Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Preaching About Racial Diversity in Mono-Ethnic Contexts

From a recent Desiring God article:

Preaching About Racial Diversity in Mono-Ethnic Contexts from Desiring God on Vimeo.

It may be enough for some Christians to hold fast to the faith in an ethnically homogenous setting where severe persecution prevents them from getting outside of their context or extreme poverty limits their education. However, there is no excuse for not being involved in cross ethnic or cross cultural ministry when we have been tasked by Christ with fulfilling the Great Commission locally and around the world.

I have often wondered what prevents many Christians of different ethnicities from worshiping together or belonging to the same church. Perhaps the answer could be found when we consider this recent article by Russell D. Moore (HT: Jeff Spry). An excerpt

Thankfully, we don’t hear as much about “worship wars” these days, but I wonder if that’s because of growing maturity or if it’s simply because we’ve so segregated ourselves into services and congregations that reflect generational and ethnic and class-oriented musical commonalities. Maybe we need to reignite the wars, but in a Christian sort of way.

What if the war looked like this in your congregation? What if the young singles complained that the drums are too loud, that they’re distracting the senior adults? What if the elderly people complained that the church wasn’t paying attention to the new movements in songwriting or musical style?

When we seek the well-being of others in worship, it’s not just that we cringe through music we hate. As an act of love, this often causes us to appreciate, empathize, and even start to resonate with worship through musical forms we previously never considered.

This would signal a counting of others as more significant than ourselves (Phil 2:3), which comes from the Spirit of the humiliated, exalted King Jesus (Phil 2:5-11).  It would mean an outdoing of one another, in order to serve and show honor to the other parts of the Body of Christ. And, however it turned out musically, it would rock.

I think this applies to our brothers and sisters in the church the next street over who otherwise happen to believe basically the same things we do but just worship a little differently. We've segregated because we are more concerned about worshipping with a style that we can be comfortable in rather than enjoying the fullness of worshiping God through the discomfort of fellowship with brothers and sisters who we love in the Lord.

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