Bryan Loritts is a pastor in Memphis, TN and just spoke on “The Church as the Theater of Transracial Adoption”
It is going to take me the rest of the weekend to craft my thoughts on Bryan Loritts talk (and stop crying when I think about the history of race in our country). I am so used to talking to white American’s about race and getting blank stares and lots of objections as to why the black/white thing doesn’t matter anymore. Brothers and sisters, it matters!
It was so good to sit in a room full of white reformed folk and hear Bryan BRING IT as he opened up the dusty history books and showed the rippling effects slavery has had in our country. Here is a small excerpt of my notes that still has me in tears…I’m quoting it as closely as I can remember…I’ll post his video here once it’s up:
The issue of fatherless, abortion, and orphans is our 21st century issue of slavery. NO ethnicity owns the market on fatherlessness and orphans. Black families are not the only families creating orphans…its everywhere. At the same time, people KNOW your American history. One of the things that slavery bequeathed to the 21st century today is the brokenness of African American history. The whole HISTORY of slavery was built on the division of separation of families. Almost every African American can trace their family back to a broken family. ORPHANS have been a part of the history of African Americans from day one in this country as a result of the injustices of what happened in American history.
Honestly, I am so tired of people who don’t want to talk about race and who don’t want to talk about the injustices that were threaded throughout our short 200 year history that has had devastating consequences. I’m tired of people acting like the reality of slavery and the rippling effects of racial discrimination that was everywhere even 30 years ago does not matter anymore. I’m tired of the explanation that we are all one color…we are and we’re not…lets appreciate the tension.
Maybe it is Americans, maybe it is western culture, or maybe it is just the post-modern generation, but I find that most people I speak to my age have no understanding of history, especially African American history. And this isn’t just my Caucasian friends, I am appalled that my black friends are clueless too.
BUT GOD, and this is the hope that we see in the church. The church SHOULD BE the theater for trans-racial adoption. When we look at the history of black and whites in America (or Native Americans! Or the Japanese during WW2, I can go on if you’d like…) there is NO reason that we should have families that look like mine. There should NOT be interracial marriages, there should not be trans-racial adoptions, BUT GOD… And the church should be a picture of restoration and healing…racial reconciliation in American can and SHOULD happen within our churches!
Alright, other great things Bryan said:
“Any Christ follower that does not question how they can care for the “least of these” is living a Christianity not compatible with the gospel.” He goes on to say that it does not mean we are SAVED because we care for the orphan, it means we consider the orphan BECAUSE we are saved.
He quoted Wayne Grudem, “The Bible is the transcript of the heart of God.” And says that there are 2000 verses that reflect God’s heart for the poor, widow, fatherless, and alien. How can we claim to have God’s heart if we don’t have his heart for that?
Bryan says that American Christianity sends the message that you can make all the $ you want, live in whatever zip code you want, send your kids to whatever school you want, and spend it how you want…. And still follow Jesus. But this isn’t the call to discipleship we see in scripture.