Across ethnic barriers…

Meet Thabiti Anyabwile… the newest of the pastors and theologians I have begun to read and listen to his stuff. An excerpt from his blog. Love  his stuff. Muslim background Christian pastor serving in a church in the Grand Cayman islands. 
” I want to cooperate with men who don’t blink when they hear the Savior put such trust in God’s word, because taking their cue from the Savior they too put their trust in the Bible.
The Utter Urgency, Beauty, and Priority of Thinking, Feeling, and Living as One New Humanity or Spiritual Ethnicity in Christ.
To put it plainly, I want to labor, strive, build, risk, sacrifice, rejoice, mourn, and serve with those Christians who put our identity in Christ before any lesser identity.  All other identities–which we surely, necessarily, and joyfully embrace–are still lesser identities when compared with that new personhood we receive from and in the Savior.  Doctor?  Lesser.  Preacher?  Lesser.  Rich or poor?  Lesser.  Immigrant or national?  Lesser.  This natural ethnic group or that?  Important.  Intentional.  Beautiful.  Lesser.
I want to live and labor with those who know, count, and embrace the cost of living out this radical new existence, where “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).  But I want to also labor with those who feel, embrace and rejoice in the beauty and intentionality of the vision in Rev. 5:9-10–”You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.  You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”  Neither Jew nor Greek… one in Christ Jesus… and yet every tribe and language and people and nation in praise to God… a kingdom of priests serving God.  Forgetting ourselves while being ourselves while consumed with Jesus.  ”For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in His flesh the law with its commandments and the regulations.  His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death the hostility” (Eph. 2:14-16).  Oh to live and work with saints who know that Jesus has “put to death the hostility”that is, the hatin’, the cliques, the prejudice, the bigotry, the pride, the racism, the ethnocentrism, the racial supremacy, the cultural imperialism, the chauvinism, the snobbery, the indifference, the know-nothingness, the blinders, the victimology, the guilt trippin’, the resentment, the disenfranchisement, the oppression, the power playing, the privilege-protecting, the race-carding, the white flight, the angry Black, the gentrification, the red-lining, the segregation, the ghetto-ization, the marginalization, the balkanization, and so on!
I want to cooperate with men and women who take seriously the burden-sharing, burden-carrying call of Galatians 6:1-2.  I especially want to cooperate with men and women who do that on the issue of our new identity in Christ because the reality is there’s a cost to African Americans who feel like they’re giving up who they are without reciprocity and acceptance in order to be who Christ calls us to be.  Simultaneously, the reality is there’s a cost to White Americans who feel like they’re risking blame, castigation, rejection, and privilege without the chance of acceptance in order to be who Christ calls them to be.  I want to be with White brethren who carry my burden with me.  And I want to carry the burdens of my White, Hispanic, Asian, African, Caribbean, Indian, and European brethren who shoulder their own burdens in all of this.  And I don’t want to hang with anyone–Black, White, or other–who pretend that either there are no costs or that they’re the only ones paying it.  I want to cooperate with those who believe we either hang together or we shall surely hangtogether.”

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