"Congratulations" Matthew 25 Article
April 25, 2023, 12:00 AM


You deserve to be congratulated for what you have accomplished in your life and what you have done for others.  Looking back on your life, whether you are 80+, in your 20s, or somewhere in between, you have endured hardships and many challenges.  But, there you were, in the middle of a pandemic doing your best to not only survive, but as Christians, doing what you could to help others.  We are so thankful for our loving Gods grace and mercy, which has blessed each and every one of us.  Without His guidance and patience, we know our circumstances would have been very different.

We say congratulations with utmost sincerity. However, did it ever occur to you, if you are white, how much more difficult your lifes challenges would have been if you were a person of color, instead of being white?

We are not saying you should feel guilty about being white, or less deserving of what you have accomplished.  We are only asking you to increase your self-awareness about how our society has whites (mostly men) in charge of practically everything including businesses, government, real estate, gyms, churches, sports, schools, colleges, and many others.  As white people, our race has the power to decide our fate. 

In 1988, Peggy McIntosh wrote a working paper at Wellesley Centers for Women entitled, White Privilege and Male Privilege:..”  In her paper, she states, I think (we) whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege…  Only rarely will a man go beyond acknowledging that men have unearned advantages… or that privileged systems might even be challenged and changed.”

She then goes on to identify 46 conditions which she, as a white woman experiences as daily advantages related to white privilege.  Here are just four of them which you may not even be aware of as being privileges (we sure weren’t).

15. I did not have to educate our children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.

20. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.

35.  I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having my co-workers on the job suspect that I got it because of my race.

40. I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the places I have chosen.”

Peggy McIntosh further states, “The appearance of being a good citizen, rather than a troublemaker, comes in large part from having all sorts of doors open automatically because of my color.”

We, on the John Knox Presbyterian Session Matthew 25 Task Force, have chosen the following Bible verses which make the point that as Christians, our purpose is to help our brothers and sisters in need.

Genesis 1: 26—“Then God said, Let us make humankind in our image, in our likeness…” The implication of this is that all should receive equal treatment and acceptance, especially in the church where we all affirm the image of God in all people.

Micah 6:8---He has showed you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”  If there is any injustice anywhere, then we are to be engaged in fighting against it and establishing justice for all.