In case you haven’t read it, John Piper’s book, Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian, is a painfully transparent effort on the part of a conservative Christian pastor on the topic of racism, particularly white/black tensions in America. It’s a must read for conservative Christians and for anyone who would like to see how thoughtful Christians think through theology and social issues. John Piper has agonized long and hard over the topic and confessed his own racism. So, his take on Trayvon was something I wanted to see. Read it here.
As one might expect as soon as one opens his mouth about the topic of racism, John’s work has been criticized. But no critic that I have read so far has doubted the sincerity and earnestness of the author and all seem to recognize a passionate desire for God’s healing in our land in this particular area.
Here’s an excerpt from the blog post that I think corresponds with my effort to say that we should empathize.
Of the dozens of things that Christians need to be thinking and saying about this, some are awakened by what the Bible says in Hebrews 13:3, “Remember those who . . . are mistreated, since you also are in the body.”
In the context, this probably refers to persecuted fellow Christians. But notice the nature of the argument: You also are in the body. The appeal is to heartfelt empathy with the mistreated, because you have a body!
Not a white body. Not a black body. Just a human body. This is a cry for Christian whites and blacks and Asians and Latinos to feel the human flesh on their faith in Jesus.Trayvon’s flesh. His dad’s flesh. George’s flesh. His dad’s flesh. That kind of getting in their flesh will yield a long night’s groaning.