January 17, 2014Missiology

New Research: Church Diversity Still a Dream, and a Devotional from Christian George

We want our churches to be diverse, but are they?
New Research: Church Diversity Still a Dream, and a Devotional from Christian George

From Racism to Gracism

Technically, there is only one race—the human race. Sure, there are different expressions of our race—Semitic, Chinese, Polynesian, African, Caucasian, and so forth. But as a whole, we all share 99.99+ percent of the same genetic makeup.

Jesus came to earth for the human race. Aren't you glad He didn't come for the angels (Heb. 2:16)? For the plants? And as much as we love our pets, Jesus didn't hang on the cross for the transgressions of Snowball, Fluffy, or Rex the Hamster.

True enough, God has plans to redeem creation (Rom. 8:19-21), and He will create a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21:1). But it was for you that God's arms were outstretched on the cross. It was for your sins that Christ absorbed with full sensitivity the awful wrath of God.

That's why we can sing the children's song without crossing our fingers: "Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight." No two people are truly identical—even identical twins are remarkably different. Yet all of us are part of the same global family, a world that God loved so much that He sacrificed His only Son (John 3:16).

So let me ask you a question. If peoples from every tribe, tongue, and nation will live unified forever in heaven (Rev. 7:9), why do our churches here on earth appear so segregated, divided, and schismatic?

Pause and Reflect

Why does racism pose one of the greatest threats to evangelism?

Why is grace an effective answer to racism? What spiritual gifts are effective in overcoming racism?

Read John 17:21. What should this teach us about God's perspective of the church? How should this motivate us in our dealings with other denominations and Christian traditions?

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