Racial Reconciliation in the United Methodist Church

Why should White Christians want to reconcile with Black Christians?  Why should Black Christians want to reconcile with White Christians?  Comprehensive theological reflection related to church unity by using the Wesleyan quadrilateral of reason, experience, tradition, and Scripture reveals significant ambiguities.  Pragmatically, congregations segregated based on race is reasonable from a missiological perspective.  Persons connect with those with whom they have affinity.  Also, racially segregated congregations provide dwelling spaces that shelter and affirm African Americans in spite of the larger American white racial frame. 

The American experience and the Methodist experience in the U.S. contributed and continue to contribute to Black and White Methodists being untied from one another.  However, the more extended Christian experience is much more united than the Methodist experience in America.  Further, the United Methodist Church is a reasonable site from where racial social transformation can occur, given its mandate, Scriptural heritage, written tradition, social responsibility, spiritual capacity, and organizational structure.
[F. Douglas] Powe (2009) discerns, “Interestingly, some individuals (usually within the UMC) want to knock the fence down immediately without addressing the just-us issues [issues particular to race communities] between these communities” (p. xiv).  Doing either Black liberation and reconciliation theology or Wesleyan theology responsibly does not allow for that option.  Both theologies share a concern for social justice.  The general rules of Wesleyan theology demand a response to the dominant U.S. white racial frame, which threatens the agency, autonomy, and unrestrictive sanctuary that Black liberation and reconciliation theology demands for all who share hearts, hands, space, time, language, financial resources, personnel, stories, traditions, authority, interpretive frameworks, and experiences.  The repentance and forgiveness required by Black liberation and reconciliation theology can only be mediated by the grace of God that Wesleyan theology emphasizes.  The work of untying and uniting is more involved than just integrating or de-segregating space.  Instead of simplistic, superficial, one-dimensional solutions, Black liberation and reconciliation theology and Wesleyan theology call for engagement with critical consciousness and inviting others into meaningful and substantive dialogue.  Irreconciliation from an un-critical and non-conscious perspective is indeed insurmountable. 
However, if The United Methodist Church awakens and comprehensively addresses the contradictions that accompany
irreconciliation being a part of the Christian experience, The United Methodist Church has the mandate, the heritage, the precedence, and the spiritual capacity to intervene against social inertia and towards a more racially just United Methodist Church and society.




5 Responses to “Racial Reconciliation in the United Methodist Church”

  1. Asking questions are truly good thing if you are not understanding anything totally, however this piece of writing gives good understanding even.

  2. financial planning says:

    I have been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before.
    financial planning http://financehint.eu

  3. advice on employment contracts says:

    excellent issues altogether, you just received a new reader. What would you recommend in regards to your submit that you simply made some days ago? Any sure?
    advice on employment contracts http://employmentclue.eu/

  4. sales jobs says:

    First off I would like to say terrific blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing. I’ve had difficulty clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out. I truly do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or hints? Thanks!
    sales jobs http://employmentclue.eu/

  5. home business internet says:

    Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.
    home business internet http://homebusinesstips.eu/

Leave a Reply