The Truth Behind the Burning of African American Churches Lies in the Roots of Racism in America.

Pastor Jefferson D. Edwards, Jr., in his new book, Purging Racism from Christianity, calls for nothing less than the body of Christ to recognize and renounce its racist past. Edwards gives a synopsis of American history and the American church, showing that with little exception, the institutional white church not only didn‘t oppose slavery but actually helped prop up its power structure through false teaching about the identity of blacks. The white man was the standard while blacks were "subhuman."

Edwards says that racist attitudes are still held by far too many white Christians. "Some well-meaning whites say to black people, ‘I don‘t see you as black.‘ They think they are giving us a compliment. When someone says that they don‘t see us as black, they are denying our identity and essentially who we are."

Edwards writes that race matters very much to God. "God gives humanity," writes Edwards, "including all the different races identity. That means that He gives the black race, specifically, identity. We can say proudly that we are created in the image and likeness of God."

Edwards admits that as blacks begin to walk in liberty and confidence in their Christ-like identity, they, like Jesus, will face opposition, even from the Body of Christ. But it is exactly the call of the believer, writes Edwards, to rid the world of oppressive and barbaric systems.

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