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Christian Interests => Restoration Movement Forum => Organized Religion and Religious Movements Discussions => Churches of Christ Forum => Topic started by: snoopdawg on Thu Aug 07, 2008 - 20:13:35

Title: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: snoopdawg on Thu Aug 07, 2008 - 20:13:35
I mean where I am there are white cOC's and black cOC's. Not that its really are problem, just sayin'.

You have a few black families scattered through white cOC's but that is not what I mean by intergration.

Why the seperation if Jesus does not see a reason to seperate? The church is suppose to be representin.'




(sp in title fixed)
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Aug 07, 2008 - 21:21:25
There are plenty of one-race churches around here.  Clearly, this is sin.  Always.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: marc on Thu Aug 07, 2008 - 21:26:56
Yes, they will be, but it might take a long while.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Johnb on Thu Aug 07, 2008 - 22:00:32
snoopdawg
It is a matter of choice.  Most blacks do not want to attend the typical boring white CoC.  Even when I was a ultra conservative legalistic CoC preacher I would rather attend a black CoC than white and I am white.  The service was spirit filled and fun compared to the stiff boring white CoC.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: charlie on Thu Aug 07, 2008 - 22:03:57
Personal preference.

Black people and white people are completely welcome to attend or join any congregation they like. What you find, though, is that the singing and preaching style of one is more typical of the personal preferences of one group or another. It's not the people, so much as the way that most people sing and what kind of preaching they insist on hearing.

So while it may not be integrated, it's certainly not segregated. Nor is it what I would call separate but equal.

They're just different.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Thu Aug 07, 2008 - 22:07:45
Of course, that's a double-edged stereotype that doesn't always reflect reality, Johnb.  I've been to some pretty boring black churches as well, and vice-versa.  In the bigger picture, I doubt the stereotyping each does of the other really helps matters much, and probably contributes to prolonged distance-keeping.

Where I live, the congregations are already integrated with some exceptions in the western part of the state and NYC (and no, that doesn't mean there are a few black families in "white churches").
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: marc on Thu Aug 07, 2008 - 22:08:21
Problem is, they've developed in a way that's segregated because segregation was at one time forced and pretty much have separate histories.  Things have not always been so--the earthquake those of you in the Nashville area feel is David Lipscomb turning over in his grave.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Fri Aug 08, 2008 - 00:04:50
Things have not always been so--the earthquake those of you in the Nashville area feel is David Lipscomb turning over in his grave.

I wondered what that was.  Might have been enough to knock the bison over on campus...

Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Fri Aug 08, 2008 - 00:10:26
By the way, I wasn't aware that the racial segregation of churches was just a CofC problem...

I remember visiting a church in Georgia one time that appeared to be half and half (half black, half white).  But, that was an exception, not the rule.

Churches tend to reflect the communities where they're located.  If a community is racially segregated, then so will the churches be.  Churches in areas where mostly black people live will tend to be black, and the same is true for white churches in white areas.  It's still a societal problem.  But, it seems that things have improved (even if we still have a ways to go).
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Fri Aug 08, 2008 - 00:15:42
By the way, I wasn't aware that the racial segregation of churches was just a CofC problem...

I remember visiting a church in Georgia one time that appeared to be half and half (half black, half white).  But, that was an exception, not the rule.

Churches tend to reflect the communities where they're located.  If a community is racially segregated, then so will the churches be.  Churches in areas where mostly black people live will tend to be black, and the same is true for white churches in white areas.  It's still a societal problem.  But, it seems that things have improved (even if we still have a ways to go).

If someday, everyone is a shade of brown due to "inter-racial" marriages, will people still discriminate on minor shade or cultural backgrounds?
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Fri Aug 08, 2008 - 05:29:34
By the way, I wasn't aware that the racial segregation of churches was just a CofC problem...

I remember visiting a church in Georgia one time that appeared to be half and half (half black, half white).  But, that was an exception, not the rule.

Churches tend to reflect the communities where they're located.  If a community is racially segregated, then so will the churches be.  Churches in areas where mostly black people live will tend to be black, and the same is true for white churches in white areas.  It's still a societal problem.  But, it seems that things have improved (even if we still have a ways to go).

If someday, everyone is a shade of brown due to "inter-racial" marriages, will people still discriminate on minor shade or cultural backgrounds?
Darfur, Rowanda, the Baltics, et al.  Sadly, yes, that would be the case. In the Kingdom, however, such should not be.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Johnb on Fri Aug 08, 2008 - 07:12:34
jmg
I have been to some good services at white cocs but they have been the liberal ones not the legalistic brand.  Call it stereotype if you wish but I have never been to a boring service in a black coc.  There is a cultural difference and blacks as a group are more comfortable in their own culture for doing church.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Lee Freeman on Fri Aug 08, 2008 - 09:33:20
Segregated churches is everybody's problem, not just ours. Few white churches, North or South were integrated before the Civil Rights Movement and even then few were/are.

The Stone-Campbell leaders were mostly anti-slavery (James Shannon being the one exception I can think of); Pardee Bulter was actually an abolitionist in Kansas who was tarred and feathered once and run out of town because of his abolitionist views. Campbell himself was against slavery but not on scriptural grounds, because scripture did not condemn it, but on moral, ethical and social grounds. He witnessed firsthand the bad treatment many slaves received at the hands of their white owners. He thus freed his slaves. Barton Stone, a member of an African colonization organization in Kentucky freed his slaves, and actually paid to send them to Africa.

E. L. Elam (1855-1929), an associate of Lipscomb's, an editor of the GA and on the faculty of Lipscomb's and Harding's Nashville Bible School (he was later president),  had adopted a black girl who lived with him and worshiped with his all-white Nashville congregation, which caused quite a scandal. In April of 1907 S. A. Harris, an influential member of that church, wrote to Elam whether it might not be better for this girl to attend an all-black church a few miles away because her attendance at their all-white church made "a great many of the members sore over the state of affairs." He and Elam corresponded on the issue a few times, with Elam basically saying that he and his wife intended to keep bringing the girl with them, since that's what Jesus would do; to shun an innocent Negro girl because of her race was unChristian. Harris and Elam wrote back and forth a few times and then Elam shared the correspondence with Lipscomb, who began corresponding with Harris, and wrote to him, in part:

"As I understand the above case, a negro child was given Brother and Sister Elam to raise. They have carefully raised and trained her. They have taught her the Bible, carried her to church with them, and she has become a Christian. She is not forward, but deports herself modestly, and is willing to be served last and not participate in the class, which shows she does not thrust herself forward as the social equal of the whites. Brother and Sister Elam, I take it, have never permitted this in their family. She has grown up, because of this, with no charge of deporting herself improperly. Brethren object to her attendance at church. There is a colored congregation more distant, and they think she should go there. She cannot go there, except to go alone or seriously inconvenience Brother Elam's family. Brother and Sister Elam have tried to train her to modesty and virtue, and feel that to send her off by herself while she is young in years and as a Christian, she would be exposed to temptations and influences that would lead her astray--that no white girl should be subjected to. They wish to do by her as they would others should do to them. Are they not right? Can they be Christians and fail to do this? Can any man or woman insist on their doing otherwise and be a Christian? Answer this question in the light of the teaching of the Bible to your own hearts. . . ."

In another letter he writes:


"I was not aware I had evaded any question or point asked, nor do I now understand to what he refers. I stated as plainly and kindly as I know how that the whole idea of churches along race lines is contrary to the spirit and the precepts of the New Testament, and to refuse fellowship to a child of God because of its race or family is to refuse it to Jesus himself. For he said: "Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me." To show it is unscriptural is to show God condemns it. I thought all desired to know what God thinks, not what I think of it. My thinks are nothing. What God thinks is heaven or hell.

"To offend, in the Bible use of the term, is to cause to stumble, to lead into sin. "It were well for him if a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, rather than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble [or to sin]." (Luke 17:2.) That does not mean to make them mad or to hurt their feelings. Sometimes it is right to hurt the feelings of people, even of our brethren. But it is always wrong to lead them into sin or to violate God's law. Now if it is according to God's law that this negro should have the privilege of attending the worship of God where it is most convenient for her and those in charge of her to attend, it is a sin against God to deny it to her; and she and those having charge of her alone are judges of where it is most convenient for her to attend. It is an impertinent and meddlesome interference with the affairs of a family for others to tell it what is or is not convenient for it.

"The only point really involved in this difficulty is, whether we will be led by the Spirit of Christ and the teachings of the Bible or by our prejudices against the negro. The besetting sin of humanity from the beginning has been to follow its own feelings instead of the word of God. To follow our prejudices and feelings instead of the will of God is to rebel against and reject God as our Ruler. This is true whether it is a person, a family, a part of the church, or a whole church. If members of this or any church prefer following their prejudices against the negro to the word of God, and cease to worship with the church, those who follow the word of God do not "offend" or cause the others to stumble or go into sin. They, by example and influence, try to hold them back from sin. But if they yield to them and go with them, then they cause these to offend, to stumble, to sin, and become partakers in their sins.

"I published what I did to show that the best sentiment of the people is not in harmony with the narrow and bitter prejudices of many against the negro, with the hope that the knowledge of this would soften their prejudices and feelings against him. The bitter feeling against the negro is not found among those who know him best. Those who know him best know his weaknesses and shortcomings. They learn to make allowances for and bear with these, and recognize and cultivate his good points. Then all should recognize that there is much of the brutal in all classes and races, and that the negro is much like the whites in this, and can be benefited and uplifted by kindness and attention."


Pax.

Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Fri Aug 08, 2008 - 09:36:12
jmg
I have been to some good services at white cocs but they have been the liberal ones not the legalistic brand.  Call it stereotype if you wish but I have never been to a boring service in a black coc.  There is a cultural difference and blacks as a group are more comfortable in their own culture for doing church.
Like I said, that's the stereotype.  I've seen plenty of the opposite.  I'm not saying that most predominantly black churches are not more expressive than most predominately white churches, just that continuing to use stereotypes in place of truth doesn't work.

For example, most of my black Christian friends were HIGHLY insulted by the new coverage that kept promoting the view that Obama's UCoC church in Chicago was a "typical black church" when it clearly was not.  Stereotypes divide more than they heal.  That's all I'm getting at. 

------------------------

Lee,

You ought to come up and visit our area sometime.  It's an area of over 1,000,000 people and every CofC in the area is integrated.  That's not by accident.  Most were planted in the 50's & 60's and integration was and is a core ideal among the brethren here.  Now, in the western part of NY it's another story.  There are integrated churches and there are black churches.  The black churches aren't segregated, really (Charles made a point about that earlier), but are churches planted by men trained by Marshall Keeble (sometimes they're still referred to as "Keeble churches") and have their own history, vary in church polity/roles, and are very conservative in most areas (some are still KJVers). 

When I was in Texas, there was a great desire on the part of the predominately white congregation for a merger with the only other CofC in town, which was predominately black.  If it were only up to those under 40 it would have happened.  However, the older crowd (in the black congregation) did not desire at all to merge.  It was my impression that they'd lived through so much ugly history they were 1) content where they were and too tired to risk losing that, and 2) probably had some residual (and understandable, to me) hesitancy to trust that the people who'd once banned them from their cafes, schools, and neighborhoods now wanted to share the pew with them.  Truthfully, I believe people really had grown away from those old prejudices (not saying perfectly, but definitely significantly).  I do, however, understand their hesitancy to trust the change.  OTOH, if such healing doesn't start to happen even in the kingdom of God, what hope is there?
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Fri Aug 08, 2008 - 09:55:10
jmg
I have been to some good services at white cocs but they have been the liberal ones not the legalistic brand.  Call it stereotype if you wish but I have never been to a boring service in a black coc.  There is a cultural difference and blacks as a group are more comfortable in their own culture for doing church.

Whether it is exciting and happy clappy or boring and white, I am tired of "doing church."
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Johnb on Fri Aug 08, 2008 - 10:01:19
I am not promoting a stereotype.  Most black churches are more expressive and IMO more spiritual.  No the UCC was no0t a typical black church.  All IMO are welcome in both white and black churches.  However, there are cultural differences and not to recognize that is just dumb.  Most blacks like most whites feel more comfortable going to church where they feel they fit in better.  This is human nature.  If a black person goes to a majority white church either their views and desires are more like the whites or they must give up their culture and to a large degree power to determine the type of service they desire.  If blacks or any group is made to feel unwelcome in a white Church or white to feel unwelcome in a majority black church that is prejudice and segregation.  Folks freely choosing to worship together because of confort and background is not.  I resent the implication that I am presenting stereotypes and by implication a racist.    
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: zoonance on Fri Aug 08, 2008 - 12:40:41
As a lifer in the coc in the Central and Southwest: My experience when attending a short while as the only white family present in a black congregation was similar to what I found as one of only a few white, spanish speaking members in several hispanic congregations.  It was like stepping back 50 years issues that many of "us" had long since dealt with.  It was so .... 5 stepper....     

The music in the black congregation was more animated and "spiritual".  I heard more "amens", "that's right", "say it preacher"   and so forth during preaching.  The depth doctrinally was very shallow throughout with little evidence of having wrestled with much of the meat and/or difficult passages.  Bible knowledge was limited. Party line defense was extremely high.    Same old song book.


hispanic:  Echoes/parroting of what they were taught.  Traditional coc songs translated into spanish.   Like our youth, more and more popular "camp" songs are being translated and sung. 


In the end, integration will be difficult IF there is already a history.   A new congregation with some extremely wise insight up front setting some "guidelines and boundaries" might be the easiest?     (Much like the Council of Acts 15...)

Modified:  I believe that the conflict will be both cultural and doctrinal.  Where doctrine is considered "priority" then that will be the greatest burr under the saddle.   The simple statement "We believe the same things..." is not completely accurate - just look around at "us" and see how well we are doing!

Where cultural difference dictate all aspects of relationships, there will be clashing.  But, this should be somewhat clearer to navigate as humans instinctively know that even amongst "ourselves" we find polemic differences.  We typically do not equate culture itself with being "authorized" by God in scripture but rather an opportunity to love one another despite communication issues - facial expressions, idiomatic phrases, sensitivities, etc.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: marc on Fri Aug 08, 2008 - 12:45:50
Here's some provocative reading in Wineskins. (http://www.wineskins.org/filter.asp?SID=2&fi_key=183&co_key=1593)
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: zoonance on Fri Aug 08, 2008 - 12:55:25
I just skimmed it.  He says it better than I do but I think I am saying basically the same thing.   

*Note that the comments made on the article went straight for the doctrinal positions - not even addressing the point!   Integrate and be prepared for the same....
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Dennis on Fri Aug 08, 2008 - 14:17:51
A few weeks past, there was a thread that asked the question something like "what does it say about a congregation if there are no divorced people there?"  Most people answered that it probably meant that divorced people were not welcome and/or were not being cared for at that congregation.  Why is it any different with racial characteristics?  If there are no black people in my congregation doesn't it mean they are not being served and/or they are not [or at least don't feel] wanted?  Would we say about divorced people, people with addictions, or other sinners who desperately need Christ "oh well, they really want to be with their own kind anyway?"

I think saying "that's the way they want it" is an excuse for a regretable problem that neither side should feel particularly good about.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Fri Aug 08, 2008 - 14:27:37
If there are no black people in my congregation doesn't it mean they are not being served and/or they are not [or at least don't feel] wanted? 

Not necessarily.  It could be that not many black people live in that particular area.

If a church is totally or almost totally white in a community that has a significant percentage of other races, that could indicate more of a problem.

But, we shouldn't be too quick to judge a congregation simply because it's predominantly one race.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Dennis on Fri Aug 08, 2008 - 15:07:19
If there are no black people in my congregation doesn't it mean they are not being served and/or they are not [or at least don't feel] wanted? 
But, we shouldn't be too quick to judge a congregation simply because it's predominantly one race.
I am assuming we are talking about areas where there is a black Church and white Church , since that is how this thread has developed.  My point is, why should we not be too quick to judge on racial grounds when we are perfectly willing to judge on other grounds? In any event, I am not basing my comment simply on a congregation being almost exclusively one race.  I am specifically addressing the defense to such circumstances that says it is because that's the way "they" [as in not "us"] want it.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: zoonance on Fri Aug 08, 2008 - 18:05:46
As a lifer in the coc in the Central and Southwest: My experience when attending a short while as the only white family present in a black congregation was similar to what I found as one of only a few white, spanish speaking members in several hispanic congregations.  It was like stepping back 50 years issues that many of "us" had long since dealt with.  It was so .... 5 stepper....     

The music in the black congregation was more animated and "spiritual".  I heard more "amens", "that's right", "say it preacher"   and so forth during preaching.  The depth doctrinally was very shallow throughout with little evidence of having wrestled with much of the meat and/or difficult passages.  Bible knowledge was limited. Party line defense was extremely high.    Same old song book.


hispanic:  Echoes/parroting of what they were taught.  Traditional coc songs translated into spanish.   Like our youth, more and more popular "camp" songs are being translated and sung. 


In the end, integration will be difficult IF there is already a history.   A new congregation with some extremely wise insight up front setting some "guidelines and boundaries" might be the easiest?     (Much like the Council of Acts 15...)

Modified:  I believe that the conflict will be both cultural and doctrinal.  Where doctrine is considered "priority" then that will be the greatest burr under the saddle.   The simple statement "We believe the same things..." is not completely accurate - just look around at "us" and see how well we are doing!

Where cultural difference dictate all aspects of relationships, there will be clashing.  But, this should be somewhat clearer to navigate as humans instinctively know that even amongst "ourselves" we find polemic differences.  We typically do not equate culture itself with being "authorized" by God in scripture but rather an opportunity to love one another despite communication issues - facial expressions, idiomatic phrases, sensitivities, etc.




I would add that there will likely be a serious power struggle.   When integrating, elders don't want to step down or over, preachers exist for the pulpit - esp. sunday am, decisions made will more difficult - potentially alienating or defending one group with another clueless to what the big deal is.   Doctrinal issues, especially if distinct from what the bible teacher or preacher just said will be magnified under the umbrella of distrust, never examined before incredulation (big word I just made up!), suspicion, defending the "truth", not being bullied by "them" who always have or think they are better/more spiritual/whatever than me, etc, etc, etc.....

It will not likely be as easy as "Can't we just get together?"  and skin color won't have a thing to do with it.


However, this is exactly what I have been praying for in our congregation and had just been begging the minister this last wednesday night about this very thing.   I really look forward to some good insight from those who understand what I am saying because they have experienced it.   
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Fri Aug 08, 2008 - 18:54:01
I am not promoting a stereotype.  Most black churches are more expressive and IMO more spiritual.  No the UCC was no0t a typical black church.  All IMO are welcome in both white and black churches.  However, there are cultural differences and not to recognize that is just dumb.  Most blacks like most whites feel more comfortable going to church where they feel they fit in better.  This is human nature.  If a black person goes to a majority white church either their views and desires are more like the whites or they must give up their culture and to a large degree power to determine the type of service they desire.  If blacks or any group is made to feel unwelcome in a white Church or white to feel unwelcome in a majority black church that is prejudice and segregation.  Folks freely choosing to worship together because of confort and background is not.  I resent the implication that I am presenting stereotypes and by implication a racist.    
John, that was not implied one bit, so get off the high horse before you get a nose bleed.  Some of the views in this thread are stereotypical, and do not represent the complexity of reality.  That's an inescapable truth, and it doesn't mean that people who repeat them are racists.  It means that we all tend to operate with stereotypes in our heads, and if we want to understand others, we'll at some point have to lay them aside for the truth--that people are more complex that stereotypes.  Any further unsaid, unimplied made-from-thin-air accusations are purely the property of the mind that mind them up...in this case, yours.  I've not assigned motives.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Johnb on Fri Aug 08, 2008 - 21:36:11
jmp
Normally when one is accused of sereotyping it implys racism.  If that was not your intent I am sorry.  All I am saying is that segregation may have started black and white CoCs but cultuarl differences are keeping it that way.  Is there any thing about the gospel of Christ that teaches that unless a church is racially diverse it is not Christian.  It also is not just blacks and not just the Coc.  Many racial and ethinic groups tend to worship together.  Does that make it a bad thig?  Does that make it un Christian?  We are not taking about folks standing in the door to block or make foks feel unwelcome.  We are talking about folks attending where they feel at home.  Now to the sereotype.  Boring like beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I am an emotional person and like the emotional services I have found in every black coc I have attended and perfer the experience to the majority white cocs.

