Justin Banks – Staff Writer
Earlier this month, Dordt welcomed Christina Edmondson to campus as a First Monday speaker. Edmondson took her audience on a journey that caused many to ponder her topic: “Can Rotten Roots Be Redeemed?”
She suggested that time is not the remedy for the sins of the past; rather, each of us is called to enact neighborly love to one another. Edmondson claims that the basis of the Christian faith is grounded in a belief of the past, yet people are quick to disregard our nation’s historical past out of a fear of damaging the credibility of the church.
Edmondson spoke about how sin pulls back our thoughts about human indignity, referencing a letter written by George Whitfield in the 1700s. She used Whitfield as an example of how cultural norms can sometimes override a person’s religious views, causing them to be out of step with the gospel.
At the end of the day, she said, this nation is governed and inhabited by religious people who practice both idolatry and faith in Jesus. This country pushes people towards self-actualization, and over time people have lost focus of what really matters: learning about God in order to learn to serve others.
Edmondson pointed to historical documents used to justify slavery. One document stated that slavery was a way for black people to learn about Jesus. She also mentioned that Ethiopia, one country where slaves were taken from, is and has been a Christian nation.
“The injustice and dehumanization of black people was worth it to fund George Whitefield’s orphanage,” she said, referencing a letter written by Whitefield.
Using the historical examples of slavery and the treatment of African Americans in this country, she challenged her audience to be comfortable with being able to identify the wrongs that exist in this culture, both in the past and present.
“We are responsible for the deeds of the past when we defend them,” she said.
In the conclusion of her talk, Edmondson said Christians are called to be “salt that slows down corruption instead of being the face of corruption.” It is Christ that redeems rotten roots through the power of love.
Love, according to Edmondson, is the key to solving many of the problems that exist in America.