The Gospel, only the Gospel, creates racial unity

Check out this short documentary that complements John Piper’s new book on Gospel created racial unity. This is not a preferential unity. This is a unity that must come, will come, as the Gospel is believed and lived in communities.

 

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One response to “The Gospel, only the Gospel, creates racial unity

  1. Tony

    Jay,
    I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s; there are many memories surfaced while watching and listening to Bloodlines, some not so nice and some rather poignant and humorous. One in particular, even though raised in a military family (my Dad was career Navy), I don’t remember ‘seeing’ anyone who was African American until about 1960 when our family was transferred from Great Lakes, Illinois to Virginia Beach, Virginia. My Dad had gone ahead leaving Mom to bring the kids down by bus (three boys and one girl, ages from 8 to 4). While waiting for the bus in Chicago (a HUGE place for a 7 year old) I told my Mom that I needed to go to the bathroom. She pointed me up the escalator where the bathrooms were and told me not to talk to strangers (it was, for the most part, a less dangerous America then for little kids). So I went and got on the escalator (something my brother Melvin told me would eat me if I wasn’t careful) and rode to the second floor. Once there I was puzzled to see four bathroom doors; two marked men and two marked women, but each of the men and each of the women’s bathrooms were further divided into Colored and White. I remember thinking about it for a moment and decided I’d much rather go into the pretty bathroom (the colored one) rather than the plain old white one. Imagine my shock and dismay when I entered the Colored bathroom when I learned that this was not a pretty place, but one of rusty water and dim lights; a place that someone was sent to in order to define how less of a person they were because of their skin color! A gentle soul of a man asked me what I was doing in there and smiled when I told him about wanting to go to the pretty bathroom instead of the white one. He smiled and patted my head and said that I should go to the other bathroom, that it would be much nicer. I never told my Mom about my misadventure; I’m not sure how she would have responded.
    Years later, while serving in the Navy, I learned that whatever the color of the skin, all men’s blood ran red. No matter the difference in culture, color, or language, we all have the same structures and organs just millimeters beneath that outer surface that defines who is and is not human to so many. Still, it wasn’t really until my stay within the Department of Correction that I really understood how I had been deceived, but refused to see how much alike we all are, if only we would see. There were many men with whom I gained acquaintance, but only a rare few that I would say became my friends. One man, more than any other, was someone I held closest as a friend, mentor and Brother. His name is John Shank and the last I checked he was still inside. Our paths crossed many times while we were incarcerated; from the first days we both began our respective sentences, to a stint as Chaplain Clerks (we laughingly called ourselves “the Shook Shank Redemption Plan”) and even participated in Jim Hunt’s “See America Plan” (my term for when then Governor Hunt was sending inmates to private prisons in other states [John and I to Groesbeck, TX]). Through it all, John and I always seemed to be a tripod (with Messiah the most important leg); when one was down and discouraged, the other seemed to be able to come alongside and encourage (like the definition of that one!) the other. Oh yeah, by the way, my closest friend is African American…you know, one time someone asked me to describe John and I did. The guy asked me what color he was and I had to genuinely stop and think a moment.
    Yeah, I guess I did learn something in prison after all. And my thanks to John Piper’s sharing and you, Pastor Jay, for shepherding us all Home.

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