These conversations are not statements of our doctrine as expressed in the Book of Discipline, nor are they guidance provided by the Study Commission on Doctrine (SCOD), but they are intended to be open and respectful discussions on various present-day topics. Our intention is not to limit discussion but to elevate it by assuring that God’s love and respect is always expressed. For more information click ABOUT.
Browse posts tag by white privilege
DIVERSITY IS NOT A FRINGE ISSUE

DIVERSITY IS NOT A FRINGE ISSUE

April 4, 2018 By dwayman

The description of the church in the books of Acts and Revelation both make it clear that the present and future church is diverse in culture, tribe and language.  However, this diversity requires the intentional leadership of pastors and denominational leaders.  In this discussion with Bryan Loritts we enter into a profound discussion that can assist all of us in this work. The article describes him: “Bryan Loritts, whose work as a pastor, nonprofit leader, author and consultant focuses on encouraging multiethnic and multicultural church organization and worship. Loritts serves as senior pastor of Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, a multiethnic congregation in Silicon Valley. Before his move to California, he served as pastor for preaching and mission at Trinity Grace Church in New York City, and as the lead pastor for Fellowship Memphis church in Memphis, Tennessee. Loritts is also president of the Kainos Movement, an organization dedicated to making multiethnic church the new normal.”

In part the conversation says:

For the average pastor, a cultural dynamic like that feels intractable. How do you begin to shape a more equitable culture in line with the values of multiethnicity?

It really starts with awareness.

I wrote an article for the Global Leadership Summit some months ago, titled “’White Is Not a Four-Letter Word.” I take issue with the demonization of “white” for sport. But I believe, after spending decades in this line of work, that our white brothers and sisters do not consciously think in terms of whiteness.

WHITE OUT: Understanding White Privilege and Dominance in the Modern Age.

WHITE OUT: Understanding White Privilege and Dominance in the Modern Age.

December 23, 2017 By dwayman

All of us in dominate positions within any given culture, whether it is by race, gender, economics, education or some other distinction, are often unaware of how that privilege harms both us and those who are the “least of these.” And yet as Jesus clearly teaches, how we treat these who do not have what we have, will be the dividing standard. (Matt. 25)

 

Thus it becomes a spiritual necessity that we understand how to care for these whom Jesus places at the center of our responsibility.  To assist in this two Azusa Pacific University professors, Christopher S. Collins and Alexander Jun have written a quick but necessary book they title:  WHITE OUT: Understanding White Privilege and Dominance in the Modern Age.

 

These insights will encourage your purchase and study:

 

  1. We define Whiteness as a system…a larger system that has constructed such a dominant reality that it narrows our sense of choices and beliefs as it relates to race. The system in which we live and operate can be compared to architecture, or a design that creates limited choices one can make when it comes to moving into certain spaces, opening doors, staying or departing….much of reality (or architecture) is designed to be the best fit for one group. Because it is a dominant reality, any group for whom the architecture does not work, it is the fault of the persons in that group – a individual problem that could be adjusted by assimilating….Any segment of an organized body that is 51% White is predominately white.
UNPACKING PRIVILEGE

UNPACKING PRIVILEGE

August 13, 2017 By dwayman

Understanding privilege is far more difficult for those for whom it is a daily experience.  This causes systems, (church, economic, justice, social, educational) to remain systemically unjust.  Thus when those without privilege step up and ask for justice, the privileged feel threatened or displaced.

It is not enough to just understand privilege but to also be those who “seek justice” for all.  That is not only a deeply Christian value but a human one.  As Free Methodists our commitment is stated in our Ordination Vow when we say we are “insistent for justice”:  Rooted in a deep love for Christ and sharing His compassion for people, Free Methodist elders help create congregations that are fervent in prayer, enthusiastic in worship, holy in lifestyle, insistent for justice, caring for the poor, and reaching out locally and globally to bring all people into relationship with Jesus Christ.

To help everyone have a common language here is an article post on the conversation-empowering website National Seed Project.  This was written in 1989 as we were just beginning to understand the dynamics.  Much progress has been made since then.

It says in part:

As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage.

I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege,