Focus of Thought:
Where do I begin? Or better yet, how can I start over? Growing in the Christian community has nurtured me to be the woman I am growing into today. However, I have noticed a predicament within the Christian community, seldom addressed. The topic of race in the church, has launched my awareness of what it has meant to be a person of color in the eyes of God and brethren. I know that God has made me in his image, confirmed in Genesis 1:27. However, in the eyes of fellow believers, I’m not certain that many fully agree in what God has spoken. In the early stages of forming the church, Peter learns in Acts 10:28 that he “should not call any human beings common or unhallowed or [ceremonially] unclean” [AMPC], which conflicted Jewish customary. I understand that racism is a cultural problem, that many have learned and subscribed to. The problem with many believers that adhere to these racist customary practices is that they refuse to address them when it comes plainly before there eyes. How can they grow and mature without coming to light, choosing to stay in darkness? Instead many, disguise their growth or maturity as a believer with separation. Within my own observation, the church still seems to be one of the most segregated places. I’m not referring to Jim Crow signs hanging outside of church doors. I’m talking about the obvious reasons church homes are chosen. Most of the time churches are chosen for people who think and look like us, giving the last reason to the join to the Word of God that is taught. This provides some sort of growth or maturity that is weed like. Many are growing some of their inherently evil custom without notice, creating weeds all over the church that is choking the good growth of unity among believers.
Expression of Thought:
I am a part of a congregation that is mostly black. This has been by design, because of the very practice of segregation. This has created an existing culture that has separated the idea of God. It seems that there is now a different God for each culture, race or creed. The problem with this idea is not just differences of who we believe God to be, it is that the most popular God is worshipped. Within my experiences, this means that at most times a white god is worshipped. In a study done by the University of North Carolina, they interviewed “511 Americans — 330 men, 181 women, 26 percent black, 74 percent Caucasian they had them look through hundreds of pairs of faces, the majority chose a much younger and much friendlier version of the Almighty.” The researchers also noted that “when believers think about God, they perceive a divine mind who is suited to meet their needs and who looks like them,” the researchers wrote. “Even though American Christians express belief in a universal God, their perceptions of his face are not universally similar.” Here is the face: