This book is laid out upon a few assumptions. FIrst is that in order to be a Christian, one must read, know, and follow the words and commandments of Jesus Christ. I am making the case that calling oneself Christian does not make it so. Celebrating Christmas and Easter does not qualify one for Christian status. It is Jesus the Christ who teaches us, in the Sermon of the Mount and throughout the Gospels, that love is or should be the foundation of all that we do. One of the sources of the gospel is that Jesus is shown to have not only talked with, healed, and fellowshipped with society’s outcasts – the “least of these” (Matthew 25:40) – but that he did so in spite of being severely opposed and challenged by the powers that be both in the church and in the state. For this writer, it is the Gospels, specifically the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5-7, that the primary and central message is found. Jesus’ command to love our enemies, to pray for those who do us wrong, and to forgive (not once but for as long as we need to) are the foundation, this book will argue, of the Christian faith. Reading the Synoptic Gospels leads one to a belief that Jesus is a proponent of social justice.
From “With Liberty and Justice for Some: The Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America” by Susan K. Williams Smith