Wednesday Word: Every human being

I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ; I therefore hate the corrupt, slave-holding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial, and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity. I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels.

Frederick Douglass

February is Black History Month. As a country, we should probably spend more time recognizing the many non-white people who helped build the United States, either freely or forcibly; but one dedicated month is at least a start.

I ran across this quote from Frederick Douglass the other day and it got me thinking about Christianity in general, and our own baptismal covenant in particular.

As we move through our lives, are we looking to apply parts and pieces of Christianity and scripture to those things we value, or are we looking to apply our lives to those things that God values?

It's the difference between enforcing, “Slaves, obey your masters,” and living into the proclamation that, “there is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female.”

It's the difference between enforcing the edict that, “Women should remain silent,” and living into the reality that women did not abandon Jesus at the cross, or that it was Mary Magdalene who was first given the task to proclaim the good news of Christ resurrected.

It's the difference between buying into the “curse of Ham,” and working to respect the dignity of every human being.

There has been an untold amount of damage done to others, especially women and minorities, in the name of Christianity and scripture. It's well past time that we stop. It's well past time that we call out behaviors that are antichrist. And it's well past time that the majority recognize the contributions of minorities and begin the hard work of dismantling all that demeans those who don't look like us.

February is Black History Month. Spend some time examining how you might begin to live into the Christianity as proclaimed by Frederick Douglass as well as upholding the promises we made to resist evil, to seek and serve Christ in all persons, to strive for justice, and to respect the dignity of every human being.



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