“Break up to Make up, that’s all we do” Part II

The myth of the post racial world and church

In a very enlightening article in Urban Faith from 09/20/11 entitled “Black Churches 2011 Buck Trends By Christine A. Scheller September 20,”, The featured opinion is that the black/ethnic church is showing growth while the church overall is in decline.  This flies in the face of what the so-called multi ethnic church movement is trying to achieve.

 The real question is, if oneness across the ethnic divide Ephesians 2:14, is God’s will then why does there exist a paradox of growing division vs multi ethnic unity.  The fact is that ethnic believers are not moving into Anglo/White congregations but instead, growing in their own.  This is happening while the church in this country is in overall decline. Does culture trump unity when we consider the resistance to “Building the Bridge over the ethnic/cultural Divide”? The word of God speaks specifically to this self preservationists perspective:

“Then the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste? Haggai 1:3,4 King James Version (KJV)

 Are we entering into another protracted “then you hate me” cycle of the love, hate relationship between the ethnic groups and is the church simply reflective of the sentiment that exist in the surrounding culture at large.

Let’s be very clear; this is not an indictment of Black, Latino, Asian/ethnic churches. However, we must squarely look at this dichotomy verbatim. There is a resistance to the old standard of the W.A.S.P. (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) controlled, Norman Rockwell, portrait driven church. In a time of the “Make up” called the multi ethnic church movement in this rollercoaster of the societal love, hate relations between the ethnic groups. There are who those visible minorities who have been historically marginalized. These believers ask themselves “have we been duped?” They take this stance in the face of the myth of a post racial world and church.

Now let us look at the example of the marginalized visible minorities i.e. the stranger inside the world of the dominant culture.

“Also you shall not oppress a temporary resident, for you know the heart of a stranger and sojourners, seeing you were strangers and sojourners in Egypt.” Exodus 23:9 Amplified Bible (AMP)

The key must be that relationship trumps culture. It is relationship that ultimately leads us back to God. Jesus, not only taught his disciples but formed relationship with them. That is how he was able to take fishermen, tax collectors as well as Physician etc. and make them one.

 “We must “Build this Bridge over the cultural divide” one relational brick at a time by; first starting with individuals who will not tolerate seeing God’s house lay in ruin while we stay pint up in our ethnically ceiled houses . These individuals will not be afraid to open their homes to those who may be strangers to their comfort zones. This brand of  followers of Christ will, house to house, form real relationships through real and genuine sharing of thoughts ideas, hopes and fears,

 “God is no respecter of persons” and if we are not moving as one body, regardless of the appearance, it is not the will of God being displayed. If anyone is to blame for this atmosphere, all sides of the ethnic divide must shoulder the blame.

The Bible says: “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”               Matthew 5:23-24  

Reconciliation trumps relationship and culture because neither of the two can exist without it.

World English Dictionary

Reconcile (ˈrɛkənˌsaɪl)  —vb(usually foll by to)  1. to make (oneself or another) no longer opposed; cause to acquiesce in something unpleasant: she reconciled herself to poverty  2. to become friendly with (someone) after estrangement or to re-establish friendly relations between (two or more people)  3. to settle (a quarrel or difference)  4. to make (two apparently conflicting things) compatible or consistent with each other

 5. to reconsecrate (a desecrated church, etc)

It is time to stop this love, hate cycle and place ourselves in position to offer our gifts. Therefore, we can resume our uniting activity of

Building the Bridge Together” over the ethnic/cultural divide.

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