For the audio teaching click on the following link:
Last week I taught on The Gospel Mandate of Reconciliation. The key is transformed identity through faith in Jesus and water baptism. We’re God’s Beloved Child in his ‘one new humanity’. This is found in the Early Church baptismal liturgy/confession of Gal 3:28 – what we call The Gospel Mandate of Reconciliation through transformed identity:
- “Neither Jew nor Gentile” – Racial/Cultural mandate: healing racism
- “Neither slave nor free” – Social/Economic mandate: healing classism
- “Neither male nor female – Gender/Sexual mandate: healing sexism
Jesus’ followers chose this confession to confront, reverse and transform, the dominant mindset of the day, seen in the daily prayer of Greek men: “Thanks God that I was born a human being and not a beast, a man and not a woman, a Greek and not a barbarian”, and the daily Berakot prayed by Jewish men: “Blessed be the Lord God that he did not make me a Gentile (dog), nor a boor (a slave/peasant), nor a woman.” Faith in Jesus transforms our identity, healing us of racist/class/sexist prejudice, making us reconcilers in society.
Both Personal and Structural
Prejudice is the power behind every societal barrier. Prejudice is emotional-based, closed-minded, false-fixed beliefs and attitudes (“don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up”). This leads to pain-filled words and actions against ‘the other’ who is different to us. Our perceptions about ‘the other’ (race, culture, class, age, gender, sexual orientation, education-level, political party, religion, denomination) are often unreasoned, irrational, untested half-truths and misbeliefs. We subconsciously imbibe them from birth via our parents. And from our peers and teachers, those like us, as we grow up. Unresolved hurt, painful life experiences, also leads to prejudicial beliefs and actions: we ‘blindly’ act out pain on others. Generalizations (“all women are…” “the poor are…”,”whites are…” “Gays are…”) reinforce social stereotypes and labels, damaging ‘the other’ and ourselves. Prejudice blinds us to new information, screening out objective truth. How blind are those who refuse to see… read John 9:13-34, 40-41. Continue reading Gospel Mandate of Reconciliation & Transformation (continued)