By the way what is a "high horse"?  I have owned several and still have one.  Most are between 14 and 16 hands tall.  Would one have to be more than 16 hands to be a high horse? rofl      
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sat Aug 09, 2008 - 00:11:29
So while it may not be integrated, it's certainly not segregated.

 ???  ? 

Division is sin.  Period.  Always will be.

Within just a few miles of my home, there are seven COC's.  They are all almost all-white.  Apparently, no one wants to drive  more than a few blocks to church.  But that's another sermon for another day.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Johnb on Sat Aug 09, 2008 - 07:15:44
Steve said
Division is sin.  Period.  Always will be.

Folks attending close to where they live or going to a congregation of the same group because they feel more comfortable there is division??  and sin?? ::frustrated::
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: mike on Sat Aug 09, 2008 - 08:22:15
As a lifer in the coc in the Central and Southwest: My experience when attending a short while as the only white family present in a black congregation was similar to what I found as one of only a few white, spanish speaking members in several hispanic congregations.  It was like stepping back 50 years issues that many of "us" had long since dealt with.  It was so .... 5 stepper....     

The music in the black congregation was more animated and "spiritual".  I heard more "amens", "that's right", "say it preacher"   and so forth during preaching.  The depth doctrinally was very shallow throughout with little evidence of having wrestled with much of the meat and/or difficult passages.  Bible knowledge was limited. Party line defense was extremely high.    Same old song book.


hispanic:  Echoes/parroting of what they were taught.  Traditional coc songs translated into spanish.   Like our youth, more and more popular "camp" songs are being translated and sung. 


In the end, integration will be difficult IF there is already a history.   A new congregation with some extremely wise insight up front setting some "guidelines and boundaries" might be the easiest?     (Much like the Council of Acts 15...)

Modified:  I believe that the conflict will be both cultural and doctrinal.  Where doctrine is considered "priority" then that will be the greatest burr under the saddle.   The simple statement "We believe the same things..." is not completely accurate - just look around at "us" and see how well we are doing!

Where cultural difference dictate all aspects of relationships, there will be clashing.  But, this should be somewhat clearer to navigate as humans instinctively know that even amongst "ourselves" we find polemic differences.  We typically do not equate culture itself with being "authorized" by God in scripture but rather an opportunity to love one another despite communication issues - facial expressions, idiomatic phrases, sensitivities, etc.




I would add that there will likely be a serious power struggle.   When integrating, elders don't want to step down or over, preachers exist for the pulpit - esp. sunday am, decisions made will more difficult - potentially alienating or defending one group with another clueless to what the big deal is.   Doctrinal issues, especially if distinct from what the bible teacher or preacher just said will be magnified under the umbrella of distrust, never examined before incredulation (big word I just made up!), suspicion, defending the "truth", not being bullied by "them" who always have or think they are better/more spiritual/whatever than me, etc, etc, etc.....

It will not likely be as easy as "Can't we just get together?"  and skin color won't have a thing to do with it.


However, this is exactly what I have been praying for in our congregation and had just been begging the minister this last wednesday night about this very thing.   I really look forward to some good insight from those who understand what I am saying because they have experienced it.   

zoo,
I understand what you are saying. For several years, my congregation has been working with another congregation that has a different racial mix. Much of what you have said is true in our situation.

The two congregations meet only a couple of miles from each other.  However, discussions regarding merging have run into huge obstructions that are not overtly racist at all. It is more about people having ownership of a group they have been involved with, and fearing change. Same old stuff as is seen on a number of other issues.

I think that full integration will unfortunately occur either in a newly planted church that pursues this from the very beginning, or perhaps when my kids' generation are the leaders in the church.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Sat Aug 09, 2008 - 11:32:08
CNN has an article on diversity on their site...

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/08/04/segregated.sundays/index.html
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: zoonance on Sat Aug 09, 2008 - 12:55:48
CNN has an article on diversity on their site...

[url]http://edition.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/08/04/segregated.sundays/index.html[/url]




Wow, I wasn't making myself up!
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Sun Aug 10, 2008 - 22:07:17
There are plenty of one-race churches around here.  Clearly, this is sin.  Always.
Why is it necessarily sinful?  I would concur if people of different races are unwelcome, but if it stems from a choice regarding what makes one comfortable, I disagree.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Dennis on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 08:55:32
There are plenty of one-race churches around here.  Clearly, this is sin.  Always.
Why is it necessarily sinful?  I would concur if people of different races are unwelcome, but if it stems from a choice regarding what makes one comfortable, I disagree.
Wouldn't you agree that a lot of choices that "make one comfortable" are sinful?
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 09:11:37
We're opening up a can of worms here though.

If you're new to an area where there are multiple CofCs to choose from (assuming this is what you're looking for), if you want to become part of a local congregation, you're going to have to choose one.

It may be a matter of which church is the closest in proximity.  But, in a city like where I live, where there are so many choices in a relatively close proximity, someone will likely choose the congregation where they feel most "comfortable."  And, that may not even have anything to do with race.  It could be a matter of the personality of the congregation, what they feel they have in common with the members, worship styles, or programs the church has that might suit different needs.

We can judge people for choosing where they feel most "comfortable" or not.  But, that's the way it is.

What's the alternative?
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 09:21:09
A visitor from out of state told us that where he is, prejudice is still so alive in the church that they had a mixed-race couple visit not long ago and ask if they were welcome.  The church said, "Of course, why do you ask?"  The response?  "The church across town told us it would be best if we went elsewhere."

Much work to be done.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 09:23:41
We're opening up a can of worms here though.

If you're new to an area where there are multiple CofCs to choose from (assuming this is what you're looking for), if you want to become part of a local congregation, you're going to have to choose one.

It may be a matter of which church is the closest in proximity.  But, in a city like where I live, where there are so many choices in a relatively close proximity, someone will likely choose the congregation where they feel most "comfortable."  And, that may not even have anything to do with race.  It could be a matter of the personality of the congregation, what they feel they have in common with the members, worship styles, or programs the church has that might suit different needs.

We can judge people for choosing where they feel most "comfortable" or not.  But, that's the way it is.

What's the alternative?
I'd tend to look for a congregation within the community I live, work, and serve the Lord in, so that I'd have better opportunities to bring people into the body of Christ.  There would have to be real problems to make me look outside my community of influence, or some very positive reason (maybe the church across town needs more members willing and able to serve and I could be of more help to them than the closer one).
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Dennis on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 09:24:47
We're opening up a can of worms here though.

If you're new to an area where there are multiple CofCs to choose from (assuming this is what you're looking for), if you want to become part of a local congregation, you're going to have to choose one.

It may be a matter of which church is the closest in proximity.  But, in a city like where I live, where there are so many choices in a relatively close proximity, someone will likely choose the congregation where they feel most "comfortable."  And, that may not even have anything to do with race.  It could be a matter of the personality of the congregation, what they feel they have in common with the members, worship styles, or programs the church has that might suit different needs.

We can judge people for choosing where they feel most "comfortable" or not.  But, that's the way it is.

What's the alternative?
Sure it is opening a can of worms and clearly, addressing it makes us "UN"comfortable.  But the question remains:

Wouldn't you agree that a lot of choices that "make one comfortable" are sinful?
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jaime on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 09:26:57
I thought this thread said, "Will the cofC ever be interrogated".............well, yeah, check out all the baptism threads!
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 09:27:39
jmg3rd,

That's a topic for discussion in itself.  While many (most) have moved beyond our more racist history, some still have issues accepting interracial relationships and marriages.  Some who are otherwise kind and accepting to other races have problems when two people of different races date or marry... and, some will even claim that it goes against God's will.

I don't know what they do about someone who is biracial though.  That person would have to remain celibate, I guess.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 09:28:38
We're opening up a can of worms here though.

If you're new to an area where there are multiple CofCs to choose from (assuming this is what you're looking for), if you want to become part of a local congregation, you're going to have to choose one.

It may be a matter of which church is the closest in proximity.  But, in a city like where I live, where there are so many choices in a relatively close proximity, someone will likely choose the congregation where they feel most "comfortable."  And, that may not even have anything to do with race.  It could be a matter of the personality of the congregation, what they feel they have in common with the members, worship styles, or programs the church has that might suit different needs.

We can judge people for choosing where they feel most "comfortable" or not.  But, that's the way it is.

What's the alternative?
Sure it is opening a can of worms and clearly, addressing it makes us "UN"comfortable.  But the question remains:

Wouldn't you agree that a lot of choices that "make one comfortable" are sinful?
Sometimes, and I'd say even when they may not be sinful, my motive--that comfort is my highest priority--may be very unhealthy and selfish.

For example, there's the couple that chose the congregation just outside of town over the congregation in town (this was in TX) because the former was OK with their fornicative live-in situation and defrauding of the govt, and the one in town told them they would need to repent.  They were comfortable, but they were rebelling against the Lord in their comfort.  ::nodding::
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 09:29:44
jmg3rd,

That's a topic for discussion in itself.  While many (most) have moved beyond our more racist history, some still have issues accepting interracial relationships and marriages.  Some who are otherwise kind and accepting to other races have problems when two people of different races date or marry.
If one is only kind as long as they "don't marry our women"...is that really kindness, or a softer bigotry?  It's not a separate topic, because it is a test of the genuineness of the "integration" one purports to support.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 09:30:06
Sure it is opening a can of worms and clearly, addressing it makes us "UN"comfortable.  But the question remains:

Wouldn't you agree that a lot of choices that "make one comfortable" are sinful?

Certainly.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 09:31:37
jmg3rd,

That's a topic for discussion in itself.  While many (most) have moved beyond our more racist history, some still have issues accepting interracial relationships and marriages.  Some who are otherwise kind and accepting to other races have problems when two people of different races date or marry.
If one is only kind as long as they "don't marry our women"...is that really kindness, or a softer bigotry? 

If that's what they're thinking, then yes.  By the way, I edited my post after you had already responded to it... citing the dilemma of someone who's biracial.  I wasn't saying that opposition to interracial relationships was right.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 09:40:58
While we're certainly not free of racial problems, and there is still work to do, just think about how far we've come in 100 and especially 150 years in this society.  That's a relatively short period of time in history.

