culture, within the LCMS and within the hearts and minds of Christians.

I joined the recent Bethel march, but remained silent when, in a safe distance gathering of LCMS sisters in Christ, the conversation mentioned all the flaws in George Floyd's background. 

I honestly do not know if you regard racism as a manifestation of an idolatry of self.  This is the premise with which the CTCR  begins. The report prompts individual self-examination.  It is why they refer to roadblocks i overcoming racism, the first one being denial.  Being color blind was not mentioned as a solution to overcoming racism.  Studies have shown that the first or second difference people see when meeting someone is color.  Seeing the difference in race or ethnicity is natural.  You can't miss it.  How one reacts or responds is an issue. The financial decisions we make. Where we send our children to school.  Where we buy our house. Whom we invite into our homes for dinner.

Marie Meyer 

Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: RayToy on June 12, 2020, 07:27:25 AM
One form of White Privilege that the ELCA has an urgent need to address is what I call "Woke Privilege."  This is when high status white people think that their "wokeness" gives them the right to tell people of color how to think and what to feel.  This "Woke Privilege" even gives high status white the idea that they can call people of color racist.  I have recently heard first person accounts of such outrageous behavior.

     Ah yes.  Thanks for the term. It's nice to have a name for something I have experienced.  This is the second time that I had to wait many years before a term was coined to describe a personal incident.  (The first was "virtue signalling.") Being lectured by a white woman as to why I really don't understand racism by a proverbial "Karen" (I am not White BTW) has always been an eye rolling experience.

Thanks,
Ray
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on June 12, 2020, 09:33:46 AM
One form of White Privilege that the ELCA has an urgent need to address is what I call "Woke Privilege."  This is when high status white people think that their "wokeness" gives them the right to tell people of color how to think and what to feel.  This "Woke Privilege" even gives high status white the idea that they can call people of color racist.  I have recently heard first person accounts of such outrageous behavior.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/la-times-executive-editor-says-the-word-looting-is-racist

" ... the word 'riot' falls in a 'similar' category as the word 'looting'," I.e., they are racist words.

I'm certainly not going to suggest that Dorothy Tucker is racist. So, is she suggesting that black journalists have co-opted these terms? I stated that the AIM members who toppled the Columbus statue in front of the MN capitol are vandals. Is that a racist use of the word?

Help me out, Dave. You're one of the most woke persons I know.
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: Dan Fienen on June 12, 2020, 09:43:31 AM
To label people who damage or deface property vandals is a racist slur against Germans and a Germanic tribe.
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: James J Eivan on June 13, 2020, 01:08:51 AM
Reviewing Mrs. Meyer's posts it is striking that the experiences she writes about occurred long ago ... long before the CTCR document was written. 

In response to the comment made here, " I would argue that a call to start a black church in SC contradicted the Gospel, if indeed it was a call to form a congregation with membership contingent on race. But maybe that was more possible than integrating a SC church at the time and thus a practical concession to the falseness of the world."

Understanding LCMS efforts to address racism within society and the synod during the sixties requires understanding the realty respected LCMS leaders  confronted.  IOW, cut the four district presidents and the St. Louis Seminary Placement Office some slack in the 1963 decision to send four candidates south to start black congregations.

Integrating white Lutheran congregations in Columbia, SC was not an option.  Starting a black congregation and working to integrate it was. During the time we were there Bill and I added four white children to the congregation.  A white Valpo couple settled in Columbia and joined the congregation.  Several members of the Southern LCA seminary worshiped with The Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit from time to time.  Prof. George Anderson's son was the only white kid at our daughters first birthday party. The teen age children of Prof. Raymond Bost attended youth gatherings with the teens of our congregation.

The last Christmas we were in Columbia the SS of the white LCMS Church and the SS of Holy Spirit had a joint Christmas SS program.   Change comes slowly.  In 1970 Bill had three calls; one to CA, one to downtown Detroit and one to Patchogue, Long Island.  Together with church leaders the decision was made that it was time for the congregation to have a black pastor. Bill accepted the call to Patchogue.

Prior to leaving an incident took place that shook us to the core.  The pastor of a neighboring LCMS congregation died suddenly at a church voters meetings. As is the custom pastors from the area came to attend the funeral.  Five pastors came from NC - four white and one black.  The president of the Voters stood on the front steps to the church and would not let the black LCMS pastor into the church.

What to do?  The white pastors from NC left with the black pastor. For the sake of the widow, the white SC pastors attended the service.
and ...
How our country regarded men and women of color began in our country with slavery, went on to include lynching, Jim Crow laws, segregation in the military, housing, education and heath care.  Remnants of how whites regarded blacks continues to exist today.  Persons of black skin are excluded in not a few hidden housing patterns, schools in black communities often lack the same resources as schools on white communities. When our Asian foster son was stopped by police as he walked home from school, "What are you doing here?"  When a black boy arrived early for confirmation class and was sitting on church steps waiting arrived for Pastor Meyer,  a police car and stopped to ask what he was doing there.
And ...
Age brings with it a variety of life experiences.  It wasn't until I confronted the reality that Bill and I could take our children to a State Park, but we could not take our neighbor's children with us that I had inkling of our culture.  When the LWML had a zone rally at a local school rather than in their church building so that the black women from my church did not enter their sanctuary  I came face to face with LCMS racism.  When laws were passed so we could take our youth group to a state park, Bill rented a van to take the Youth group to a state park.   While there a group of white men who had been drinking  approach our group with hateful racial slurs.  Bill directed me to get the youth in the van while he confronted the men. I  experienced a fear I had never known before.  Trembling, Bill was able to get in the  van and drive us out of the park.  Laws had changed, but the hearts of men had not changes.
No one doubts that these events occurred ... and there is always room for improvement .. my pastor freely admits things are far better than when he was a boy.

