Throughout our history there have been times when non-Christians see through our hypocrisy. They recognize that not everyone is truly welcome in our churches. These are times when we’ve worried about being politically right when we should be focused on being biblically correct.
The root of American evangelical hypocrisy is smugness; a historical inability to understand God’s unfailing mercies for the immigrant, his unfailing love for the poor among us. If our sense of worth is measured by privatized religion and political culture—from our color, to our work ethic, to the neighborhoods we live and worship in—we remain independent of God and self-sufficiently smug. Christ cannot help us. We are not being his church.
So the question I ask myself, and pose to every pastor, is: Shall I build a church that isolates us from immigrants, or should I embrace God’s story of welcome?
It is easy to raise a church with one culture, one language, one worldview. Anyone can raise up a large that is one culture. But building a church that includes the alien, the immigrant poor, can only be done with Christ. That is our biblical challenge and our biblical mandate.
Loving the San Francisco Bay Area... Community development, urban ministry, trying to defeat poverty, faith, religion, politics, good music, the quest for the perfect pizza, the Yankees, motorcycles... All in a 'day's life'
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Alien Nation by Dr. Isaac Canales
Dr. Canales wrote an excellant piece at the Out of Ur Blog. Here's an excerpt: