This has been a troublesome week, with the gruesome murder of George Floyd and the unrest that this has caused both in Minnesota, and around the country. Greg offers a Kingdom perspective on the situation and challenges the church to wake up and see the changes that we need. After his sermon he was joined on stage for a discussion with several people of color from Woodland Hills.
In this sermon, Greg reflects on what has happened this week in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, specifically the murder of George Floyd as he was being arrested. The is an inexcusable act that we must look at and see for what it is, even if we don’t want to. Greg connects what happened to George Floyd to the experiences of generations of African Americans.
This killing is based in the original sin of America, what Greg names as white superiority. Early immigrants to North America built this nation on the assumption that white men are superior to all others. Therefore, the system was developed by white people for white people, and therefore power has always belonged to white people who play by white rules. As a white man, Greg is seeking to challenge those rules.
Most white people cannot hear the constant screams of the African-American community. The words of George Floyd, “I cannot breathe,” have been repeated over and over. Yet the white perspective prevents white people from hearing these words, and to see the suffering that our white system inflicts on people of color. Why would white people see it when they constitute the dominant culture?
What happened to George Floyd is a paradigmatic pinnacle of what has occurred throughout the history of America. This is not merely a problem for the African-American community. We all must stare this problem in the face.
However, the white church tends to Christianize the system we have inherited. Many claim that the church cannot be unjust or racist because they assert that our nation was founded as one “under God.” The white church then ends up playing along with the system that was created by white people for white people.
Continued silence is complicity. If, over the centuries, the Church had been living out the “one new humanity” as we are called to (Ephesians 2), and working for the healing of racial divides, then perhaps George Floyd would not have been killed. We must accept our responsibility in this. And going forward, as a Church we must speak out and act for the sake of the African-American community. God has called his Church to live out the Kingdom in the here and now.
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