Andy Witchger/WikiCommons

In a new editorial, Christian Today’s president and CEO Timothy Dalrymple called on churches to “lead the way in biblical restitution” for racial sin, asserting “repentance is not enough.”

Though the nation may not be ready for reparations on racism issues, Dalrymple asserts that racial injustice “demands a response” from the church, both personally and corporately.

Dalrymple labeled slavery one of America’s “original sins,” also adding that the Christian church was “silent in the face of slavery or even complicit in it.”

“Many of the same ministers who defended slavery in the antebellum South likewise defended the racist systems that followed after the Civil War,” Dalrymple wrote.

Dalrymple then referenced the story of Zacchaeus. In the story, an unscrupulous tax collector, upon meeting Jesus, promised to “give half of my possessions to the poor” and make reparations to those he had cheated (Luke 18:8).

“Zacchaeus had not personally designed the unjust system of Roman taxation. But he had not denounced it either; he had participated in it and profited from it. So Zacchaeus did not merely repent of his ways; he made restitution,” Dalrymple said.

“He set up what we might call a “Zacchaeus fund” in order to restore what belonged to his neighbors. Are we willing to do the same? Black lives matter. They matter so much that Jesus sacrificed everything for them. Are we willing to sacrifice as well?”

“It will not be enough, but it will be something,” he added in his article. “What if there were Zacchaeus funds in every city and believers gave sacrificially, so our brothers and sisters could be restored and so our neighbors could see once again the Christlike love that overcame the world?”

Do you agree with Dalrymple’s assertion? Do you think the church needs to be addressing these issues more?

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