Insiders and outsiders. It’s always been a challenge for Christians. The moment the first Gentile embraced faith in Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, the differences between Gentiles and Jews became a challenge for the church. Frankly, this problem still plagues us today. But as I read this portion of Ephesians 2 I was struck by God’s desire for unity.
Instead of continuing with two groups of people separated by centuries of animosity and suspicion, he created a new kind of human being, a fresh start for everybody.
—Ephesians 2:15, MSG
In February I was fortunate to participate in a race and faith forum Tyndale House hosted in Tampa, Florida. I won’t forget the insights of Benjamin Watson and Tony Dungy; indeed, all the panelists spoke thoughtfully on the black experience in America. (Incidentally, if you are interested you can visit this site to view the sessions: underourskinforum.com). It was a white pastor from Detroit—who has become a dear friend and NavPress author—who caught my attention.
Amidst the conversation on cultural diversity and ethnic reconciliation, Kevin Butcher suggested that we shouldn’t be proud of churches that are multiethnic; the church should be multiethnic! Sadly, I live in a community where I share the pew with few people who are not Caucasian. I can only dream of the day when all people groups come together to be united as one—as The Message text suggests, “a new kind of human being.”
When I read that, I’m not suggesting we emerge as some superhero, a biomechatronic being created out of organic and industrial parts. No, it would appear that God delights in our flesh-and-blood humanity—whatever our ethnic background—coming together as one, tearing the walls of hostility down, sharing all that we have in common through Christ. That’s not only one amazing human being; that is a disciple.
1 thought on “Cyborg, Anyone?”
Don, insightful words. True words. Say them loudly and often and far and wide. Speak them prophetically, with humility but also with tough love, to the church. Because culture will not go…where the body of Jesus Christ has not led them…