Tuesday, June 17, 2008

How Should the Church be? Part 4

For my fourth post on this subject, I think it's important to think about the church as striving to display what it will be like in heaven. Therefore, the church should be intentional in seeking to be ethnically diverse. Before I go any further, let me clarify something. If you live in an area where there isn't but one ethnicity, then obviously that will be the make up of the church. However, many of us do not live in such a place. I also want to make clear that there is a major difference between saying, "we are fine with other ethnic groups coming to church" and saying, "we will go out of our way to make sure we are reaching all peoples with the gospel." In the first statement, it is very passive. In the second, we are active. The church ought to be active in its desire to be multi-ethnic. I take this from Revelation 5:9-10:

And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth."
So it is clear from this passage that the bride that Jesus Christ bought is from every peoples. If this is true, then it's not a matter of how someone is alike or different from others. What matters is that there is one God whom has sent His Son to purchase a colorful bride for Himself. The church must seek to see people come to Christ from every tribe and language and people and nation. When will the church realize this and seek to honor the death of Christ by being as ethnically diverse as possible?

5 comments:

BillyB said...

Randy,

I think we should restrict membership in our churches to only those people whom God created and loves.

Oh, wait, that's all people. I guess it's obvious then, we need to have congregations as varied in ethnicity as the world the God created.

Who are we to pick and chose?

Randy said...

Billy,
That is my point. However, most people have a tendency to go after "their own kind." My point is that we are all created in the image of God and that there is only one race (human). Therefore, the church ought to display as best as possible the beauty in diversity within the body.
As far as the first remark, there are restrictions within the Bible to those who have experience the love to God in a regenerate way. We are not to have any and everyone in our membership. Membership is to be reserved for those who have given evidence of salvation in their lives. So I agree that it ought to be open to every ethnicity, but they still have to give evidence of regeneration.

BillyB said...

I thought it went without saying that the church is made up of Christians. I think that is self evident in the definition of what God calls the church, the Bride of Christ.

Randy said...

Very true Billy. However, many people don't think it's that clear. With that being identified, you are exactly right that it ought to be as diverse as possible. I can't wait to see the beauty and color around the throne of God. What an amazing Savior that He would purchase people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. He is an awesome God!

BillyB said...

You are so right, my brother!