Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
There are an increasing number of churches singing the heavenly chorus: “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” (Rev. 5:9-10). Not only are they singing this song, they are also committed to praying and working toward this eschatological reality being realized now in the present time. Churches in a local community ought to reflect the make-up of those singing this song around the throne, at least as much as that is possible in one’s own community.
As one ponders this, what does it mean for a people who are predominately represented as they attempt to reflect more accurately the future eschatological reality now in the present? In other words, what does it mean to be one representing the majority culture who is committed to reflect the throne of heaven in a local church? Often, those who are in the majority will not fully realize or sense the implications of that as it impacts those in the minority. In actuality, it is the one in the minority that will feel this most acutely. Both make concessions without absolute compromise but they do so differently with different kinds of costs.
Up to this point I have identified majority and minority culture and said nothing about race. Race, however, is one of the major markers of this discussion. As one considers this historically, which has become more evident in the past couple of years, race is an important matter for the church of Jesus Christ to discuss and address. Specifically, although not limited to, this focuses on the relationship between African-American and white.
I have learned much about this in the past couple of years, which God in his grace has enabled me to see through a gospel-centered lens, and, yet, I have so much more to learn.
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