Thankfully he looks forward .. forgives the past ... and trusts in the forgiving hand of a loving God.  Rather than reliving the past ... attempting to inflict guilt where the blood of Christ has forgiven all sins, he continues to witness his faith to all he encounters.
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: mariemeyer on June 13, 2020, 11:11:44 AM
James writes.....

"No one doubts that these events occurred ... and there is always room for improvement .. my pastor freely admits things are far better than when he was a boy.

Thankfully he looks forward .. forgives the past ... and trusts in the forgiving hand of a loving God.  Rather than reliving the past ... attempting to inflict guilt where the blood of Christ has forgiven all sins, he continues to witness his faith to all he encounters."


I respond...

It is also for Christians to acknowledge the reality of how cultural and institutional racism continues to exists today.  Yes, the CTCR report was written after the sixties.  Sadly, the report did not prompt Lutheran citizens of this country to speak up for change  as racism continued to exists in our midst.

Christ freely forgives sins when sinners come before God asking forgiveness.  Where denial exists, Christ also speaks the Law. 

The Church, the Bride of Christ to whom God has given authority to forgive sins, is also the Church,our Mother, to whom God has given authority to proclaim the Law .  When racism, cultural, institutional or in the hearts of individuals, is denied, the Law must be spoken.  Where self-righteous exists, the Law must be spoken.  Where injustice persists, the Law must be spoken.   

To say there "is always room for improvement" is a an excuse for sin.   To say there "is always room for improvement" as long as the one proclaims faith in the forgiveness of sins perpetuates "cheap grace."

Marie Meyer 

Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 13, 2020, 11:37:34 AM

It is also for Christians to acknowledge the reality of how cultural and institutional racism continues to exists today.  Yes, the CTCR report was written after the sixties.  Sadly, the report did not prompt Lutheran citizens of this country to speak up for change  as racism continued to exists in our midst.
 
What change did Lutherans fail to speak up for that would have ended racism in our midst?
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: James J Eivan on June 13, 2020, 12:11:02 PM
James writes.....

"No one doubts that these events occurred ... and there is always room for improvement .. my pastor freely admits things are far better than when he was a boy.
Then Marie writes ... “Where denial exists, Christ also speaks the Law.”. Where is the denial?
Quote
To say there "is always room for improvement" is a an excuse for sin.   To say there "is always room for improvement" as long as the one proclaims faith in the forgiveness of sins perpetuates "cheap grace."
Sounds rather judgmental ... to acknowledge sin is an excuse?? Without faith, I cannot see, much less acknowledge my sin.  A Christian truly acknowledging sin is not making an excuse for sin.


I refuse to acknowledge that the pastor’s absolution in the Divine Service is cheap.  In no way does confession of my sins because of my faith in Christ cheapen anything Christ has won for you and me.


Specifically how and when is racialism denied.  A concise answer to this question will go a long way in facilitating future dialogue.
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 13, 2020, 01:39:08 PM
Here is a great webinar by John Nunes on this topic.

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/play/65YsceH9qGo3G9eVtQSDC_4qW43vfKOs0SIfqPoMzxngBXQFYVujZ7NAZrb59AZ98Xd1vIOU8SOUfVMD?startTime=1591894865000&_x_zm_rtaid=heoSmWohSA6_EnAlKQEeBA.1592057651618.fa6ded8f7bcdb11ae8c3f3747b5cb1bf&_x_zm_rhtaid=236
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: John_Hannah on June 13, 2020, 03:45:17 PM
Here is a great webinar by John Nunes on this topic.

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/play/65YsceH9qGo3G9eVtQSDC_4qW43vfKOs0SIfqPoMzxngBXQFYVujZ7NAZrb59AZ98Xd1vIOU8SOUfVMD?startTime=1591894865000&_x_zm_rtaid=heoSmWohSA6_EnAlKQEeBA.1592057651618.fa6ded8f7bcdb11ae8c3f3747b5cb1bf&_x_zm_rhtaid=236

John Nunes is always superb! I'm proud to be in his LCMS Circuit, the best in the Synod.   :)

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
Post by: peter_speckhard on June 13, 2020, 04:01:22 PM
Here is a great webinar by John Nunes on this topic.

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/play/65YsceH9qGo3G9eVtQSDC_4qW43vfKOs0SIfqPoMzxngBXQFYVujZ7NAZrb59AZ98Xd1vIOU8SOUfVMD?startTime=1591894865000&_x_zm_rtaid=heoSmWohSA6_EnAlKQEeBA.1592057651618.fa6ded8f7bcdb11ae8c3f3747b5cb1bf&_x_zm_rhtaid=236

John Nunes is always superb! I'm proud to be in his LCMS Circuit, the best in the Synod.   :)

Peace, JOHN
I re-linked his talk in a new thread.