Blending the Church

Posted: April 18, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

In the book of Acts, on the day of Pentecost, there is a number of amazing miracles. One of those miracles, is that while the apostles and believers were giving a bold witness of the Gospel of Christ, all the variety of nationalities and ethnic groups heard that Gospel in their own heart languages. It is the exact opposite of what happens in Genesis at the Tower of Babel.

When God created man in His own image, He created one man. In my humble estimate of that story, God created one race of people, mankind. On the day when the people attempted to erect the tower to the heavens in Genesis, God created great diversity and scattered them around the earth. In my estimation, although we talk of different races, and we understand what we mean, I think it is still accurate to recognize that mankind is one. One race with many different ethnicities. Missiologists speak of “people groups” based on common language, cultural diversities, history, etc. So in one African nation there may be hundreds of ethnic groups, or people groups, even though they are all of the same color of skin. By some estimates there are about 12,000 different people groups in our world. Others have even higher numbers depending on their criteria for categorization.

For some reason history shows that the sinful nature of mankind leads him to mistrust, dislike, sometimes outright hate people who are different that we are. Whatever our cultural or enthnic background, we tend to think we are the best, or we are the preferred, or we are the right. But in the beauty of God’s creation, people are of multiple ethnicity, as someone suggested, almost like the colors of the rainbow, so that in that multi-color there is beauty.

What color was Adam’s skin? What were his facial features like? When mankind had multiplied and God sent the flood destroying all because of sin except for Noah and his family, what color was he? I dream of a church that reflects the community around us. I am told that the demographics of the community where the church I serve is located, that the population is a little over 50% African American, a llittle more than 30% Caucasian, and the rest are a blend of Asian, Hisapnic, and multiple other ethnicities. I don’t know of any churches in our community that have managed to blend all cultural and ethnic groups. Since we are going to spend an eternity together in heaven (those who know Jesus), shouldn’t we begin worshipping together now?

  1. Rapture says:

    I couldn’t agree more with your vision! The thing is though to not only worship together on Sundays, but to teach our children and those that are open enough to receive the message to understand that we truly are one species.. mankind. It starts with an open heart and mind, and alot of people just cannot seem to do this. Negative emotions are the most readily available and the easiest to tap into, and so, I see alot of this narrow minded behavior when it comes to embracing our brothers and sisters who are different on the outside.

    We have to start an entire revolution , beginning with educating our children from the get go, that this is NOT acceptable! Racism and bigotry are not born into us, we are taught this by the examples that we set as leaders with our words and actions. The easiest way for anyone to win a war is by dividing and conquering. We see it everyday with not only race, but with religions, with politics, right on down to sports teams!!

    The cure to it all is very simple!! LOVE love love one another 🙂 When you see someone anyone , smile at them and mean it to your very core. A genuine smile says so much. Practice random acts of kindness every single day!! Doing these simple thing is infectious and contagious to anyone who witnesses them! I believe with all my heart that it can be done, but it isn’t going to get doen by sitting around talking about it. JUST DO IT!!

    • The Bible teaches that we have a sin problem that prevents us from loving as we should. This is why Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another.” In truth the commandment was not new in content. It is really a part of the Old Testament, even what the Jews called the “Shema”, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God is one, and you shall love… and the second, you shall love your neighbor as yourself…”

      What is new is the ability to obey? Mankind is sinful, separated from God, and spiritually incapable of loving with the highest degree of love, God’s love. But when we are “born again” the Holy Spirit of God lives within us and empowers us. He loves through us, so to speak.

  2. Tom Chase says:

    Very good Brad. Not sure if this will post on FB, my apologies if it does. Jesus never considered the color of skin, wealth, social position of an individual unless it stood in the way of a relationship with Himself. Basically, it is a heart issue. Not only with people looking to Christ but also with people looking for Christ in other people. At the end of the day, the question should always be, are you saved? If we not passionate about others salvation, then we will never see past our own bigotry.

    The best example of multicultural church in this area is Cornerstone church in Orangeburg. They have done an excellent job of healing a community full of racial tension.

    Having been to India, there is nothing like worshiping with people of a different race/culture and realizing that one day I will be standing with my brothers and sisters in Christ worshiping the One True God, despite how different I seem to them now.

  3. Rachel Flemming says:

    Love, the topic of love, “what the world needs now is love sweet love it’s the only thing that there is just to little of”; love is not the question are you saved, there are some people who think they are saved but do not have love, the question can be are you filled with the Spirit of Love, God is love and if His Spirit indwells in a person and has contol over a person, true love for our fellow man will be demonstrated in what a person say and do, others will see His love in his or her “frutiful” actions. To be or not to be flowing in love, the Holy Spirit is the answer.

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