Thursday, January 26, 2006

CHURCH: Segregation in the Church is hurting

... the body in the western world. According to sociologist/author George Yancey ...
Christians undermine their ability to reach society with the gospel because they segregate their churches by race.
The CRIB has mentioned this problem on occassion ... Galatians 3:28 makes it clear there are neither blacks nor whites, Anglos nor Asians, young nor old, seekers nor seaters, emergent nor non-emergent, or so on.

In fact, quite the opposite of segregation is taught ... "There is one body." I figure that's simply because there's "One Head." Duh! [Ephesians 4:4-6]
Unfortunately, only 8 percent of American churches are multiracial, Yancey lamented. He defined a "multiracial church" as one in which no single racial group comprises more than 80 percent of the participants.
I don't agree with the 80 percent number but what do I know. How do the stats look?
Catholic churches are most likely to be multiracial, with 12 percent of congregations meeting that standard ... .

Evangelical Protestants are next, with 5 percent of churches qualifying as multiracial, followed by 2.5 percent of mainline Protestant churches.
Now that's interesting. The denominations which, for years, have bragged about their diversity are in fact the laggers.

Don't get me wrong, all of the numbers are pathetic. This kind of segregation has troubled me since seminary ... it is not
at all God honoring!

The only segregation I find which God approves is based on justification ... and I'm not sure I read the text right at all.
But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you.
1 Corinthians 11:17-19
At anyrate, regardless of whether my exegesis is right or wrong, the Lord desires this ...
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:1-3
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