Our blog post today will address the important topic of how to honor our Asian-American brothers and sisters during Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month. These kinds of monthly recognitions are important to recognize historical stories and identities that are not always addressed through mainstream history education found in K-12 or even college.
In light of this necessity, I think it is time for Christians to declare a Christian/church history month. After all, every Christian should recognize that if we are truly to understand our most important identity, being members of Christ’s body, we must understand its story. Yet, I find most students know very little extra-biblical church history (and thus do not have the knowledge necessary to love the church, Christ’s body, even in its historical brokenness). In fact, a decade and a half ago Todd Ream and I found in our study of general education requirements at Christian colleges
that virtually every Christian college required more American history than Church history beyond the Bible. In other words, our institutions are teaching our students to prioritize and know the American story over the Church’s story. It is no wonder that Christian nationalism and other disorders created by making one’s political love and identity primary are problems in our Christian communities.
I would love to see the members of the American Society of Church History
or Conference on Faith and History
declare and celebrate a Church/Christian history month (perhaps August or August 15-Sept 15 to start the school year in a way that reminds us that our primary identity is in Christ and Christ’s body). We need to remind ourselves and our students what our primary historical identity and story is and to know that history. After all, an important part of love involves getting to know someone’s or something’s story.