The African American Church

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Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I also find it disturbing we still feel the need to categorize people by unbiblical racial categories.

Ben:

I want to make sure that I get the point that you are seeking to communicate here. Could you expand on this a bit so that I am clear?

Peace,
Alan

It is a pretty straight forward statement. I find it disturbing we still feel the need to look at people based on the color of their skin or ethnic background and then self-flagellate ourselves for not meeting some kind of contrived quota based on unbiblical racial categories. When I evangelize here in Ellisville I see sinners in need of a savior, not blacks or whites or hispanics that would help "diversify" my congregation. Call me naive or whatever but I tire of the race-game. I don't really care for these kind of discussions.
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
I also find it disturbing we still feel the need to categorize people by unbiblical racial categories.

Ben:

I want to make sure that I get the point that you are seeking to communicate here. Could you expand on this a bit so that I am clear?

Peace,
Alan

It is a pretty straight forward statement. I find it disturbing we still feel the need to look at people based on the color of their skin or ethnic background and then self-flagellate ourselves for not meeting some kind of contrived quota based on unbiblical racial categories. When I evangelize here in Ellisville I see sinners in need of a savior, not blacks or whites or hispanics that would help "diversify" my congregation. Call me naive or whatever but I tire of the race-game. I don't really care for these kind of discussions.

Ben, this is the exact same reason I am against 'multi-ethnic churches'. Instead of being a multi-ethnic church be the Church. Address the issues of race but according to Scripture at appropriate and applicable times and in applicable ways. Goal: not to be multi-ethnic church, but to be the Church which proclaims the Gospel and is automatically multi-ethnic.

I say this with experience in serving at at multi-ethnic church.
 

Alan D. Strange

Puritan Board Senior
Thanks, Ben. That so many things are so racially tinged in our society is lamentable and tiresome.

So many things are sexually tinged, or materially tinged, and any number of things that vex righteous souls.

What do we do about it? Seek to understand it. And this is a very tough one. How things have come to be as they have with respect to racial matters is, as you know, very complex. And it's not just going to go away by not talking about it.

Let me be clear, Ben: in this history of the West and in the history of this country, white Europeans and Americans have a great deal to do with this being what it is. African chattle slavery was racially based. That we brought Africans to this country and did to them what we did, and that we are still reaping the bitter fruit of that, may be something that we'd rather not think about, and wish away, but there is a racial divide that our not talking about will not make go away.

I do appreciate the sense of "when do we get beyond this?" and tiring of these discussions. But I don't think that's the way around this. We have a racial divide and saying that we shouldn't still have one isn't going to make it go away. How do we in the church model healing in this respect and help guide civil society in this? I understand that the world deals with this in ways that are purely victimizing and responsibility-denying. But just because the world goes about this in the wrong way does not mean that there's not a problem and it does not mean that we should ignore the problem.

Ben, I respect you and your ministry and want to uphold and support you in it. But I think that we do need to be challenged to deal with these issues. I see it not only in racial terms but also in class terms. Reformed and Presbyterian Churches have not done a good job reaching out beyond the middle class and the educated. What we have is far too wonderful to keep among white, middle class, educated folk. We need, I believe, to be thoughtful and intentional in reaching out (without dumbing down)--a huge challenge, I grant.

Many of our churches have people drive from miles away and we do little to attempt to reach the neighborhood around the church. Many are waking up to this. But we need to be altogether more outreaching than we have tended to be and to seek to get those in our neighborhoods into the churches and to be planting churches in all sorts of neighborhoods.

Please don't think me presumptous and I hope that I have said nothing out of line. I sense that you are a dedicated committed pastor, and my hat's off to you for all the kingdom service that you render.

Peace,
Alan
 
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