February 16, 2016

The Good Citizen?

Many years ago, I had a conversation with the Christian author Erwin McManus. As our conversation was winding down, he said something that has since stuck with me, "You know, Jesus was not a good citizen."

I'd never really thought about it before. Good citizens don't get killed by the state ... or do they?

For some, the very fact that an innocent citizen could be falsely accused and murdered by the state is exactly what makes Christ's narrative able to relate to. It matters because of the context.

In his book, The Cross and the Lynching Tree, James Cone writes:
"What prevented these theologians and ministers, who should have been the first to see God’s revelation in black suffering, from recognizing the obvious gospel truth? Did it require such a leap of imagination to recognize the visual and symbolic overtones between the cross and the lynching tree, both places of execution in the ancient and modern worlds?"
What prevents us from seeing the connective tissue between the experience of another and Scripture?

Apathy?

Complicity?

Whatever it may be, this is a question in need of answering.


NOTE: This is part of my Being White During Black History Month series.

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