Friday, February 11, 2011


Why Does This Matter?

Ron Edmondson wonders:
I think our culture is, at least in some ways, getting more accepting of other cultures and colors of skin. I know my boy’s generation doesn’t even seem to think as much about this issue as my generation did or certainly my parent’s generation did. I won’t pretend racial prejudice has ended, because I know it hasn’t, especially in other parts of the world, but, things are better today than they once were in my lifetime.

But, that’s where my curiosity begins. I see improvement everywhere except in the church. Why is that? Our churches remain segregated for the most part.
The answer is contained within the question - there are still separate racial cultures and people like to congregate within their own culture. If you think deeply, the Reformation was all about the ability to congregate within our own culture.

So, I have two questions. One, is it "bad" to congregate within our own culture? My response is, not necessarily. It's not about the culture, but the people within it. If I chose to visit a church in a different culture and feel excluded, then something is wrong, the culture predominates of over the hospitality of the Holy Spirit. But if the "segregation" is just a matter of cultural taste - not so big a deal.

But my second question is this - "Who Cares?" Is diversity even a biblical or spiritual concern? Hospitality is, as I have said. Love is, as I have said. But diversity? I don't think so.

Because the Reformation was, in part, about worshiping in our separate cultures it says that worship can be done in any culture and that it is worship that matters, not cultural conformity. In point of fact, it is this unhinging of worship from culture that has allowed the gospel to spread much farther much faster that otherwise possible.

If one probes this deep enough, one even finds many of the ideas that helped found the United States.

Come worship with me - I don't care about color or culture, but I also don;t care about diversity.

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