By Andy Hale
If you do not know the name Jeff Chu, you should. He is a rising voice among post-Evangelicals, providing space and leading conversations about the church’s bright future in the wake of so many deconstructing their negative church experiences.
In initially booking Jeff for the CBF Podcast, we were going to discuss his fascinating work and what ‘next’ looks like for the Church post-pandemic.
However, the week before our interview, a crazed gunman went on an anti-Asian killing spree in Atlanta, leaving eight dead and one other wounded. But this was the tip of the iceberg of the Anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander hatred that has spread throughout American during this pandemic. Of course, one does not have to look all that hard to see a long history of America’s racism and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
But what about the church? What is the church’s role in this history and the conversation moving forward?
As a child of Chinese immigrants from Hong Kong, Jeff brings a unique perspective to the conversation.
“The church has to repent of the reality that racism, colonialism, and imperialism. These have all been woven into the story of the church in the modern world. This is part of the church’s story and legacy,” said Jeff Chu.
Chu takes listeners into the story of his upbringing, the common discriminatory experience of Asian Americans, and what it will take for the church to come to terms with its role in the current expressions of racism.
“White Evangelicalism has had a particularly difficult time reckoning with the history of racism and discrimination. No one wants to feel like, “Oh, we did something bad.” But when the cost of what has been done by the church has accumulated over time, and still hurting people, doesn’t the call of loving your neighbor mean reckoning with some of those things.”
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Andy Hale is the creator and host of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Podcast. Hale is the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following eight years as the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton and five years as CBF’s church start specialist. Follow on Twitter @haleandy