Monday, June 27, 2011

The Gospel Brings Conflict

by Vishal Mangalwade

Jesus needed to deliver his disciples from racism because he was making them the light of the world, the salt of the earth for the healing of the nations. As the high priest predicted in John 11:52, Jesus died to make the scattered children of God one.

There is hope for the healing of the nations because Jesus confronted sins that separate people into people groups, such as caste, tribe, and race, that prohibit us from loving our neighbors across these divisions. With his wounds he paid the price for the healing of the nations, which includes reconciliation among hostile people groups. The West's failure to understand the Jesus of the Gospels has at times had tragic consequences, such as slavery and racism. A distressing truth is that even today American missionaries continue to advise Brahmin followers of Christ not to worship with believers from people groups other than their own. In the name of propagating the gospel, they export racist segregation from America to India, as though we did not have enough sins of our own. These American missionaries seek to become "upper-caste" Brahmins in order to win Brahmins, ignoring the fact that Jesus did not become a Pharisee in order to win the Pharisees. Jesus' opposition to his religious culture led him to the cross.

When people commit themselves to following God even if it means conflict with their culture, God is able to use them to transform unjust social sttuctures in favor of the enslaved, exploited, and oppressed. If they are willing to take up their cross, they will create ripples that never cease.

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