The Humanity of our “Heroes of the Faith”

Momma Bear and I were up talking last night. We put the kiddos to bed and began talking through some ideas about the baby that’s on the way. We have a girls name that has been set since we started dating. We have a boys name. The boys name is based off two Christian preachers in evangelical history who have had some influence on me.

After writing on the puritans and their error regarding slavery, I’ve not been able to get it off my mind.

What if I was to name my son after a guy who supported slavery? What if I named him after a guy who had a racist heart?

So I’ve been asking around and doing some research on the guys who I admired for so long. Momma Bear and I have a name we are thinking about going with. But last night as we were up talking, I was thinking through how deep of an issue race is.

My problem with the way these pastors and preachers viewed race is not simply because my family, although it highly upsets me for that reason. It’s because it reveals to me several things.

1) If you were unwilling to address these social ills as a preacher then your theology obviously is disconnected from the human experience.

How can you say that you believe in the Imago Dei yet allow the mistreatment of other image bearers based on their race without voicing concern? Galatians mentions that there is neither Jew nor Greek because we are all one in Christ Jesus.

2) If you as a preacher are unwilling to voice concern on a big issue like this, then what other issues did you remain silent on?

I know this seems like I’m coming down too hard over this but my concern is, do we see how big of a miss this was? There were voices who spoke up about the evils of slavery. Yes, these preachers would have lost some of their following and appeal but is it worth it, I’d say so.

Spurgeon’s books were banned in the south because he spoke against it. A worthy sacrifice to side with truth. This is the kind of culture Tom Skinner spoke against. The people who only wanted him to follow Jesus but could care less about his suffering and the mistreatment he was receiving.

So back in our house, Momma Bear and I sat discussing all of this. We reminded each other of our own blind spots and the need for constant Sanctification. We sat there disillusioned about the status of “Heroes of the Faith” who may not have embraced our interracial relationship. Thinking about this really has been rough.

But we ended the night remembering that sinful man is not who we follow. We all follow one who loved all, came for all and died for all.

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