Dear Pastor, Can I Come to Your Church? p. 32

Not often do I find myself reading one article after the next, thinking, Wow, I have a new understanding and a new vocabulary to help me wrestle with these timely issues. Case in point: Bradley Wright’s article about churches and implicit racial bias. As I read the piece, I cringed at times, wondering: Would I more readily greet a white family than a Hispanic family visiting my church?

As if that wasn’t enough food for thought, I turned the page and read Mark Yarhouse’s piece on gender dysphoria. I found the defining of terms helpful. Articles like these and the first-person narrative “Loving My Sister-Brother” challenge and encourage me. I feel more equipped with appropriate language and I am reminded, yet again, that extending grace and mercy to all is what it means to follow Jesus. Thank you.

Alicia Brummeler

Stony Brook, NY

Dear Pastor, Can I Come to Your Church?” was both relevant and well researched. Surely, “racism is under our skins.” However, there are numerous nuances to this question.

First, you and many others fail to distinguish between racial prejudice and cultural prejudice. Many years ago, when I studied under Peter Wagner at Fuller, a student asked him if the Congregational church Wagner attended would ever accept an African American pastor. His reply: “Yes, if he had the right accent.” As Christians we need to move out of our comfort zones and relate to others who need Christ. But the problem is sometimes cultural prejudice.

Second, we often hear that the most segregated time in America is on Sunday mornings, and segregated is pejorative. Yet have we bought into the politically correct ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.