Recent research shows Sunday morning worship is still the most segregated time of the week, even though there has been a slight uptick in the number of African Americans who attend white churches. Yet when they do, research shows the attitudes of whites toward African Americans remains the same. All this flies in the face of biblical teaching that the body of Christ should be inclusive. Not only do we see this modeled in the early church–as recorded in Acts. CH. 13 reveals that the church leadership was composed of Jewish and African believers. We also have the Apostle Paul’s passionate plea for an inclusive church recorded in Ephesians CH. 2. There he writes, Christ “has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.” So while distinctive cultures are often tough to overcome, followers of Christ have the Holy Spirit to enable them respect and accept all members of His body. They should do it because the Bible teaches it, because it’s for our mutual edification, but because it is a powerful witness to the outside world.
Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.
Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More