Pew Research has found that the most diverse religious groups in the United States are Seventh Day Adventists, Muslims, and Jehovah’s Witness. Among the least diverse are Lutherans, United Methodists, Baptists—both Southern and National Baptists. Pew Research focused on 30 religious groups and the vast majority show why Sunday morning in America is still the most segregated hour of the week. This is true despite the clear biblical teaching that God welcomes all people—every class, race, gender, or ethnicity. Here is just one assertion found in Isaiah chapter 56: “Don’t let foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord say, ‘The Lord will never let me be part of his people.’ ‘I will also bless the foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord, who serve him and love his name’ My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” The Bible is clear—God invites and accepts everyone irrespective of who they are. Jesus loved, accepted, and served all sorts of people. Paul and the other apostles suffered to declare the inclusive nature of the Gospel. Based on these truths, the church in America must commit to being inclusive if it is truly the body of Christ.
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