For years I have used Romans 6 as a practical way of specifically naming specific sin in my own life and encouraging others to do the same. I have also utilized this chapter of Holy Scripture many times throughout the decades of my Christian life to renounce group and/or national sins, both personally and publicly. Perhaps we need less explanation of sin’s pathology and more putting it to death. The following rendering of Romans 6:1-11 is really nothing new to me. Today I am just letting you in on my own use of the Bible in declaring to God the great practical import of Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross for us concerning a massive historical and contemporary sin – to bury it, unite to Christ, and experience freedom together….
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on disrespecting, dehumanizing, and destroying black men so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to racism; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life of solidarity and equity with our black brothers and sisters.
For if we have been united with Christ in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old racist self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by structural and institutional racism might be done away with, that blacks should no longer be slaves to a white racist system—because anyone who has died has been set free from systemic racism.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since the Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to racism once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
In the same way, white America, count yourselves dead to racism but alive to God in Christ Jesus.