Christian Themes

(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

Matsuoka bases his objection to racism on the belief that the Christian God accepts all people into his community of the faithful. God stands for justice and righteousness, and every human being is invited to join God’s community through baptism. Every time Christians celebrate the Eucharist, coming together at the table of Christ to commemorate with bread and wine the Last Supper of the Savior, they reaffirm this belief in an all-encompassing, race-transcending God whose divine sovereignty transcends any racial barrier, preference, or law. This is why for Matsuoka, a true Christian can never be a racist.

The Color of Faith insists that the devil, in his ceaseless devious struggle to alienate humans from each other, has infiltrated all American societal institutions with his legions of fallen angels, the powers and principalities of evil. Acting as agents of Satan, these demons have infested U.S. institutions and seek to perpetrate the evil of racism.

In this struggle of good versus evil, from Matsuoka’s point of view, many Christians are tempted to fall into the trap sprung by Satan and re-create in their own congregations a separation of the races that prevents the establishment of social justice and the rule of the righteous. Social action that leads to societal justice is stifled when the evil of racism invades Christian faith communities.

Matsuoka ends on a note of hope. Satan’s grip on U.S. institutions can be challenged, he argues. If persecuted and oppressed non-Caucasian Christians are allowed to voice their grievances and offer reconciliation and thus redemption to their European American fellow faithful, redemption is possible. He states that further redemption can be achieved through the churches at the margins of mainstream America, in which some Christians go as far as the Christian communitarians in the first centuries after Christ’s death who shared all their resources. When non-Caucasians forgive Caucasian Christians their historical sins, Matsuoka’s text argues, there is hope for a new, indigenous American religion. This religion will not be tainted by the work of the devil. Instead, America can be repeopled with Christians who live close in the spirit of God. These Christians obey God’s inclusive rule that does not distinguish people on the base of their race but rather welcomes all believers into God’s faith community, where each and every one of them will find redemption.