Is God's Church Segregated?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Recently, I read a story about so-called segregation among churches. I use the term "so-called" because we have a tendency to impose our historical ignorance and political correctness on God's church. An all-black congregation in the inner city, an all-white congregation in the suburbs or a neighborhood Korean church are not necessarily segregated.

The word "segregation" has a very specific meaning in our nation's history. It is a loaded term that should be used mainly within the context of that history.

I consider it unhelpful to use terms such as "black," "white" or "interracial/multiracial" church, though we use these labels anyway. An interracial church is no better than a white or black church. We are simply "Jesus' Church."

We don't have racial segregation in churches today unless bigots lead those congregations. We have people who choose to worship God in a manner that reflects their preference and needs. God permits people to worship distinctively, including the distinctiveness of blended styles or in pursuing a "melting pot" strategy. Some black folks prefer to join a stoic mostly white congregation. Some white folks enjoy the excitement of a high-energy African-American-led church. Some blacks think it's not possible to "have church" in 45 minutes, while some whites couldn't imagine being in a two-hour-long service. These scenarios multiply when considering other factors and ethnicities.

There are those who will see racism in this mix, but it is mostly about preference. That said, we all need to get out of our comfort zones to work with and spend time among various cultures. If you are unwilling to do this, you might need to check your prejudice level.

Churches should adopt the model of Jesus, who said, "Whosoever will, let him come."