Thursday, January 12, 2006

On Being A Black Reformed Christian (Part 3)

Being Christian. It means that I am a child of God first and foremost. It means when you see me, you see a black man, but when you hear me you hear a Christian man. It means that Christ is my Lord. It means that I am daily seeking to understand my African-American experience in light of the Lordship of Christ. It means that I am nothing apart from the grace of God, and that God has created me who I am at the time that I am that I might show forth His mercies while He is daily conforming me to the image of His dear Son. It means that my service, yes my worship and allegiance, is not first to the Black cause, though noble it may be at times. It is not first to the Reformed cause though grand it may appear to be. It means that my service, indeed my worship and allegiance is to Christ first and last, now and at all times. If I can serve Christ while sincerely serving an African-American cause, then let me do it. If I can serve Christ while promoting a Reformed agenda, then by all means let me at it. But if Christ is in conflict with any of these at any point or at any time, then let me have the courage, indeed the unction to say, “Away with blackness, and away with Reformedness – give me Jesus and Jesus only.” It means that I must understand that Martin Luther King gave his life that I might vote, but Christ gave his life that I might live. Frederick Douglas gave his life that I might me free from slavery, but Christ gave his life that I might be free slavery to sin and death.

I am black; there is no mistaking that. I am reformed, and make no mistake about that. But those two distinctions have relevance only in so far as they are understood in light of the fact that I am Christian. It was Spurgeon who said, “I am never ashamed to avow myself a Calvinist; I do not hesitate to take the name of Baptist; but if I am asked what is my creed, I reply, ‘It is Jesus Christ.’” I am proud to be an American. I am equally proud to be an African-American. I thank God that my theology is the biblically grounded, historically consistent theology of the Reformation. But if you ask me my faith, if you ask me my creed, if you want the sum of my life, “It is Jesus Christ. It is Jesus Christ.” May it be yours as well.

1 comment:

Deepthinker said...

Truly a refreshing read. God is good.