But when it comes to the wider and longer implications of some young, Christian, African Americans loosening ties with “white evangelicals,” I don’t know what it will mean for ongoing relations and connections. It would be easy to be discouraged in these rending days. Some things Lecrae said in the interview make me cringe. The reason I have put “white evangelicalism” in quotation marks throughout this article is that it puts too many whites in bed together.
John Piper and a few million other supposed natives didn’t vote for Donald Trump. We don’t think unrepentant lechers should be president. We don’t think Robert E. Lee is a simple embodiment of nobility. We don’t think the confederate flag can fly with impunity. We don’t think kneeling for justice desecrates the other flag. We are baffled that Philando Castile’s shooter walks free. We are dismayed at the nationwide resurgence of manifest racial antagonism. We don’t think “systemic” is an unintelligible word. And a few of us, believe it or not, are impenitent five-point Calvinists (how else can you survive?). Is that “white evangelicalism”?
So it is not yet clear to me what the implications are when young, black, Christian men and women loosen their ties with “white evangelicalism.” What I do know is that nothing has changed about Jesus. Nothing has changed about the gospel of sovereign grace. Nothing has changed about the blood-bought one new identity in Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2 is still in the Book. Nothing has changed about the power of the Holy Spirit. And lots of us still love “God’s very good idea,” that in Christ “there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:11).
Hope from “Facts”
So I say again: my main response to Lecrae’s “racial identity development work” is thankfulness. The process is proving that the roots of his union with Christ are deep enough not to be torn up by the trials of these sad days. And I would add to thankfulness, hope. I feel hope. Don’t you, when you listen to these lyrics? They are from the track of the new album called “Facts.”
I was waitin’ for the right time to tell y’all how I feel
And, yeah, I know that it hurts, but look, it’s gon’ heal.
I waited ’til I was on prime time before I let y’all know.
And you prolly won’t wanna hear my music no mo’
But it’s all good, man, I love y’all
Hope you know that I’m black black
Traded my Smart Car for a Cadillac, can you handle that?
And I love God
I love Jesus, the one out of Nazareth
Not the European with the ultra perm
And them soft eyes and them thin lips
And I’m still hood
Been in the ’burbs for quite some time
But I still might hit the gas station
For the Lemonheads and the pork rinds
And I’m on one
Yeah, 116 been real
Binghamton, Tennessee, from Third Ward to Ceiling Hill
And I live a multiple world, call me a hybrid ’cause I’m so black
Young theologian who educated,
But still be at that Chicken Shack, yeah.
“I know that it hurts, but look, it’s gon’ heal. . . . But it’s all good, man, I love y’all. . . . And I love God, I love Jesus, the one out of Nazareth . . . Yeah, 116 been real.”
Yes. The gospel is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16). If he believes it, and you believe it, there’s hope. And I am thankful that we do. We still do. Grace.
This piece was originally published on Desiring God and has been reposted with permission.