Note from Theron: This post is the third in a three-part series giving tribute to professors whose teachings and lives have been a godly example to my life and ministry. (The first post honored Dr. Nicholas Piotrowski and can be found here, and the second post honored Dr. Mark Eckel and can be found here). This last post in the series gives tribute to Dr. Charles Ware and Professor Hosea Baxter.
The famous line goes, “Ignorance is bliss”. The problem is such a statement fails to tell the truth. Ignorance is not bliss. Especially in my case. My ignorance led me to respond with a heart of apathy. That is until God brought me to Crossroads Bible College. The Lord used one particular course to open my ignorant eyes and expose my apathetic heart. The course? Culture, Race, and the Church.
The semester I took the course, Spring 2011, Dr. Charles Ware and Professor Hosea Baxter served as co-teachers of the course. Reflecting back on my time learning, I was the lone Caucasian student with three African-American classmates and two African-American professors. I am grateful to the Lord for how that turned out. The course revealed racism in historical perspective while also pointing out how the church has been guilty of racism as well. Culture, Race, and the Church also showed how racism is not an issue of the past; it still goes on today, even in subtle ways. Observing the events of the last couple of years, Dr. Ware and Professor Baxter’s assessment was and is on-point.
However, this Bible college did not just highlight the problem facing our culture and facing our churches. It put forth the solution. The resolution is found in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. To work toward racial reconciliation we must engage in what Dr. Ware calls GRACE Relations. We must understand how the gospel of God’s grace impacts our discussion on race. For me, I’ve learned the gospel calls for me consider others before myself (Philippians 2:3-4). To imitate the attitude of Jesus, I must pray for the Holy Spirit to enable me to display humility in my conversations, recognizing the privilege I may receive unknowingly as a white while my black brothers and sisters in Christ receive suspicious looks or more, simply because of their skin color. I pray I would listen to their concerns. My stance is not to a political party. My posture is to stand with my black brothers and sisters in Christ. We are together in Christ. We are one in Christ. I thank Dr. Charles Ware and Professor Hosea Baxter for instructing me from God’s Word. A heart once containing apathy is now a heart ready for action in GRACE relations!