Paraphrasing a line attributed to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the most segregated hour in America is still 11:00am on Sunday morning. It's a sad reality that we see on a weekly basis. Recent racial conflict like that which occurred in Ferguson bear witness to the fact that we are still a long way off from the peace to which God calls us as human beings.
Today at CT, Rudy Carrasco--who has been involved in racial reconciliation ministry through the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) since 1990--offers four principles that guide his efforts to racial reconciliation:
1) Expand the Table (without sacrificing black and white)
2) Personal Relationships
3) Racial Reconciliation 2.0
4) They Are In Their 50s and 60s
The priniciples aren't easily summarized without compromising Carrasco's meaning. So, please see his well-written explanation of them here. These principles can guide each of us as we reshape our thinking in a more biblical way. Notably, at the conclusion of his article, Carrasco is encouraged that: "As we look with a biblical lens into the brokenness of the church and America, there is the possibility of edification and, yes, racial reconciliation."
He is not alone in his thinking. In the past few years, there have been several encouraging signs that the matter of racial reconciliation is on the minds of Christians in America in an ever increasing way. Trillia Newbell, in her book, United, casts a magnificent vision for the kind of diversity and racial reconciliation that God desires in our churches. (See our interview with her here at Christianity.com.) Also, pastor and author, John Piper, promotes and preaches this vision with great impact in his ministry via a book and video entitled "Bloodlines."
At times, church leaders take superficial approaches to foster diversity in their congregations. Raymond Goodlett, co-pastor of a racially diverse congregation in Richmond, Virginia offers wise counsel on that issue and speaks of the importance of deep repentance in this video.
What about you? How do you see the need for racial reconciliation in your church and community? How committed are you to personally take part in achieving it?
Alex Crain is the editor for Christianity.com.