Posts Tagged ‘multiethnic’

I just had a long FB debate/discussion concerning my last blog post. One of the things that was brought up was that I was singling out African Americans in the Eddie Long situation as the only ones who are too lenient with their leaders. It is painfully obvious that there are fallen leaders in the Body of Christ and many people will give them undying loyalty. I think that is a given. What I am attempting to communicate and what I have noticed is that as a people I believe that we let things slide too much and this is to the detriment of our community. From that perspective I could care less what Haggard, Swaggart, Bakker or whoever else have done. It is grievous spiritually but I am talking from a social perspective. African Americans as a people group are in a greater danger for allowing our leaders to abuse and manipulate us. We have the least amount of assets. We also are more prone to let our lives be guided by the church. The preacher still has a huge voice in the community and competes with the rapper for swaying the people towards this trend or that trend. And this is where I have to confess:

I have not done justice to my own community. I have been outside of my community critiquing it privately. Well that is not going to solve anything. I am now committed to offering constructive criticism as well as getting my hands dirty in my community. Yes everyone needs help but I believe we as African Americans are the saddest case of all. Out of all the ethnicities in America we have been given the most opportunity and we squander it. I am committed to at least figuring out why and attempting to put a stop to it. We are the last in everything except criminality and buffoonery. This is unacceptable! For the past eight years I have been leading and serving in a multiethnic church and it has opened my eyes to other peoples and other cultures but it has also opened my eyes to who I am and the plight of my own people. So Am I too hard on black people? Who knows. I do know that right now I am hard on myself.

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Ten years ago I experienced something that changed my life. Right about this time I would have been reeling from it and trying to process what I had just experienced. I had just returned from my first short term mission trip. Before this trip I had never been out of the country and only a few times out of the state. Many go on short term mission trips and say some of the same things but this trip was special and I was privileged to be a part of what God was doing in Ethiopia in the summer of 2000. Even though I am far away time wise and geography wise I still experience the sights and sounds of that trip and I believe it was powerful not just because it was a trip to a faraway exotic place but it was one of the most poignant glimpses of God’s kingdom that I have ever seen. It wasn’t really the actual trip but the people involved and I am forever grateful to be a part of that team. There are so many reasons why being on that team was so powerful for me but I can really boil it down to a few that I take with me wherever I go. It was a team that was powerful enough to embrace the diversity of the kingdom of God as we were comprised of caucasians, african americans, asians, ethiopians and even a mexican (shout out to Miguel!). It was powerful enough to display the unity of the kingdom as we united together for not only a common cause but common virtues of love, humility, and peace. Lastly it was powerful enough to demonstrate the reality of the kingdom as people witnessed our unity in diversity and we were known as Jesus’ disciples because of our love (John 13:35). Since then I have longed to see that kind of community in action and I’m glad to say that God has given me occasional glimpses along the way. Thanks alot Ethiopia 2000 Summer Project! Ten years ago in Whittier I had no idea that meeting you God would give me such a picturesque glimpse into his kingdom.