I attended a conference last weekend on Racial Reconciliation. The presenter traced racism back to the 1400’s and the rise of colonialism. I pushed back and said that I believe it goes back to the 300’s when Constantine conquered Christianity. It was then that our faith became a faith of those in power rather than the oppressed. It was Constantine who pushed for the creeds that began to make Christianity about propositional beliefs rather than about justice, love, equality and the caring for the poor.
Prior to Constantine, the main creed was “Jesus is Lord”. Short and simple. Christianity as a set of creeds created the separation of us vs them. And those who hold the power/majority often times lose the heart of the vision of Isaiah 11. I don’t think we take seriously enough Jesus’ prayer when he says, “I thank you that you have kept these things hidden from the wise and the educated and revealed them to the simple.” The truths of God’s kingdom isn’t a mathematical equation that can be solved and understood. Scholars won’t guide the way. Neither will a religion of power. Love, compassion and humility will. The kingdom of God is best understood by people who are persecuted, mourning, and poor. And for someone like me who has privilege, I need to align myself with them so that I can see what they see.