EDMOND, Okla. (BNC) by Phil Sanders — A recent letter to a brotherhood publication, signed by some progressives, accused the Gospel Advocate and Firm Foundation of racism in the 1950s and 60s. It is safe to accuse people who cannot respond but not convincing. More than 50 years have passed, and the accusers used anecdotal evidence and a supposed absence to assume their broad-brush case.
We have no doubt that ugly attitudes were present among many from all sides. But we are hardly able to castigate everyone for the weaknesses of some. That is what bigotry is all about.
At least some of the authors of this letter are known for their outspoken disdain for the church of Christ.
No one approves of racism, prejudice, or bigotry shown by anyone. To suggest that the writers, publishers, and editors approved of this form of hatred is presumptuous. Changing the culture is not easy, and we do not know what might have been happening behind the scenes. Assuming the worst in others is no virtue.
If the letter had spoken of the need for every heart to judge himself to see whether he permits himself to be bigoted and racist, I would have appreciated it; but the merciless pointing of fingers speaks as much of the accusers as the accused. We are all tempted to distrust people who differ from us. We all stand in the need of drinking deeply from the milk of human kindness.
I cannot think of five churches where I have spoken in decades that did not have an integrated congregation. I am thankful most of our people have moved beyond the disgraceful passions of the past. I have enjoyed immensely the students I have had of all races in more than one school. I do not know of a single Christian College or School of Preaching that is not integrated.
Do we still need improvement? As long as a single ugly bigoted attitude exists, we have work to do; but let’s get rid of the broad brush and finger-pointing. Let’s examine ourselves.
Phil is the speaker for “In Search of Truth.” He published these comments on social media.
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us