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Today’s Issues, From a Biblical Perspective!

Today’s Guest: Author Edward Gilbreath!

Posted by truthtalklive on February 6, 2007

Mr. Gilbreath is the author of “Reconciliation Blues-A Black Evangelical’s Inside View of White Christianity”. He is also editor at large for Christianity Today.

Visit www.edgilbreath.com and www.reconciliationblues.com!

Today’s Questions:

Does racism still exist in the Church?
What can Christians do to solve it?

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20 Responses to “Today’s Guest: Author Edward Gilbreath!”

  1. Anonymous said

    I’M A BLACK WOMAN WHO ATTENDS A CHURCH WITH ABOUT 15,000 MEMBERS. THE MAJORITY OF THE CONGREGATION IS BLACK. I ENJOY ATTENDING BLACK CHURCHES B/C I LOVE THEIR STYLE OF MUSIC. THE PREACHER CAN RELATE THE BIBLE TO CIRCUMSTANCES IN MY LIFE. I HAVE ATTENDED A COUPLE OF WHITE CHURCHES & THEY’RE OK. NO, GOD DOESN’T SEE COLOR BUT I DON’T SEE ANYTHING WRONG WITH WORSHIPPING WHERE YOU’RE COMFORTABLE AT.

  2. delorisw said

    I belive most Blacks do not trust white Christians because whites has gone to such pains to make Jesus, God, and everyone in the bible white. As to say that THEY, not the Jews are Gods chosen people. Some even go as far as to say that they ARE the original Jews. They (Europeans) have lied all through out history about bible history in order to give the appearance that they are the only people God has ever fought for.

    I went to a Christian book store looking for a children’s Christian book. ALL of the characters in the book were white except Judas and the devil. WHY IS THAT? Judas and the devil had obvious African features, nappy hair, dark skin and a goat-tee. HOW RACIST IS THAT! What does that say to my child?

    White Christians went to African with bibles and the Africans had land, when they left the Africans had the bibles and the whites had the land. Every where they have gone they have left blonde haired blue eyed babies and taken the riches of the people away from them.

    Even in American they have oppressed African people. It’s really hard to trust them.

  3. Linda said

    I am a white evangelical. I’d like to address this question with some questions that no one seems to dare ask. 1) What would happen if anyone suggested a “White history month”? 2) Why is it OK to have black colleges and not white colleges? 3)Would anyone dare to suggest that “racism” is propogated by black people? I think churches tend to be cultural and each cultural group does what’s comfortable for them. I personally am not at all comfortable worshipping like blacks worship. A group of us have been trying to start a Russian language church in our hometown. We have to work in the language and culture that Russians are comfortable with. Is that sin? My church doesn’t exclude blacks, but why should we change our worship style to attract blacks? We don’t go to black churches and demand that they change their worship to attract us. Yes, we should love and serve one another. That doesn’t mean we have to become ethnically diverse. We are each created different, so we can fulfil different roles in the body of Christ. Accept me like I am (unless I’m sinning) and I’ll love and accept you like you are.

  4. Ed G. said

    Linda,

    I appreciate your heartfelt comments. Just want to say, it’s not a matter of your church changing its worship style to attract blacks. I think the issue–for churches of all races and cultures–is to be faithful to God’s call for them. But we need to be open and sensitive to the fullness of that call.

    I think one part of our call is to recognize the great diversity of Christ’s body, that it’s much bigger than our own cultural perspectives. I believe God rejoices when he sees his people coming together and putting the needs of their brothers and sisters before their own. And I think this has implications for the way we worship, the way we run our businesses, the way we teach students at our Christian schools.

    I commend you for your honest questions. And I would answer one of your questions by saying that “racism” is a two-way street. All of us need to be aware of the things we do, say, or think that are informed by prejudice and cultural blindness. We all need to be pursuing God’s heart on this issue of reconciliation. It may not mean that our white churches change their approach to reach more blacks, Hispanics, or other ethnicities–or vice versa. But it will mean that we all change in some way–sacrificing some parts of our separate cultures to move closer to that one “kingdom culture” that God is building through his followers.

    –Ed Gilbreath, author of Reconciliation Blues (www.reconciliationblues.com)

  5. eether555 said

    All Christians are equal yes, so you ask why white and black churches. I ask why different denominations. I think it is all about our cultural traditions. Racism stems from our fear and unopened minds toward differences in culture.

