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If the Old Testament prophets told you that churches in America shouldn’t be segregated along racial lines, would you listen?

If Jesus told you churches in America shouldn’t be segregated along racial lines, would you listen?

For most of my life, this stuff wasn’t even close to being on my radar and I realize for many reading, it isn’t on yours either.  I truly don’t mean to write judgmentally, self-righteousnessly or condemningly.  But I do hope to show biblically that just because something isn’t on our radar as American Christians, doesn’t mean it isn’t on God’s radar–and like King Josiah or even like the reformers of the Protestant Reformation, when God reveals something to us from his word that we hadn’t previously noticed, we need to act on it.

Listen to what Jesus says in John 17:20-21: Continue Reading…

Ephesians 2:13-16 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,  by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace,  and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

We are doing it wrong.

Jews and Gentiles were not supposed to be in segregated churches.  The barrier and dividing wall that separated the two groups was supposed to be set aside when Christ Jesus became our shared peace.  Jesus was supposed to have made one new humanity out of these two ethnicities, making them into one body, one Church, reconciled, with no more hostility.

But that’s not what has happened.  The ethnic dividing wall still remains, we just built a new one after the first one fell. Continue Reading…

I never heard a sermon that referenced race while growing up in church.  What does race have to do with people coming to know Jesus, anyway?  Or what does it have to do with the Bible?

When I talk about race in sermons at Crossroads, I think these are thoughts that go through the minds of some.  Is church really the place to talk about race? The Bible does lob us a softball on the race topic in Revelation 7:9 when describing what heaven will be like: 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. So with that verse in mind, one ought to feel comfortable talking about race in church and not feel as is they are speaking on something the Bible doesn’t touch on.  If we are to bring heaven to earth (Matthew 6:10), wouldn’t we want to see people of all races worshiping together in our churches today?

But outside of this very direct, one-time reference, I’ve noticed something very compelling about the Bible and that is that the entire New Testament is written from a context where race, racism and racial division were huge society-shaping influences Continue Reading…