Like him or not Jeremiah Wright is your brother in Christ if you are a Christian. I know, some readers will choke and fume and react and then say, "That is simply not possible." I am really not talking to you because you have already determined who is and is not a Christian based upon what you hear and read, not upon the New Testament criteria themselves. (It is not your vocation, I can assure you, to make these kinds of determinations in the first place but never tell that to a person who "knows" that they "know" who is and is not a Christian!)
The biblical criteria are simple: (1) Confess faith in Christ the Lord who is risen (2) Be a baptized follower of the Savior in the fellowship of his Church. Since none of us lives the life of Christ with even the remotest perfection then all such standards should be jettisoned by people of real charity. Wright, by these and many other standards, is my brother. I do not agree with him at times, as I have noted, but then I don’t agree with a lot of my brothers and sisters about a lot of things.
This all comes down to charity, true Christian charity. You can dislike the man’s statements, you can accuse him as you wish, but don’t be surprised when you meet him in the presence of Christ someday.
Is it possible that we could agree on this much? In conservative white America I doubt it. The well is so poisoned by hate, and by vicious hate speech, that we do not care who might actually be our brothers and sisters. And yet we wonder why the younger generation is leaving the church in droves.
My good friend Jayson Byassee, who speaks for us at our first ACT 3 Luncheon in two weeks (see www.act3online.com to sign up), had an article in Christianity Today yesterday that sums up what I feel very well. I encourage you to read it for yourself.