The Open Letter represents the frustration of the various affected groups. A sensitive topic has entered the public debate once again. The indignant response from many well-meaning individuals (there’s that word “individual” again) demonstrates the point that many have mistakenly thought of racism as an intentional and individual sin.

The problem of racism is not always intentional or individual. How can we draw more attention to this problem against Asian Americans?

The solution is not always simple because our narratives (both our backgrounds and experiences) are so heterogeneous. Raising public awareness of our problem will require a marathon effort.

Lest our effort become silenced once more, our way forward should be both ecclesiastical and public.

I say “ecclesiastical” because the church should be the first place for racial reconciliation. The very mission of the early Church was a racial reconciliatory one.

I say “public” because previous private conversations have enabled racism to fester in various corners of the Church without any critical engagement. We have landed in our current position because many insist on a private conversation. The publicness of our effort will require us to attack the issue, not only from our own experiences (though our experiences should be part of it) but also from the academic study of race.

Above all else, this effort is hugely important because it is a public witness to the world. As Christians, we need to partner with all sorts of people to live out racial harmony for the betterment of societal common good. Only then will our Open Letter hit the bull’s-eye.

Sam Tsang, Professor, Hong Kong Baptist Theological Seminary
Sam teaches preaching and the New Testament at Hong Kong Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a Seattle-based author and speaker.

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  1. […] ‘church’ is a public assembly. As New Testament professor Sam Tsang emphasizes over and over again on his blog, the word ekklesia simply referred to an assembly, a gathering of the city’s […]