The race issue continues to plague American Christianity, as I noted in passing in my recent post regarding emancipation and Abraham Lincoln. Rather than offering real solutions to the race issue the church has all too often perpetuated this problem. I do not suggest that we emotionally flog ourselves over the past but it would be a good place to start by honestly recognizing the problems. Ask the question: "What have our respective churches done, or not done, to cause or solve these problems?"

Understanding our racial and ethnic differences is vital to understanding how we can learn to serve and help one another. The simple fact is that we still worship in racially and ethnically separated churches. I know all the reasons that we offer for why this is the case but I still can’t shake the sense that in most instances this happens because we do not care enough that Christ has broken down the walls between us. (I also realize that many of us live in communities where only people like us live!) We ought to live within our Christian communities in ways that show the world that we are truly one. God designed the church to be this way and our refusal to pursue it is an act of disobedience rooted in both comfort and, at times, prejudice. This point seems very clear to me in Paul’s letter to the Galatian church.

I am personally convinced that no two people groups experience God in the same exact way. When we refuse to worship together, learn together and share together our collective experience of God is thereby diminished. I think our loss is much greater than we realize. Christ centered leaders ought to make this a priority.

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