Faith of A Mustard Seed

Last updated on August 17th, 2020 at 04:42 pm

Barbara Woods Washington

Barbara Woods-Washington, M. Div.

The ‘Thesis’ statement of Romans, ‘Faith’ in this letter/book…  “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law,” Romans 3:21.

The continued effects of the killings of  those of African descent born in America, of late that of George Floyd, strikes the very heart of America in so many ways.  While the most deepest and ultimate concern is for “Justice”, the nemesis of “Race”… persists.

It is no small thing that the course which has been set in this column reaches into the most present context of the national life.  What a time to realize that Paul’s most major concern in his theology is: RIGHTEOUSNESS!!!  But, the greatest revelation for life in this is: to come to terms with RIGHTEOUSNESS AND JUSTICE being ONE AND THE SAME!!!!

Perhaps because the historical Christian Church has taken a single use of ‘slaves obey your master’ and built an entire empire upon the institution of slavery; giving faith sanction to all of it’s human related life atrocities;or, perhaps because the Church has taken a single use of ‘women should be silent in the Church’ and built a one- gender- sided faith that sanctions an additional layer to the oppressive world order of inhuman supremacy… is the accounting.

Not less than 66 times in the Letter To The Romans, Pauls greatest work, he uses the word ‘dikaiosune’.  Half of this number you see as ‘righteousness’ and half of this number you see as ‘justice’.  Neither is it small that Jesus says in the ‘Parable of the Unjust (Unrighteous) Judge’: “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

I recently came across a list of “American Black Massacres” which peaked my interest in how few of them I had any knowledge.  I have not stopped in the research and am stuck in the year 1866 following Emancipation.  I have not quite heard this “American Race Problem” put more succinctly than by Congressman Elihu Washburne in his Congressional Report upon returning to Washington from his investigation of the “Memphis Massacre” in May of that year:

“…The mob, finding itself under the protection and guidance of official authority, and sustained by a powerful public sentiment behind, actuated by feelings of the most deadly hatred to the colored race, and particularly those who wore the uniform of the republic, proceeded with deliberation to the commission of crimes and perpetration of horrors which can scarcely find a parallel in the history of civilized or barbarous nations and must inspire the most profound emotions of horror among all civilized people.

“The whole evidence discloses the killing of men, women, and children — the innocent, unarmed and defenseless pleading for their lives and crying for mercy; the wounding, beating and maltreating of a still greater number; burning, pillaging, and robbing; the consuming of dead bodies in the flames, the burning of dwellings, the attempts to burn up whole families in their houses, and the brutal and revolting ravishings of defenseless and terror-stricken women.”

For all the denials, all the coverups, the lies and the silence… there is something so deeply rooted in the very fiber of this Nation that finds ‘itself under the protection and guidance of official authority’ that enables the commission of crimes and perpetration of horrors… parallel by our own history of civilized or barbarous nations and must inspire the most profound emotions of horror among all civilized people.

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