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Click below to listen on podcasts.com.  You can also subscribe on iTunes and Google Play. Continue Reading…

Click below to listen on podcasts.com.  You can also subscribe on iTunes and Google Play. Continue Reading…

I was on a panel this week at an event entitled Uprooting Racism from the Church, sponsored by the Michigan State University student group MSU Project 1:17. In addition to the live panel, they took anonymous questions from the audience for the speakers to answer online.  I’ve realized recently that I haven’t posted about racism / racial reconciliation in a while.  Somewhat because I’ve been busy with posts about sexual purity, lust, porn, marriage, etc. that go along with my recent book release.  But to my discredit, it’s also because some white Christians who would be interested in buying my book about sexual purity would also be upset about what I write about race.  So in my fear of man, I have backed down from speaking the truth (the same temptation I face as a pastor with the topic of race, Lord help me).  How quickly and easy it is to fall into this trap!  I had also become fatigued with debates and fatigued with people being upset with me, so had taken the easy road.  I apologize for that to anyone reading this, especially my friends of color.

I thought posting a blog with my answers to these Q&A questions would be helpful because I’ve already written them, and because I’ve previously articles on these subjects, which you can find at the bottom of each post.  There will be 3 of these, with the questions having been anonymously submitted from the crowd at the event earlier this week.  The original format for these was on a Facebook event page, which I’ve just copied and pasted here.  I’ll post one each day over the next three days, this is day #2 of 3:

The Question: What would you say to someone experiencing “white guilt”?

My Answer: Continue Reading…

What does a multi-ethnic church really look like?

I get asked this question a lot at Crossroads, namely because we teach and vision-cast a lot about our desire to be a multi-ethnic church, which I usually follow-up by saying we still have a long way to go.  We are three and a half years into a 5-year-plan where becoming a multi-ethnic congregation was one of our goals.  Sociologists say that a multi-ethnic congregation can be defined as when the dominant group is not larger than 80% of the total population.  On our best day, if you include our kids and teens (where the majority of our people of color* are), we might barely fit the 80/20 rule — so does this mean we’ve met our goal in becoming a true multi-ethnic church?

*People of Color is the contemporary term used in academic conversations about race in America.  “Non-white” is not a good term because it forces people of color to identify themselves in relation to the standard of whiteness rather than in relation to themselves.  It is not to be confused with the historical racial slur “colored.”

This is where I follow-up by saying we still have a long way to go!  It’s relatively easy to become multi-colored, but this is very different than being truly multi-cultural.  A true multi-ethnic church is probably beyond the reach of most people, which is why you see so few of them and so few real efforts to become one.  So, beyond the 80/20 principle, what does a true multi-ethnic church really look like?

Trust and Safety

I’ll start with this one because if it goes misunderstood, the rest of the identifiers won’t matter (and probably won’t happen).  A person of color needs to be able to lament, emote, pray, and petition the Lord and their church community about the challenges of oppression they face on a daily basis.  They need to be able to do this without being judged or corrected by the white population. Continue Reading…

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