Something that is systemically ingrained in society and social mores isn't going to change overnight... or even be completely eliminated in a couple of hundred years.  So, I think we're headed in the right direction.  Great strides have been made even in the last fifty years for that matter.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 09:43:57
No doubt.  Just watched The Great Debaters last night and its amazing how much good has happened in so short a time.  It's just equally frustrating when things seem to lag or get bogged down in the very kingdom that should be leading the way.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 10:06:22
Regarding the interracial issue, let's go even a little further with it.

Most of you are already married.  But, when you weren't, were you open to the possibility of dating and marrying someone of another race?

I could say that I have no problem with someone else being in an interracial relationship and will be respectful to anyone regardless of race.  But, if I am not really open to the possibility of, say, dating a black girl, does that make me a racist (or given to a "softer bigotry")?  Be honest... if you were a white guy on the dating scene... I bet most of you were tending to look for white girls to date.

I think it would be hard to find anyone who doesn't have a scent of a hint of racism in them on some level.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 10:26:42
I was open to it.  The only prejudice my grandmother passed down was that she wanted me to promise not to marry a yankee (that side of the family, btw, came from PA a couple generations prior).  I didn't (not because of my grandmother, but because that's not who God sent me), but I've got two beautiful little yankee daughters.

It's also easy to say the ol' "everybody's got a little prejudice" line to make it seem as though no one should speak too hard a line against it.  However, that's speculative, not factual.  Only God would know if that's true.  It's also very pessimistic and accusatory, and is based on the assumption no one can really set aside racism...which seems also defeatist and lacking in trust that the Spirit can really cause us to see past measures of the flesh.  Istm.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 10:33:29
I'm reminded a bit of this clip from The Great Debaters.

http://wingclips.com/cart.php?target=product&product_id=16577&substring=debaters
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 11:04:50
It's also easy to say the ol' "everybody's got a little prejudice" line to make it seem as though no one should speak too hard a line against it.  However, that's speculative, not factual.  Only God would know if that's true.  It's also very pessimistic and accusatory, and is based on the assumption no one can really set aside racism...which seems also defeatist and lacking in trust that the Spirit can really cause us to see past measures of the flesh.  Istm.

Oh really?  There's certainly nothing pessimistic and accusatory about this statement, is there?  ::wink::

We can certainly speak ironies without realizing it.

No, it's not necessarily defeatist or lacking in trust in the Spirit.  It's just acknowledging the weakness of the human condition... and being honest about most people's shortcomings and inconsistencies.  I'm glad you were above this when you were dating... although, I would find it interesting if a Southern lady who had problems with a Southern boy marrying a Yankee girl... didn't also have issues with interracial marriage either (though I'm assuming your grandmother may have said that to you with a hint of jest).  I'm not saying that wouldn't be a possibility though.

Some of my good Southern relatives might give me a hard time if I married a girl from up north... but, only in a joking way, I think.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 11:08:38
No, that wasn't pessimism, it was an observation of how I've generally seen that line used.  I know you well enough (I think) that I don't see you as pessimistic, but the line be what it be.

My grandmother was just kidding, DCR.  Are you now calling her a racist?  Because if you are, then your upbringing should have taught you that you don't mess with Mama.  Them are fightin' words.  My grandmother was anything but, and my grandparents were known as peacemakers in such areas, not carrying the typical prejudices of the day and place of their upbringing.  It would be a criticism of great ignorance, and great untruth.

Of all the cowpies to have set your boot in...


Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 11:17:11
My grandmother was just kidding, DCR.  Are you now calling her a racist?

The "So, you're sayin' that..." thread is in the Jokes forum.  ::wink::
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: phoebe on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 11:20:06
I'm reminded a bit of this clip from The Great Debaters.

[url]http://wingclips.com/cart.php?target=product&product_id=16577&substring=debaters[/url]


Wow. I have not seen this movie, but I promise you that I will! That 30-second clip brought my heart to my throat.

Yes, "the time for justice, freedom and equality is always, is always, right now."

 ::amen!:: , sister. Preach it!
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 11:26:30
Regarding the interracial issue, let's go even a little further with it.

Most of you are already married.  But, when you weren't, were you open to the possibility of dating and marrying someone of another race?

I could say that I have no problem with someone else being in an interracial relationship and will be respectful to anyone regardless of race.  But, if I am not really open to the possibility of, say, dating a black girl, does that make me a racist (or given to a "softer bigotry")?  Be honest... if you were a white guy on the dating scene... I bet most of you were tending to look for white girls to date.

I think it would be hard to find anyone who doesn't have a scent of a hint of racism in them on some level.

My prejudice was against girls I thought were ugly inside or out.  I done married a whitey who was born in the south.

My brother on the other hand done married a black girl.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 11:29:56
My grandmother was just kidding, DCR.  Are you now calling her a racist?

The "So, you're sayin' that..." thread is in the Jokes forum.  ::wink::

Lately I've seen more comic material in the Theology board.  Yes, my grandmother had a sense of humor.  Like I said, that side of the family came from PA...which last I checked was a northern state.

