As I reflect on our times and think about the issues we see in our world these days... I have a thought. A thought that bothers me a bit.
I was raised to respect all people, no matter what. I’ve never looked at a person and thought anything about them negatively because they were different than me. I’m referring to race, culture, ethnic background, etc. Now, a person’s character; I’ll be honest... I’ve thought some things. Not good things at times, just being honest. But, it always baffled me that dislike could be fueled by a difference in a person because they aren’t the same as you. Never understood that idealism? Now, let’s look at this from a church standpoint. This is where it gets really bothersome to me.
What should a church look like?
“I believe the best definition was offered by the late missiologist Paul Hiebert, who said, a multiethnic church is “a church in which there is 1) an attitude and practice of accepting people of all ethnic, class and national origins as equal and fully participating members and ministers in the fellowship of the church; and 2) the manifestation of this attitude and practice by the involvement of people from different ethnic, social and national communities as members in the church.”
This definition does not establish a percentage criteria nor does it establish any particular model or format that must characterize a multi-ethnic church. This is a healthy and realistic definition, since the reality is that multi-ethnic churches come in all shapes, sizes, and make-ups.”
I like this part, in this quote:
an attitude and practice of accepting people of all ethnic, class and national origins as equal and fully participating members and ministers in the fellowship of the church;
Acts 10:34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
Rev. 7:9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb,
You see, Heaven will be a place of all sorts of people... and that’s for eternity if you are a believer. So if that be the case, I would think the church should get used to that idea? You get my drift?
As we planned Hill Country Life Church, never a thought entered our minds that we have a specific group of people we will target. Never. We want them all; as does Jesus. His Word clearly defines that.
Race-based churches, Cowboy Churches, denominational churches that restrict people and detour people because of their beliefs and practices, the list goes on and on.
Now, for the record...I’m not knocking other churches. I’m grateful they are providing a place for people to attend (if they are truly preaching Jesus of course). I also fully understand people feel comfortable in these settings at times. I get it. But, it’s not for me and my heart is troubled with it at times and certain situations.
My point is this:
We must stand firm together, as one Body of Christ. Period. No division. Division in believers, no matter the excuse, is not in Gods will. Once again, Heaven will be for eternity and we should start acting as “heavenly citizens” now, here on earth. Believers must stand together in our faith and support each other, no matter the circumstance.
When I say stand together, I mean in faith...and literally standing together in church!
I’ll will end with this.:
Gal3: 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
One Body of Christ (the Church) and one purpose! That’s the goal. Thats WHO WE ARE AND WILL BE. Our church welcomes all...and we are honored to have you.