Church members, black and white, gather online to pray for justice, healing after death of George Floyd
As fires, tear gas and violence reigned on the streets…
As we celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Lu-Ann Farrar of the Lexingon (Ky.) Herald-Leader asks:
“Why are so few U.S. churches racially integrated?”
Roger Bruner, a regular blogger for the newspaper and minister for the Mill Street Church of Christ in London, Ky., offers his thoughts:
“The congregation Church of Christ is integrated and always has been.
“The church of the Bible was to be composed of people of all nationalities This is not new, for integration was the major issue in the church from the outset.
“Integration between Jew and Gentile was the big obstacle addressed in every New Testament epistle. Passages addressed to either an individual Christian or church condemned prejudice and called upon them to accept one another as brethren, equals, ‘fellow-citizens’ in the household of God.
“Racial prejudice exists because a perverted message is proclaimed. Perverted messages exist because of the selfish motives of false teachers.
“A true church that follows Christ’s teachings will accept all upon the terms that God has ordained: faith and obedience to these commands of Christ.”
Do you agree? (Read the full story.)
The Christian Chronicle strives to highlight efforts by Churches of Christ to bridge the racial divide in our country. Bobby Ross Jr. reported on churches in the Detroit area that shared the goal of “getting beyond the handshake.” Bobby also reported on the Florissant Church of Christ, a 500-member congregation in Missouri that is about 60 percent white and 40 percent black. A few years ago, I wrote about unity talks and mergers among predominantly white and predominantly black Churches of Christ in Oklahoma and Mississippi. Illinois church member Loventrice Farrow wrote a “Views” column, “Desegregating Sunday is a spiritual imperative.” Finally, here’s an editorial on the subject.
There is no lack of discussion on the subject of integration. What are we doing about it?
On a personal note, several Churches of Christ here in the Oklahoma City area are planning a weekend of worship and outreach for April 15-17. My congregation, the Memorial Road Church of Christ, is participating, along with a number of predominantly black churches.
In preparation for the event, groups of Memorial Road members spent Sunday night visiting African-American congregations. My family was part of the group that visited the Eastside Church of Christ in Oklahoma City.
The Eastside church had just started learning the song “How Great is our God” and asked us Memorial Road folks to help them out. The result was a rousing, extended version of the song that nearly took the roof off the place.
After the song, my 3-year-old daughter said, “That was great!” Her friend, Karli, sitting next to her, said, “No, that was super great!”
What strides are Churches of Christ in the U.S. making toward racial integration? Is it difficult to integrate? Should racial unity be a primary goal of the Lord’s church?
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