Emergence Christianity, Diversity and Spiritual Disciplines that resist White Supremacy


it has been brought to my attention that the issue of diversity (racial/gender) and emergence christianity has bubbled back up to the surface in some conversations and places. i am deeply invested in this conversation on a more local level for the past couple of years. i have not really engaged emergence christianity in a larger arena for a while. largely because i have been engaged and entrenched in my local context doing gospel work. but a recent conversation with a dear friend has sparked my interest in making public my thoughts on emergence christianity and diversity. in particular, racial diversity.

this weekend i hope to post a series of reflections on emergence christianity and racial diversity. my thoughts on this have changed over the past ten years that i have consciously participated in emergence christianity.

let me be clear: i am no token negro when it comes to emergence christianity. i believe i can speak with authenticity as an emergent christian that just so happens to be black. i am thoroughly invested in this movement. and i am embarrassed to say that i have neglected my duties to support friends that have been publicly challenged in ways that could very well embolden white supremacy and racial narratives and embodiedments that stand in the way of diversity. 

to all parties involved in differents streams of this conversation, and you know who you are, i apologize. i did not have your back when you needed me. but now i am here.

so here is the ground i hope to cover this weekend:

1. emergence christianity and the lack of diversity (why?)

2. the legacy of white supremacy in north american christianity

3. why protests/boycotts keep white supremacy emboldened

4. resisting white supremacy will require something more challenging than boycotts: spiritual disciplines. the embodied unconscious habits of white supremacy, i am learning, are best unseated through spiritual disciplines (like spiritual friendships). We will talk more about that.

5. my suggested list of spiritual disciplines of resisting white supremacy in north american christianity.

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8 thoughts on “Emergence Christianity, Diversity and Spiritual Disciplines that resist White Supremacy

  1. Churches need to listen and be moved by the Holy Spirit as it matures and prepares the church by personally administrating diversity. He gives each one of us a gift. And as each of the various gifts and ministries supplies a contribution, the bosy grows and matres. The Bride of Christ who has made herself ready — is a church of diversity and variety, whose members are centered on Jesus Christ. The church is the expression of the kingdom of God on earth. It should reflect the congregation that surrounds the throne in the heavenly kingdom, which includes every tribe, tongue, people, and nation.
    A great book that was just release that address this issue: “The Skin You Live In” by Dr. David Ireland.

  2. This sounds great and important. I understand the critique of the ec as overly white, but I also know that when I first learned about postmodernism, the emerging church, etc., some of my earliest teachers were the blogs of folks like you and Rod Garvin. So thanks, and I look forward to the series.

  3. Right on about needing more than boycotts to challenge White Supremacy (seriously, so tired of that as the only solution people have to domination–where is the imagination?). I’m also interested in your take on spiritual disciplines as a counter to White Supremacy. Few (primarily white) people, I think, are able to do the balancing act of spiritual disciplines and formation while simultaneously acting out against White Supremacy. Have you read Sarah Coakley’s “Powers and Submissions”? I think she is one of the few.

  4. That is something I have onserved as well, a lot of Christians are White, and this gives people the impression that Jesus is the ‘White man’s God’ when in truth Jesus was just as brown, if not more so, than any other North African/Mediterranean individual roaming about the Ancient Middle East in that era. The modern image of Jesus is the result of the early Roman Papacy, and the spread of Christendom throughout Europe. Honestly, if people really wanted to challenge this head-on in churches where there isn’t a large diversity, they should start hanging images of Jesus that reflect his true ethnic heritage, and then use the knee-jerk reactions as a means to springboard dialogue about why the image of a White man as Jesus is ‘acceptable’, but the image of Jesus as a Middle Eastern Semite is ‘uncomfortable’. The best way to get Satan out of men and women’s hearts and minds is to first boot him out of the church :-)

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