Racism and the Gospel

In the wake of the death of George Floyd and in the midst of racial protests, Father Andrew Unger shares some thoughts about where to begin to find racial justice in the Church.


It would be tempting to think that the protests and big conversations about race are coming up because of a single precipitating event: George Floyd’s unjust death. Or perhaps from two other high profile killings of African Americans that have come into the public’s consciousness: Breona Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.

But to pin everything that is happening in our country to only those three deaths would be to miss what Christians of color, and especially African American Christians, have been saying for years: that racism continues to affect their everyday lives in systemic ways.

Last November, before this round of hashtags and protests, at our first Diocesan Convention in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Bishop Hobby charged the clergy to have open conversations about racial reconciliation.

Those conversations have to start, especially for white Christians, with listening to the minority voices in the church, in order to understand not only what the problems are, but also to hear from them how they see the good news of Jesus speaking into and redeeming those same problems.

To that end, we wanted to share these two articles from Christianity Today. One is an interview with Efrem Smith, a pastor in Sacramento, and the other is an adaption of a sermon given on Sunday by Esau McCaulley, a priest in the ACNA and a New Testament Professor at Wheaton College.

A Nation on Fire Needs the Flames of the Spirit (Esau McCaulley)
White Evangelicals Need to Humble Themselves (Efrem Smith)

I highly recommend them as a starting place (they are by no means comprehensive) for listening to minority voices to hear the gospel shared from a different perspective. That listening can then be the beginning to standing alongside and being with each other as the whole church, people from all nations coming together at the foot of the cross.