We Confess! The Civil War, the South, and the Church – Q&A 3
Your book title begins, “We Confess!” So who needs to confess?
We do. That is, we in the US church, collectively, have some serious confessing to do. Especially we, who call Jesus “Lord” and hold to all the bedrock beliefs of the faith, need to let our Lord show us how we have missed him and misrepresented him. When he shows us, we need to step up to the plate and agree with him. What an impact if we, in the white church culture rooted in the Bible Belt, would humble ourselves to lead the way in this!
Be aware: confessing isn’t all negative. Some of our confession will require seeing and turning from wrongs that neither we nor our ancestors have fully addressed. But some of our confession will come from seeing and embracing our true identity in Christ. When we deal with our great confusion as to our identity, a lot of other things will fall into place.
The good news is: We don’t have to wonder whether we need to confess, or what for. If we’ll let go of fear and pride and invite God to show us the truth, he will. And he will give us the desire and power to let go of the junk we’ve held onto for so long, and to embrace the treasure that’s ours for the taking. May I quote briefly here from chapter 1 of We Confess?
I know all the reasons why confessing may sound like a lousy idea. But I’ll tell you from hard-earned experience: Not confessing is a far, far lousier one.
I also know from experience: You cannot confess what you don’t see. That’s why, in our day, God is graciously removing the veil. He’s showing his people the extent to which we’ve missed and misrepresented him. Regardless what region we’re from, regardless what color our skin, he wants to lift from our shoulders staggering burdens that generations have needlessly carried. He wants goodness, not bloodshed, to pursue us. He wants the forgiveness, cleansing, and restoration that he is holding out to overflow within us and to rise like a river among us, sweeping us all up in its strong, true flow.