Thursday, June 20, 2013

We Are All Ethnic

Have you ever noticed how churches for non-whites are called ethnic churches? Ethnic churches, ethnic ministries, ethnic initiatives--these expressions are becoming increasingly common among American Evangelical leaders--many of whom are white.

Beautiful Diversity
There's just one problem with this terminology--we're all ethnic. Ethnic churches are just churches! In fact, a predominantly Caucasian church is an ethnic church!

What is really happening here is an us-and-them dichotomy. The Caucasian leadership within a denomination is normative and by corollary, Caucasian churches are normative, but the others are not--they are ethnic. This is very insensitive! By labeling predominantly Black, Latin/Hispanic or Asian churches as ethnic, their legitimacy and significance is diminished.

One reality that this terminology points to is the fact that the leadership in many Christian organizations and churches lack diversity! Intentionally seeking diversity in the leadership of our organizations would be a healthy move for the Evangelic church and would do a lot to break down this dichotomy between Caucasian churches and the larger body of Christ.

How can we better talk about this issue without it becoming divisive?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

A hearty amen from me.