  6. Anonymous said

    Yes, racism is still in existence in the church. The only way “The Body of Christ” can solve this problem is to preach JESUS and JESUS only. You see in JESUS there is no color. The truth of the matter is, racism has always existed and will always exist whether it is shown in the church or out. RACISM is a clever tool the devil uses to keep people from coming to Christ.

    People always bring up the point of the Jews being God’s chosen people, but we fail to realize that Jews come in all colors and nationalities. We also fail to realize that “God so loved the World that he gave his only begotten Son, that Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
    Therefore, the Gentiles, anyone who is not a Jew have been adopted into the family.

    I am a black woman and I attend a small black church. I have always attended a black church, but I am not limited to a black ministry. I am open to receive from a man or woman of God who has what I need for the saving of my soul (THE WORD OF GOD, WHICH IS JESUS). I will never forget the first time I visited a white church. I was so surprised to hear the same songs that were sung in my church. There were a few things done differently, but what it all boiled down to was the word that was delivered. They preached the GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.

    1) Why would God use slave traders to introduce Jesus to a different people?
    2) Why would God allow races to mix?
    3) Why did God include Ruth, a Moabite woman, in the lineage of Jesus?

    Why??
    “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
    And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are I Corinth. 1:27-28

    There are many questions to pose to this subject.
    It is only natural for someone to think that their “people” are better than the next, without JESUS in their life. I have found that if we as a human race do not expose ourselves to different things in life, we will always feel like our way of doing things is best.

  7. Anonymous said

    Times have changed yet the word of God never Changes. God never wanted people to act the way we do and feel the way we do about people of different race creed or gender. God told Peter to rise and go to Corneilus hosuse. He saved Rehab a cannite woman who is praised in the new testiment and dirrectly in the linage of Jesus(Mt.1:5). We as fellow belivers in Christ have to wake up and understand that the it is time for change. No more white churches and black churches just one body with different members each playing an important part in the role. The hand can not say to the arm I’m disconnecting from you I do not need you anymore, nor can the “black” say to the “white” church we can do it with out you. We are not following the Word of God when we try separte the church into white and black. Christ is coming back to recieve a His bride not bridessss!!!

  8. jda said

    In response to Linda’s comments: I would like to offer some perspective. Black Colleges were created because black “people” who also happened to be American Citizens could not go to the mainstream colleges in America. Black History was a termed coined because black scholars recognized that black peoples contributions to American history were absent in the school history books being written by white authors. Growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood, I never heard about African American contributions in the Revolutionary War (Crispus Atticus), or the Civil War (Buffalo Soldiers) or Scientists like (Dr. Ernest Just) or Benjamin Banneker one of the first black american mathematicians. Mr. Banneker participated in the development plans for Washington D.C. our nation’s capitol. I would not be suprised if Linda were not familiar with these names even though most Evangelicals are quick to make historical references to the constitution. Lastly, black Christian people are really just human beings like Linda with increased melanin in their skin. Black Christians are members of every Christian denomination on the face of the earth. “Black people” don’t all worship one way. Linda’s comments only prove that she would be more informed and educated if she was exposed to some diversity in her worship experience. What is she going to do in heaven, ask for a special place to worship with the White Christians? God help the church.

  9. Anonymous said

    I think that there is something more important than to say “I am not a racist”.

    That is the desire in your heart to not be a racist.

    The Golden Rule trumps racism every time.

  10. Jay said

    Just want to respond quickly to Linda’s questions. I want to begin by saying that usually, when a person asks the questions that Linda has, you wonder if they really ‘get’ it let alone, how they have missed it. First, whites for centuries wrote history and there is an obvious ‘slant’ to that which appears in high school and college History books where the complete history does not appear for those who are learning. Slanted where there is neither a complete history about the impact that African-Americans have had upon this country or the horrible offenses that whites have perpetrated upon African-Americans (see the Tulsa Race Riots of 1921). Having said all of that, it can be said that ‘every’ month is White History Month so having a month where the true accomplishments of African-American’s should bother no one. Regarding your second question, for years (as the history book probably do not accurately reflect) African-Americans were prevented by those in power to learn and it was actually a crime for an African-American to be taught how to read or write. Eventually, people like Fredrick Douglas and others sought to establish institutions were African-Americans could learn. Currently, there are many HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) where many, who are extremely proud of a heritage that is rich in tradition choose to go. Thirdly, racist feelings are felt by both races. The institution of racism can only be perpetuated by those who are in power. It is impossible to establish an institution such as this when your existence has been one of oppression and second-class citizenry. We must all take a look at our ancestry and determine the role that those who have come before us, and even those of us who are here today, have had on the continuance of racism. It is certainly not the Lords will for this type of division among His people and it is only through acknowledgement and His divine intervention, that racism will seek to exist!

