Two Evanston clergy leaders, Pastor Michael Nabors, senior pastor of the historically Black Second Baptist Evanston and Michael Woolf, senior pastor of the predominantly white congregation, Lake Street Church of Evanston recently collaborated to write this piece: Using the Bible to Debunk 10 Myths about Reparations.
The piece was published in the publication Sojourners, an independent, award-winning print and online magazine of faith, culture, and politics whose mission is to inspire hope and action by articulating the biblical call to racial and social justice, life and peace, and environmental stewardship.
As Christian clergy, Nabors and Woolf believe that Christians can and should support reparation efforts, and that the gospel calls Christians to the work of repair.
"When Jesus stands up to preach his first sermon in Luke 4:16-20, he asserts that he has come to liberate the oppressed," they write. "We believe reparations aid in the spiritual and economic liberation described in that sermon."
"Talking about reparations in church inevitably brings up theological and economic questions. Sometimes these questions are asked in good faith. Other times, these questions are based on myths that need to be deconstructed," they write.
In their piece, the two address the most common questions and myths their congregations have worked through.
Click here to read responses to the following common myths about reparations:
Myth #1 - I never owned slaves, so I shouldn’t be held accountable for slavery. Myth #2 - Black people have the same economic opportunities as everyone else. Myth #3 - The Bible doesn’t say anything about reparations. Myth #4 - Reparations are the opposite of grace. Myth #5 - Giving money to people never works (they’ll use it to buy drugs and alcohol). Myth #6 - Reparations are politically polarizing. Myth #7 - The middle class shouldn’t have to pay for reparations. Myth #8 - There isn’t money available to pay reparations. Myth #9 - Reparations will only benefit Black people. Myth #10 - The U.S. doesn’t give free handouts, so Black people shouldn’t get a free handout.