Now that title was a bit extreme, I know, but it was meant to be. I am every bit a black man as the day I was born. But, why would I make such a ridiculous statement?
Racial divide has long been an issue in this country, in every social arena, and aspect of life. Surprisingly, and sadly, in the church it has not been much different. Sunday is still the most segregated day of the week in a nation that prides itself on tolerance and reconciliation, and in a Church that is supposed to have transcended such issues.
Yes, there are valid arguments that most African-Americans do not want to worship to pseudo Coldplay type worship, and most Caucasians do not find rhythm well (a little fun Jab) in a gospel type worship service, but, if we are gathering around the cause of the gospel,and for the name of Jesus, then why can’t we break down these barriers of preference, and operate on a level that goes beyond our ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or background?
To make a statement so provocative as I did for the title of this post may seem trite, but, in all honesty, according to the bible, I am not just black anymore (“now therefore there is no Greek, now Jew”, etc.), but something more. Now, this is not me saying that we alienate ourselves from our heritage and racial background. There are many things to be proud of in my racial identity, but, they do not supersede the atoning and redeeming work the gospel has done in my life, or the exercising of my new gospel heritage and identity over that of my racial one.
We are New Ethnics (1 Peter 1:22-24), when we come to follow Jesus. No longer bound by the prejudices, fears, and hangups of simply being identified by our race, but a new race all together. A beautiful tapestry of God’s creation, called and chosen by Him for something bigger than ourselves. We are New Ethnics and ultimately who we are in Jesus is all that will remain in the end.