Oneness and Diversity Resources

“I know something is wrong, but I don’t really understand what or how we got here.”

Continuing to ignore and push past the sin of racism in our country’s and churches’ histories in an effort to “just get along” will only hurt the witness of the body of Christ (the church) further. As followers of Christ, we must acknowledge and address the hurt and pain of people made in the image of God if we want to move toward true oneness.

In order to do that, we must individually and corporately reflect on our own hearts and God’s heart for His people. Within our own hearts, we must ask God to reveal the areas in which we are complicit or have bias and ask Him to intercede.

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me,  and lead me in the way everlasting.” — Psalm 139: 23-24 (New International Version)

If you’ve already considered that there is something more to the story of those who are different from you, consider asking God questions like: “What am I missing?” “Who am I not understanding — what people or group?” “What parts of history am I forgetting, ignoring or misunderstanding?” Jesus saw the marginalized, and much of His ministry was dedicated to letting them know they were seen, loved and valued.

Reflect on God’s heart for unity:

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. I have given them the glory that you gave Me, that they may be one as We are one — I in them and You in Me — so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.” — John 17:20-23 (NIV)

If we are to see any progress at all, it will begin with our own hearts and then pour out into our relationships. Remember, being one doesn’t mean we ignore our differences. Jesus and the Father are one, but they are also distinct persons in the Trinity. This will not be an easy journey, but it is a worthy one because it’s important to God and so must be important to us.

Here are some resources to help you begin the journey toward racial reconciliation.


RESOURCES

HISTORY OF RACE IN THE UNITED STATES

ARTICLES:

How Juneteenth Helps You See God by Melody Copenny (Cru)

VIDEOS:

Eyes on the Prize (PBS)

“Asian Americans” (PBS documentary)

BOOKS:

A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America by Ronald Takaki

Free at Last: The Gospel in the African American Experience by Carl Ellis

 

THEOLOGY AND RACE IN THE CHURCH

VIDEOS:

“A Theology of Race” with Jemar Tisby

ARTICLES:

In a World So Divided, Is Unity Possible? (Cru)

Letter From a Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

BOOKS:

Letters Across the Divide by David Anderson and Brent Zuercher

Beyond Racial Gridlock by George Yancey

 

LEARNING CULTURAL SELF

ARTICLES:

Ethnicity and God's Kingdom (Athletes in Action)

10 Ways to Have Conversations on Race by Mae Elise Cannon, Lisa Sharon Harper, Troy Jackson and Soong-Chan Rah

Heart of Racism by Naomi Arnold (Cru)

BOOKS:

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

Hermanas: Deepening Our Identity and Growing Our Influence by Natalia Kohn, Noemi Vega Quiñones, and Kristy Garza Robinson

 

UNDERSTANDING THE EFFECTS OF RACISM ON MY LIFE AND SOCIETY

VIDEOS:

“Just Mercy”

ARTICLE:

My Plunge Into Painful and Hopeful Waters by Jason Weimer (Cru)

Justice in the Bible by Tim Keller

BOOKS:

Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible by Randolph Richards and Brandon O’Brien

Dream With Me: Race, Love, and the Struggle We Must Win by John M. Perkins

 

RESPOND: LAMENT / REPENTANCE (Personal and Corporate)

ARTICLES:

How to Grieve Racial Violence Through Lament by Mark Vroegop

BOOKS:

Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times by Soong-Chan Rah

Related Topics:
Racial Issues

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