BRIDGING THE RACIAL DIVIDE IN THE CHURCH

John the Apostle writes in Revelation 7:9, “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” That gives us a clue about how God wants His worship services on earth to look like every Sunday. However, it has been said that Sunday is the most segregated day in America. For the most part, Caucasians worship with Caucasians. African Americans worship with African Americans. Latinos worship with Latinos. Asians worship with Asians, and so on.  I don’t believe that God is pleased with segregated worship.

WHY THINGS ARE THE WAY THEY ARE

Unfortunately, there is an ugly reason why there is a “black church” and a “white church” in America. In the days of slavery and in the Jim Crow era, blacks were not allowed to worship in white churches. Therefore, African Americans chose to start their own churches where they knew that they would be welcome. Sadly, this divide has not been overcome and, by and large, still exists today.

THE BODY OF CHRIST NEEDS TO LEAD THE WAY

2 Chronicles 7:14 says,  “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”I believe that the reason that systemic racism still exists in our country is due to the fact that we have not addressed racism in the church and healed the division in the body of Christ FIRST. The land will not be healed until we ourselves get it right in the body of Christ. The healing of the land begins with US! We have got to lead the way. If we as the body of Christ cannot bridge the racial divide in the church, and we have the Holy Spirit available to us, how can we expect America to bridge the racial divide?

ADOPTING A MULTICULTURAL MINDSET

The body of Christ needs to ponder on Revelation 7:9 and decide how we will proceed forward to implement God’s vision for His church. This may require that we as individual believers step out of our comfort zones and visit, and maybe eventually join, churches that have people attending the service that are a different race than we are. It may mean that churches of different races will agree to merge. We have to adopt a multicultural mindset and develop multicultural fellowships as we move forward into the future.  

What will it take for that to successfully happen?  We as people of different races have to get to know one another by having fruitful conversations that will help us to break down walls and get past the stereotypes. We have to pray and be able to apply the Word to bridge the gap between our differences and overcome the conflict that may result from those differences. Only then will we become the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ that we were predestined to become. Only then will we be able to operate at maximum capacity because where there is unity, God commands the blessing. Only then will the bride of Christ be ready to be presented to her bridegroom without the spot of racism and the wrinkle of segregation.

What do you feel you can do to help bridge the gap between the races in the body of Christ?

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Photo by Angel Norris via http://www.freeimages.com

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