It has been too long since I posted!! I will hopefully post more frequently but I make no promises! This morning, as I do most mornings, I was having a philosophical debate in my head. I have amazing discussions and solve most of the world’s problems.
This morning’s debate was about a reality I have become painfully aware of. Race is a huge topic in our country and everyone has an opinion. I believe most Christians hold my perspective; the church is a place for all people. We take Revelations 7:9 literally: “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count from every nation, tribe, people and language.” We expect Heaven to be racially diverse. Unfortunately, the Church in the United States is waiting until then for that to be reality.
As I prepare for life after the Navy, I checkout church websites. Wow!!! The lack of diversity is appalling! So, I googled multi-racial churches and…I am not sure what our definition of multi-racial is but I sure wasn’t finding it. The ironic part is this is not new. I remember racial reconciliation was a major topic in the early nineties with the rise of the Promise Keepers Movement.
What happened? I think we bought into the idea of church being a “safe place.” We sought to make people feel “comfortable” with the hope they would grow spiritually. We fell into a trap. We slowly settled into our own groups which meant we divided by race.
The culture says faith is a private matter. It is something that helps people with their emotional well being. Our safe and comfortable churches shout we agree. When race flashed as a major issue, the church was left on the sidelines. We were irrelevant. Many see the white church as part of the problem. Meanwhile, the black church is struggling to find the powerful voice it had during the Civil Rights Movement. We sit divided just like our country. In other words, we are no different than the world around us with our faith being a private matter that helps our emotional well being.
Racial diversity can be difficult but the Church has a powerful foundation that truly makes us salt and light. I compare racial diversity like jogging. Most mornings we don’t want to get out of bed. However, when we do it consistently, we build endurance and more importantly we can run when we have to. Somehow we stopped jogging in the nineties. The consequence today is instead of running out ahead of our country and inviting them to consider the power of the gospel, we are huffing and puffing and falling further behind.
We have to put on our running shoes. The Church is God’s ambassador to a world that desperately needs hope! Let’s stop being safe and comfortable and start being relevant and engaged! The starting point? Take a look at your church’s leadership page. What do you see? If it is all one color…you may need to go for a jog.