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Not a New Problem

• Greg Boyd
Guest Panelists: Cedrick Baker, Nimi Ocholi, Shawna Boren

This concluding sermon in our Race Conciliation series briefly addresses how prevalent racism has been in the history of the church. Then we hosted an extended panel discussion to answer questions we’ve gotten about race, and to discuss how to move forward as a reconciling people.

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Please note: beginning in August, our group and individual study materials will be posted on Mondays.

Racism has been a huge problem in the Church from the very beginning. This was the primary point that Greg makes in this concluding reflection on what we have been talking about as a church over the last couple of months. This can be traced back to the fact that God called Israel to be a light to the nations, but the Jewish people actually used their chosen-ness not as a vocational call to bless other nations, but to cut themselves off from them.

This carried over into the early church, to the point that God had to go directly to non-Jewish people with a vision. Then, through another vision, God showed Peter that other people were included in God’s fellowship (Acts 10). Throughout the New Testament, we see the issue of racial division being addressed.

The history of the American church has continued this trend, even promoting racism to such a degree that it can be argued that the racist ideas of church leaders lie at the core of what we are experiencing today. To say that the church should stand for racial reconciliation is an understatement.

During this series, we have invested extensive time talking about issues of racism and confronting the hierarchies of power and privilege that are part of our world. This is an ongoing battle, one that we must continually confront as the Kingdom of God comes on earth as it is in heaven.

After Greg’s reflection, a panel addressed the following questions:

  • Why are we talking about changing laws and not just talking about individual heart change?
  • What about Black on Black violence? Shouldn’t the focus lie more on ending inner city gang violence than on dismantling our cities’ police forces?
  • Why are you buying into the race /identity politics of the world, when Paul said that there are not Jews or Gentiles in the book of Galatians?
  • What about racism currently experienced by first generation African immigrants from African Americans who have been raised in America?
  • Why are the racist actions of a few officers interpreted as evidence of “systemic racism,” while the many good actions of the many good officers are not interpreted as evidence of “systemic goodness?”
  • Why are you focusing on racism as a social injustice but haven’t preached about the millions of babies that are killed through abortion?
  • What is the Kingdom response to the promotion of violence by Black Lives Matter?
  • How should a white person who is just waking up to the reality of systemic racism, often with shame and guilt, deal with this guilt and move forward?
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Topics: Kingdom of God, Reconciliation

Sermon Series: Race Conciliation


Downloads & Resources

Audio File
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Study guide
Group Study Guide
The MuseCast : July 21


Focus Scripture:

  • Acts 10:34

    Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.”

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One thought on “Not a New Problem

  1. Rose says:

    When you talk about changing laws that is political.
    When you talk about racism from a Jesus perspective
    and looking at the problem through the lens of Jesus and how the church can be involved with kingdom living to change racism and world systems that is the pulpit. Greg Boyd has always been strong on his stance that politics/ law changing should never be preached at the pulpit and the church should never be involved with politics. I have heard him state many times that Jesus never involved himself with the politics of the day. I am very confused
    the panel stated that we need to be involved with changing laws. To change laws you must go thru the political process. Has Greg now changed his views and how then is he going to help change the laws using the church? Changing laws has to do with voting. Who should we vote for so that the laws can be changed?
    Are his past sermons now void of not bringing politics into the church. I absolutely agree all laws and systems that favor one group above another need to be gotten rid of and am all for voting to change them.
    But I am very confused about his past sermons that were against the church being involved with politics.
    Also when one of the panelists and Greg on a previous panel Podcast quoted and praised Al Sharpton it really thru me for a loop. Looking at Al Sharptons history he is very political, completely for the murder of baby’s/abortion, anti Semitic and has incited violence.
    I am not understanding how Greg could quote him in a church setting. Martin Luther King should be quoted. I hope Woodland Hills understands that there are people who attend who completely agree with the changing of laws but thought that it should be done outside of the church and the church shouldn’t be involved politically. Sincerely a very confused podrishoner

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