I have heard several times over the years people talk about the church as though we can pick and choose what/who makes up the church. For instance, this past week I overheard a conversation between two men. One of the men was white while the other was black. They were talking about the difference between preaching in a 'white' church and a 'black' church. The conversation was friendly and both agreed there is more excitement in the 'black' church. However, as I listened (they were quite loud so it was really just about impossible not to listen) I wondered if the definition of the church was a correct definition.
What I mean by this is that the church is the church. The church is the bride of Christ composed of those who believe from every tribe and language and people and nation. I think we do a great injustice to try to say anything different. Some say they're white church, others say their black churches. Some say they're traditional while others are contemporary. Some are old churches (as in their members) while others are young churches. The list can go on and on and on. In fact, often times church 'experts' will tell you that you need to have a 'target group' that you are trying to reach.
I have a huge problem with this because IT IS HIS CHURCH! The target group is pretty clear to me. We are to go and make disciples of all nations. We are to seek to see those from every tribe and tongue and language and nation become followers of Christ. I understand language barriers. I do not understand how we can justify having different churches based on color.
I heard of someone who once stated they didn't want to go to two services with one being contemporary in style and the other traditional because it says the world watching us that we are not really united. Our preference of music is enough to divide us. I wonder, are we not stating the same thing when we make excuses for not worshipping together based on the color of skin? Are we not saying something like this, "We believe in Jesus. Jesus has reconciled us to the Father and to one another. We are united by faith in Christ and the fact that the Holy Spirit now dwells in each of us. However, our color of skin is stronger than that unity in Christ!" Maybe I'm wrong, but that conversation has been in my mind for several days now.
Beloved, the gospel is more than enough to unite us together. Does our practice show that truth or hinder that truth?