I had a very interesting conversation with my (black) ministry supervisor on Sunday. I've been struggling with this whole 'postcolonial theology' and the stuff that comes out of the Amahoro conferences. The thing that seems to be said there is that we can't forget apartheid and also that we can't forget the 'damage' done by early white missionaries. It's as if remembering these things should be key parts of our formation as Christians. I might have oversimplified this view point, but it is one that has really hamstrung my minstry over the last year and a bit. Who am I, as a white person, to tell any black person what to do? Who am I to potentially force my culture on someone else - perhaps by my own ignorance of cultural differences?
My supervisor told me yesterday to get over it. (Ok, he was a bit more polite). The time has come to stop seeing things in terms of colour and race and to move forward together, each of us making our God-given contributions.
It seems ridiculous that I needed to hear it - but I did need to and from a black person. So, I'm sorry, but postcolonialism and white guilt and Amahoro and whatever else is now in my rubbish bin. The past is past - not to be forgotten, by any means - but no longer to hamstring us and force us to continually relive the hurt (on all sides). Sometimes, western culture actually has an enormous amount to offer us all - including black people - and I won't deny people that benefit.