“If the Church is to remain faithful to its Lord, it must make a decisive break with the structure of this society by launching a vehement attack on the evils of racism in all forms. It must become prophetic, demanding a radical change in the interlocking structures of this society. Of course the Church must realize, in view of the Christian doctrine of man, that this is a dangerous task. But obedience to Christ is always costly. The time has come for the Church to challenge the power structure with the power of the gospel, knowing that nothing less than immediate and total emancipation of all people is consistent with the message and style of Jesus Christ. The Church cannot afford to deplore the means that oppressed people use the chains of slavery because such language not only clouds the issue but also gives comfort and assistance to the oppressor.”
Black Theology and Black Power
The words of James Cone should cause us all to stir and be uneasy. Cone taught us how to reject orthodox “Christian” practices of oppression and how to instead embrace the God who draws near to the lowly and the humble. Cone challenged the white Church for both its obvious and insidious shows of violence against the people of God who also happen to be people of color. He reminded us that simply giving lip service to knowing God, cannot save the Church today from the judgment that is to come. Dr. Cone’s writings and teachings made the God-man from Nazareth even more tangible and relevant to the troubles of today. We cannot thank God enough for the gift that James Cone was to us all. May we not only read his words, but allow those words to transform us and ultimately, the world around us.
We here at Faith for Justice believe that God is concerned with creation. We believe that we are to assist in the work of tearing down demonic and destructive systems so that the glory of God can show forth. The Church is not given a suggestion, but a command, to join in the work of justice. Our hope is that through times of teaching and disrupting and restoring, we can both honor the legacy of Dr. Cone and give glory to our great God.