Now that you think the preacher guy has gone all liberal on you, take a few minutes and read past the heading. My hope was that the title would just get you to read a little further down the page. Obviously it did.
Yesterday I was having a conversation via tex with a local friend in ministry. He was sharing some ideas about how to fix a few issues we had with an event here in town last week. Truth be known, he and I share a lot of the same frustrations. We both moved here from the outside, we are not native Malvernites. Our perspective is quite different and rubs many local "good ol boys" the wrong way...which I must honestly admit I like.
Last wednesday night we hosted what was quite possibly the largest inter-denominational/multiethnic ministry event in the history of our town. This place is divided...especially when it comes to church. I would dare say that the largest multiethnic congregation in town is our youth ministry. That is sad, considering that our denomination has its roots here, and there are several other large churches quite capable of being multiethnic, but simply refuse. It is like stepping back in time.
I have heard the stories. I have heard the excuses. I am just frustrated with the cowardice of the church not to step up and be the leader it was called to be. We are too afraid of losing a major contributor or offending part of the "family", so we sit idly by and let our neighbors of a different race go to hell. Essentially, that is what we are telling them..."go to hell." We have lost a sense of compassion and replaced it with comfort. Jesus was the master of multiethnic ministry. He was always reaching out to people not like Him, people who were not supposed to socialize with Galileans, much less a Rabbi.
I was excited to see the cross burning bigots down the road get a stiff prison sentence for their hate against a local interracial couple. I can't wait till this arrogant Justice of the Peace in Louisiana gets removed from office and has charges filed for refusing to marry a couple from different races. His excuse was that he wanted to protect the kids...kids they don't have yet. Truth be told, he was protecting the kids from more racist bigots like him. The scary thing is, ask the cross burning hate-mongers or the self-righteous Justice of the Peace and they will more than likely all claim to be...wait for it...christians. Think again.
I am proud of our students. They put aside their race, denomination, socio-economics, and even school mascots to gates under one banner, the banner of Christ. Last Wednesday, and estimated 300-400 students came through the gates at the football field in Malvern to worship together and bring their friends to Jesus. Sixty-seven students did just that, accepting Jesus and the Lord of their life, including one young lady here as an exchange student from Germany. She is coming out to our youth service Wednesday night.
There is hope for the future. The lines of discrimination and hate are slowly eroding in this generation. Join with us and continue to pray for our communities, states, and nation to truly be one under the banner of Christ.