Particularly for historically white churches grappling with racialized trauma and the call toward reparations, there are fragments of 1 Timothy that speak into the wreckage of delusion, domination, and violence that have so marked churches past and present. Like they marked Paul’s past.
In the biblical imagination, resurrection is finally about justice. Resurrection is restoration. Extending the invitation to those systematically kept marginalized, impoverished, and indebted to others is a socio-political act of justice, of restoring the body.
I believe that our way forward as christians involves embracing these UCC forebears and others with compassion even as we take strong action to repent and repair their wrongs. The God of the Hebrews calls us now to the work of decolonizing our theologies—a journey of faith in itself, and a process of transformation by which greater understanding and trust might lead us ever further into greater justice and God’s kin-dom come.