Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Are we really all in this together?

After going to churches for over a month together Caspar comments to Jim:
"If every church is of the same body...then why is this megachurch [The Potter's House, Dallas, TX] all black and megas like Willow and Saddleback all white? The leading roles are reversed - with blacks in the majority here and whites making token strategic appearancs. But why don't they worship together? If you follow Paul's metaphor, the church should be the most integrated place in Amercia, but even I've heard the line about eleven o'clock Sunday morning being the most segregated hour in America. Why the segregation? Aren't you guys in the 'love your neighbor as you love yourself' business? I mean it. No other group out there preaches togetherness more than the church, and no other group out there is as obviously segregated." (pg. 134)

What do we think about that? When we look around our workplace, our church, our grocery stores, our children's classrooms do we see more than one color? Or are we completely segregating ourselves from our brothers and sisters in Christ who do not look like we do, whatever color our skin and whatever our socio-economic status?

Is it an issue of socio-economic status? Is it an issue of culture? It is an issue of unackknowledged racism that is driven by a fear of differences? The cultural and fear issues don't hold much weight - get over those. Didn't God create all of us in his image? At the core, we are all the same - children created by one God. That fact should overwhelm any other objections we have about being in relationship with people who from outward appearances seem different than ourselves.

As far as socio-economic status being a dividing wall - that is also something that we should actively be working to tear down. Aren't we called by Jesus to help those who have less than we do? Did Jesus just go and deliver food/services and then walk away or did he befriend and eat and live with those who were different and had less?

I know that getting from where we are to where we should be is too overwhelming for any of us to handle on our own. But if we each take one small step at a time, we can do it together.

What first step will you take?


"Then God said, 'Let us make human beings in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.' " Genesis 1:26


Maggie September 29, 2010 at 10:03 PM  

When one of my girls was really young (preschool) she saw an African American woman and whispered to me, "I don't like black people." I was absolutely horrified at the statement and even more saddened and disappointed in myself to realize I had not done my job as a mother to introduce her to people of other races and cultures. So, after that, we participated in as many multicultural events as we could. We hosted some of the African Children's Choir kids when they were in town (shortly after her comment.) At the end of their visit, my daughter said to me, "Mom, in my heart I see her as white and I bet in her heart, she sees me as black." What a beautiful way for a young child to say that when we get to know someone they are not really so different from us. For years we have also hosted Christmas International House exchange students from universities in the US over the holiday break - people from France, Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan and Thailand have stayed in our home and taught our family about their culture. Now these visits probably won't further world peace on a grand scale, but it certainly helps my kids be at peace with and appreciate people who are not like them. I hope it broadens their world view and brings them to the understanding that God's children are a varied and diverse family!