Those who are rigidly orthodox and steeped in certain evangelical language may find Native pushing the boundaries of what’s acceptable and what veers into the realm of syncretism. Even I found myself uncomfortable in places, seeing where my theology seems to diverge from Curtice’s worldview. But if the last ten years of being in the white, male, evangelical spaces of seminary have taught me anything, it’s that we fear what we don’t know.
In my bubble of privilege, I knew that there were discrepancies in how darker-skinned folks were treated, but I persisted in the belief that colorblindness was the answer. My proximity to whiteness—my ability to “pass” as a majority culture person—allowed me to mostly ignore issues of race and ethnicity.
We are whole people, and we deserve to be seen that way. Embracing all of ourselves is a process, not a goal, and we multiethnic folks know this journey well.
In examining the stories of such well-known pastors’ wives as Victoria Osteen and Lois Evans, Bowler looks at the ways in which these women were able to build their own empire in the shadow of their husbands’ ministries.
The interesting thing about ageism is that it often goes both ways. Sexism is usually referring to the unfair treatment of women, and racism in our country (given the inherent power dynamics) is always against people of color. Classism is understood to be the wealthy classes’ disdain for those in poverty. But ageism can refer to both the dishonoring of those with “gray hair” (Proverbs 16:31), as well as the dismissal of those who are young (1 Timothy 4:12).
The key to keeping our sanity and care for one another during this time comes (by way of pun) in choosing to do two seemingly contradictory things: “zooming in” and “zooming out.” We need to zoom in on finding what moments we can to pursue the Lord, to rest in him. We need to zoom out to see the bigger picture, to stay connected to Jesus’ body.