To View the Video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/BRoRpWa-gMc
Welcome to a new week of the Hope Rescue Podcast. This week Tim is speaking alone on the topic of intersectionality and how we as Christians can have the ethics of racial equality and true justice. So what exactly is intersectionality?
Intersectionality is defined as the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. It takes into account people’s overlapping identities and experiences in order to understand the complexity of prejudices they face. In other words, intersectional theory asserts that people are often disadvantaged by multiple sources of oppression: their race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and other identity markers. Understanding intersectionality is essential to combatting the interwoven prejudices people face in their daily lives. (https://www.ywboston.org/)
What does scripture have to say about this concept? Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” When we discriminate against someone because of social categories such as race or gender, we fail to see who we really are in Christ. No matter what social categories a person fits into, we are all one in Christ Jesus.
In John chapter four (read below), Jesus is sitting beside a well and a Samaritan woman who is also a sexual deviant arrives. Jesus asks her for a drink, and she responds shocked that a Jewish man is even talking to her, a woman of Samaria. The intersectionality at play in this story is that she was a woman, a Samaritan, and also a sexual deviant. But the first thing Jesus brings up to her is eternal life through “living water.”
Jesus does not allow her intersectionality to determine truth. Intersectionality doesn't make a way for truth to be flexible. In John chapter four, Jesus cuts through all the religion issues, the gender issues, the racial issues, and all the sexual promiscuity that the woman at the well was involved in. Truth is truth irrespective of somebody's identity or status.
Jesus also did not allow her intersectionality to determine her morality. In other words, just because a person is marginalized doesn't excuse bad behavior. Just because someone has been abused does not give him or her the right to be immoral. Jesus is sensitive towards her though because He wants her to have eternal life. He loves her, speaks to her, understands her, and is kind to her.
A large problem with intersectionality is that it causes a person's identity to be based on group, not individuality. When we stop identifying ourselves by our individuality and begin identifying ourselves by social categories such as race, economic status, or sexuality we are making a huge mistake. Not all whites are the same. Not all blacks are the same. Not all homosexuals are the same. Not all heterosexuals are the same. We are called to love our neighbor. We can disagree with people and still love them well.
How Can Christians Address Intersectionality?
1. Christians must understand the complexities of discrimination that marginalized people experience. Don't deny intersectionality. Seek to understand it. We have a responsibility to listen to people who have been marginalized by society.
2. Christians must be wise and informed on the complexity of intersectionality. We must not only understand how people have been discriminated against but also understand the complexity of the different ways in which people are marginalized in society. We must love and listen to one another well.
3. Christians must look past intersectionality and see people as image-bearers of Christ. If we honestly believe that we were all created in the image of God, we must treat each person with incredible respect and honor.
Listen to people and love them well. Join us next week as we tackle another popular topic! We love you guys!
“We are called to love our neighbor. We can disagree with people and still love them well.” -Tim
“If we honestly believe that we were all created in the image of God, we must treat each person with incredible respect and honor.” -Tim
Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
John 4:7-26 "A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”