How the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church went from a self-described racist to an adoptive father of an African American. An excerpt from ‘Bloodlines.’

Bloodlines

JP: A Worthwhile read

John Piper: I Was Racist

Brief Excerpts:

I was, in those years, manifestly racist. As a child and a teenager my attitudes and actions assumed the superiority of my race in almost every way without knowing or wanting to know anybody who was black …

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 book: Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian

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