Spiritual Life Quotes: Tony Campolo on Racism

“The story is told of an African American man standing at the bottom of the steps leading up to a gigantic church building. He was looking at the doors of the church and, at the same time, scratching his head with a puzzled look on his face.

As he stood there in a rather befuddled condition, Jesus Himself came by and, seeing the confused man, went over to him and asked, “What’s troubling you, Friend?”

The man, not realizing that he was talking to Jesus, answered, “They told me I can’t get into their church because I’m black!”

“Oh, don’t be surprised by that, ” Jesus answered. “I’ve been trying to get into that church for years, and they won’t let me in either.”

The point of this story is blatantly clear. A church that shuts out people for racist reasons shuts out the Lord. Racism has a horrendous effect on the church’s witness to the world. We will never know how many people have been turned off to Christ because of the racism they found among church people. Racism has also been responsible for social discontent and even revolutions. Those who are oppressed by racism will not accept their oppression forever. Sooner or later, the social conscience of these people will be justifiably raised, and rebellion will follow.”

This quote/exerpt comes from Tony Campolo’s book, “Following Jesus Without Embarrassing God.” printed in 1997.


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