John Piper: Christianity Today – I Was Racist
In 1962 my home church voted not to allow blacks into the services. The rationale, as I remember, was that in the heated context of the civil rights era, the only reason blacks would want to be there would be political, which is not what church is for. As I recall, my mother was the lone voice on that Wednesday night to vote no on this motion. I could be wrong about that. But she did vote no. In December of that year, my sister was married in the church, and my mother invited Lucy’s whole family to come. And they came. I remember an incredibly tense and awkward moment as they came in the door of the foyer (which must have taken incredible courage). The ushers did not know what to do. One was about to usher them to the balcony (which had barely been used since the church was built). My mother—all five feet, two inches of her—intervened and by herself took them by the arm and seated them on the main floor of the sanctuary…. The Lord will be my judge someday. I will give an account to him of how I served him. I expect that as he goes down the list of the choices I have made, none will have a perfectly pure motivation, and many will appear as unwise in the bright light of his holiness. I hope I have been a good steward of my gifts and time. But my confidence in the judgment is not in that. It’s in the perfection of Jesus that God has credited to me through faith and in the punishment Jesus endured for me. And I believe there will be in my overall ministry sufficient, imperfect fruits of love that witness that my union with Jesus by faith was real. I am not writing this book as a successful multiethnic leader. I am not successful. I am not an expert in diversity. If you came looking for the pragmatic silver bullet for the multiethnic congregation, I may as well bid you farewell. I don’t have it. I write because of truth I see in the Scriptures, convictions I have in my mind, and longings I feel in my heart.
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Book Review by Collin Hansen