This post is re-blogged from its original appearance on mcd.aacc.net, our website for the Multicultural Division of the AACC.
Mark Crear, PhD, President, Multicultural Division of AACC
Romans 12:16 — Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Why is racism so prevalent in Christian churches and institutions if God destroyed it by means of the death, barrel and resurrection of our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ? The problem is Sin, which keeps many Christians from fighting against the evil of racism and from fighting for racial harmony in both church and society as a whole.
Racism and prejudice is fueled by sin, sin that corrupts and divides. Sin causes us to favor people who look and sound and think like we do and causes us to disrespect and diminish the value of people who don’t. Christ came to heal that sin, to tear down walls, and to bridge the divide between races.
Evangelist Billy Graham stated: “Racial and ethnic hostility is the foremost social problem facing our world today.” This startling observation suggests that racism is more than just one of many problems in the US; rather, it is a major issue and one of international proportions.
Such a recognition calls for responsible and deliberate attention by the church.
Racism is having a devastating effect in our communities and church as a whole. The Church has contributed to this tragic scene with denial and resistance by Christians who are intolerant toward those of other backgrounds, ignoring their spiritual, mental and physical needs.
Believers are called to seek the welfare of their city, to love their brothers and sisters, to be a representative of gospel renewal to the communities they serve. Many of our cities and communities are afflicted by racial strife and filled with many who desire unity but feel powerless to achieve it. The answer is in the gospel of Jesus Christ. When the churches intentionally cultivate a thriving and diverse community, we offer a peaceful, powerful and promising model for the rest of the community. A few ways the church can assist in the racial reconciliation movement:
- By reiterating the purpose of the church.
In the book of Acts 2:2, Apostle Paul states “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Using this verse as a mission statement, then the function and purpose of the church can be broken down into three points: 1) to preach/hear and spread the good news by preaching and teaching sound biblical doctrine. 2) A place where believers can come to fellowship together. 3) Implementing prayer, praise & worship & communion.
- Establishing a solid assembly (in every community): Where Churches come together crossing racial, cultural class lines for purpose of reinventing Gods Presence back into this collective church community. A solemn assembly in scripture was a secured gathering reinventing God in the midst of his people, but to do it along those lines.
- Joint ministry outreach projects: (ex. church feeding the homeless) where you can reach families and kids and you can do it as a full community. Another example would be to host joint community parades, picnics and various bonding activities uniting the different cultures within the community.
- Cultural competency and educational workshops and teachings:
By providing educational seminars and workshops on cultural competency and cultural sensitivity with increases the awareness and appreciation of the population that makes up its community.
In Summary… Because we come together to call on God and because we come together in good works… now we come tougher as a single voice about issues facing our community, and because we come together we are creating a healthy reconciliation, with Man and God.
Mark Crear, PhD is an ordained minister; published author; professional, certified, biblical and pastoral counselor/trainer/speaker; and former Olympic champion. He is currently the chairman of AACC’s Multicultural Division and Director of Counseling for The Family Church International. Dr. Crear has been around the world preaching the Gospel, presenting keynote addresses, seminars and inspirational messages to various churches and organizations. He has a passion for emotional and mental healing for the body of Christ through effective biblical counseling. Dr. Crear is founder of Mark Crear Ministries, which was designed to encourage, restore and rebuild the body of Christ through the Word of God.