I got a little fired up today reading something on Facebook – imagine that! The blog Hello Christian reposted an article from the Huffington Post that basically said the “White Church” is the anti-Christ. Well, if there is such a thing as the “White Church,” I would agree that it is an anti-Christ, as would be the “Black Church” or the “Russian Church” or the “Korean Church” or any other church that singles itself out and identifies itself in any other way than CHRIST’S CHURCH!
But the premise the Huffington Post article makes is wrong…as is the case with many of the Huffington Post articles I have seen. You see, if you truly are a Christ follower, there is no such thing as a white church, black church or any other fill-in-the-blank church. There is only Jesus and HIS church.
I made a comment on Facebook that if you actually believed in these other types of churches, perhaps you are not really following Jesus and should take a look at Matthew 7:21 to understand where you stand with Jesus. That’s that pesky verse that says the many will call Jesus Lord and He will tell them that He never knew them and for them to leave. If you actually believe you serve Jesus in one of these named churches, I think you have a bigger problem than being a racist and that problem is eternal.
Here’s the truth according to scripture. In Jesus, there are no more divisions, just unity. Paul tells us in Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” So, if I choose as a white guy to go to a predominately black fellowship on Sunday, I should be welcomed with open arms! If any follower of Jesus comes to my fellowship on Sunday, we will love them as our own regardless of their race, creed, color, national origin, struggle with sin or anything else. We in the faith are brothers and sisters in Christ and that is how God intends us to be!
So where does this stuff come from that claims that the church is splintered by color?
U.S. Senator Ron Paul made a pretty insightful comment that I think we can apply to the church as well. Sen. Paul said, “Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that view humans strictly as members of groups rather than individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who are superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectives, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called “diversity” actually perpetrate racism. Their obsession with racial identity is inherently racist. The true antidote to racism is liberty.”
We as Christians are called over and over again throughout scripture to be in unity, yet we in the church fall prey to this kind of collectivist thinking, not by race but by theology! I just did a quick Google search to see how many Christian denominations there are. Depending on which survey you look at, there are between 9,000 and 38,000 Christian denominations!!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT??? The Apostle Paul must be rolling in his grave (that’s just a saying, he’s in heaven with Jesus!).
I’m going to make a bold statement but one I know I can back up with scripture: For Christians, there is only one church; there is only one Bride of Christ; there is only one baptism, there is only one who has paid the price for our sins; there is only one to whom we owe our salvation. JESUS!
Now, I’m not going to say there are not people out there who call themselves a “Christian church” that act in racist and bigoted ways. There are – just look at the so-called Westboro Baptist Church. But again, for those of us who are true followers of Jesus Christ, we know they are not part of the church. How? Because Jesus told us three very important things:
- You will know my disciples by the way they love each other – John 13:35
- You will know false prophets by their fruit – good trees bear good fruit; bad trees bear bad fruit (when compared to God’s commands) – Matthew 7:15-20
- If you love Jesus, you will do what He commands– John 14:15
While we are not to judge “outsiders,” Paul tells us clearly in 1 Corinthians 5:9-12 that we are, indeed, to judge those inside the church. If you claim to be part of the church – the Bride of Christ – your brothers and sisters in the church have plenty of scriptural information from Jesus and the Apostles telling us EXACTLY what you should look like. And simply put, if you don’t live by the words of Scripture, you’re not one.
A church that claims it is a “White Church” and discriminates against other churches is not part of the Bride of Christ. A “Black Church” that doesn’t love its Christian brothers and sisters of every color including white is not part of the Bride of Christ. A church that spews hate and claims God hates someone is not part of the Bride of Christ. And…you’re probably going to hate this one…a church that decides that God is wrong in what He deems sin and changes God’s word to fit their particular cultural and political worldview is an apostate church and not part of the Bride of Christ.
Christians, we are not united because we all believe that Jesus is the Messiah! We are united because God loved us first and we as His sheep hear Jesus’ voice and come to Him! It’s not about us and what we believe, it’s about Jesus and what He has told us.
And that’s the final test to see if someone is a true follower of Jesus and a church that is bride of Christ – Is it about them or is it about Jesus? Simple question that quickly gets answered.
To my Christian brothers and sisters of color – you have been treated horribly! Yet, rejoice in the Lord! He is just and believe me, His justice will mete out a punishment for how you’ve been treated beyond anything you yourselves could come up with! You will be vindicated!
To my white Christian brothers and sisters – our God is a God of reconciliation and redemption. We are told that if our brother has something against us we are to leave our gift on the altar and reconcile before ever coming before God! I personally may not have treated anyone badly, but we can reach out collectively to our brothers and sisters of color and tell them we love them; we are sorry for how others have treated them; and most importantly that we are one with them in Christ Jesus!
There is no white church, there is no black church. There is only Jesus’ church and I am grateful for that!