Fighting racism isn’t a tack-on to what happens “after I believe,” but an issue wrapped up in the gospel grace of God we embrace when we embrace Jesus Christ and his kingdom vision.
How often do we make distinctions between “faith in Christ” for redemption and “discipleship” for sanctification? or what we embrace for salvation and what we choose to do as a part of following Christ? As if the two are separable realms. This is hooey, I say.
In Embracing Grace I did something I’ve never written about before, but which came to me in my study for the book.
In what would be called in older categories the “decision” section, I suggest we embrace the gospel in three decreasing circles: first, we embrace the cosmic redemptive work of God (trinitarian work); second, we embrace the faith community wherein the performance of the gospel takes place; and third, but not until third, we personally embrace the gospel. In other words, a genuine embrace of the gospel is an embrace of what God is doing, what the Church is performing, and how we fit into that large, large, big, big work of God. Until we come to terms with this, we are simply embracing our own individual redemption — which isn’t the focus of God’s work.
Now, if this order is correct — and what I genuinely believe is that we are to do all three at the same time but that most times we don’t talk about one and two until well after three, which creates rabid individualism — if this is correct, then a commitment to end racism is part and parcel of what it means to embrace the gospel itself — because it is the embrace of God’s redemptive work.