  11. Ax17-26 said

    It is all about our Americanized form of Christianity. One of segregation and division.

    1,000’s of denominations based on man-made traditions and interpretations of Scriptures. The majority ruled by a mini-pope that determines what is truth and what is error, he alone being the full authority.

    One Church on the street for blacks, another church on the street for whites. Both supposedly worhsipping the same Jesus Christ, yet is His body to be divided?

    The issue is that we as Christians have stopped looking to the Holy word of God for direction and have forsaken it for the worlds “knowledge”. Until we renew our minds in His word and forsake our flesh and the wordly system, we will continue to divide and not conquer.

    There is hatred on boths sides of this issue from both “white” and “black” alike. Neither is Biblical.

    I believe everyone needs to listen to some of Dr. Charles Ware’s messages dealing with culture and reconciliation along with Ken Ham’s teachings on racism. Dr. Ware is a “black” American and Ken Ham is a “white” Australian now American citizen.

  12. F. L. A. said

    We have some of Ken Hams books.Tey are most….interesting.
    Tell me your thoughts on “conquering”.What exactly did you mean by this statement?

  13. Ax17-26 said

    In reference to “conquering” – “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalitites, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” Eph 6:12. Vs 11 speaks of the Christian putting on the whole armor of God.

    It is really a shame that the one “religion” that is supposed to be united as one body is so divided against itself, rejecting its Head.

    Islamics are separated based on interpretation of the Koran and Hadith – not skin color or ethnic background. We, as Christians, say we have the truth and it is in Jesus Christ who reconciles all unto God by His death, burial and resurrection. Yet, the world looks at us and says “Reconcile? These christians are separated based on skin color and they talk to us about being reconciled?!”

    Jesus is not blonde haired and blue eyed, nor is He what we would consider “African-American”. By birth from His earthly mother, His characteristics are Jewish.

  14. F. L. A. said

    Yes, “the world” does tend to notice those things.Dualistic theological views have this annoying tendency to sometimes foster an elitist view, as “God’s chosen people”, which can lead to social horrors of all kinds.It’s a crying shame, really.
    Jewish characteristics? And they are?

  15. zerxil said

    YOU KNOW the same characteristics as the middle east terrorists.

  16. F. L. A. said

    As in…..dark skin color, and blackish-brown colored eyes and hair?
    Why, they could be Cuban or Mexican as far as THAT goes, Zerxil.
    But perhaps Ax17-26 will enlighten me.

  17. Ax17-26 said

    I don’t see the relevance of Jesus’ characteristics? We can be assured that all the pictures we see hanging around of what Jesus supposedly looks like, are infact, a cultural interpretation of what the artist wants Him to look like.

    An example would be all the aparitions of the virgin Mary to all the Roman Catholic adherents. In Mexico she is darkskinned. In Rome, light skinned. In Africa, very dark skin. Etc….

    Do a search on Hebrew/Jewish characteristics and then you can get a general glimpse of the type skin tone, etc.

    I also can’t remember but think that either National geographic or Discovery Channel did a documentary and came up with what Jesus looked like and I think they did for Adam as well. And we know the Discovery channel and National Geographic is always accurate and truthful 😉

  18. F. L. A. said

    You are correct about the cultural interpretations of these ancient personalities.It was the Discovery Channel.It was their magazine that We read the article about the possible appearance of Jesus.Or that is, a 30-ish year old man that fit his time period, and the same known religious and cultural stipulations.As for Adam, I don’t think so….

  19. zerxil said

    So in Mexico the picture of Mary is probably about right.

  20. F. L. A. said

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Could be.
    But unless one is some kind of “pure-race fanatic” it probably matters not.Humans are humans.

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