When we decided to move to NY I remember the only negative comment from the church we were in was from a lady born and raised in CT.  "Up north, huh?" she asked. "You can keep it.  I left 60 years ago and wouldn't go back to save my life."  Luckily, I find it a bit better place to live than she did.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Johnb on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 18:46:36
jmg said
When we decided to move to NY
 
Now I understand.  You are one of them there yankees.   If you would have move south to God's country and the Bible belt you would not be so confused. rofl
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 18:50:06
I'm a traveling Texan, Johnb. Where I come from, you're a yankee.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 19:21:49
Why is it necessarily sinful?  I would concur if people of different races are unwelcome, but if it stems from a choice regarding what makes one comfortable, I disagree.

I think you answered that question better than I ever could have.

If worshipping God with people of a different race makes you uncomfortable, then yes, that is a sinful attitude that divides the body of Christ.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 19:24:26
What's the alternative?

There are about ten coc's within a 15-minute drive of my home.  The alternative is not to divide and compete in the first place.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 19:25:46
I thought this thread said, "Will the cofC ever be interrogated"........

 ::noworries::
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 19:28:29
Great strides have been made even in the last fifty years for that matter.

For those who proclaim to be followers of Christ, this is still a disgrace.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: marc on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 19:29:05
jmg said
When we decided to move to NY
 
Now I understand.  You are one of them there yankees.   If you would have move south to God's country and the Bible belt you would not be so confused. rofl

Maybe this is a bad time to mention that I was shocked when I first went to Lipscomb in '92 and every single service position seemed to be filled by a black, while hardly any supervisory positions were? I'm talking about the city in general, not just Lipscomb, although the school recognized that they had a problem with this while I was there and took steps to correct it.

I think we miss institutionalized racism because it's, well, institutionalized.  It's part of the landscape and leaves us with certain assumptions about what is and what isn't.  It also helps shape our personal preferences, and that is why voluntary segregation itself has something undesirable at the core.

btw, other than the post I quoted, I haven't read any of this post today, so I'm not directing this at anyone's comments. I'm also not directing this at the post I quoted; I just used the north/south thing (and we're in the middle in the land of one race--makes it pretty easy to throw stones) as a springboard.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 19:34:20
My mother was Mexican.  My father was black, and about 5% Cherokee.  (They're both long gone now.)

All through my childhood, their best friends were a black couple, a Jewish couple, and a Japanese couple. 

Both of my parents had this type of this type of situation in their own childhoods.

Without the benefit of any active intervention by the government, all of my schools were well-integrated, and my friends were all the colors of the rainbow.

I've been a member of the same church for almost 18 years now.  But before then, when I church-shopped for years, it was always jarring for me to attend a one-race church.  I never returned to any of them.

Of course, if I lived in Tokyo, I'd expect every church and school and club to be about 99% Japanese.  But that's the demographic of the city.

I grew up in Los Angeles.  You know, the rainbow.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 19:35:40
It's also easy to say the ol' "everybody's got a little prejudice" line to make it seem as though no one should speak too hard a line against it. 

 ::amen!::
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 20:09:39
jmg said
When we decided to move to NY
 
Now I understand.  You are one of them there yankees.   If you would have move south to God's country and the Bible belt you would not be so confused. rofl

Maybe this is a bad time to mention that I was shocked when I first went to Lipscomb in '92 and every single service position seemed to be filled by a black, while hardly any supervisory positions were? I'm talking about the city in general, not just Lipscomb, although the school recognized that they had a problem with this while I was there and took steps to correct it.
On a high school trip in the late 80's I visited St. Louis and Chicago for the first time.  The most eye-opening thing to me was the same thing you mention.  The school had some deal with McD's for our meals on the road, and the further toward Chicago we got (I first actually took notice in St. Louis) the more certain it was that the McD's workers were black, except for some managers. 
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Johnb on Mon Aug 11, 2008 - 21:42:48
jmg said
I'm a traveling Texan, Johnb. Where I come from, you're a yankee

I own land in TX.  Went to college in AR and married an AR Girl does that count?
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 07:54:11
By most standards, sure, but is you land north or south of I-20?  Because we considered people from Abilene northerners.  (And yes, AR is definitely considered "up north" of where I'm from...or "back east" depending on who you're talking to.)
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 08:04:36
It's debatable whether Texans, especially West Texans, are True Southerners at all. 

Y'all are Plainsmen. ::cowboy::

The True South is east of the Mississip and south of the Mason Dixon line.  ::oldman:: ::yessir!::

Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 08:08:38
ACTUALLY, DCR, that West Texans are not Southerners is not debatable at all.  They are not.  They are Southwesterners (far more in common culturally with NM, AZ, CO, OK than states east).  The "South" culturally ends at I-35 and the cowboy west begins.  Just contrast Dallas and Ft. Worth, Tyler and Abilene for Exhibit A.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Dennis on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 08:21:22
I was born in El Paso and went to High School in San Antonio.  What does that make me?
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 08:44:31
I think it means you get to keep your West Texan passport regardless of where you live/move.  It's like carrying dual citizenship.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 08:53:22
Since we've gone way off this tangent and headed west, what about integration of white/black and Hispanic congregations?  Where I grew up the demographics go something like 5% black, 32% Hispanic (25% Mexican descent, 7% other) and 63% white.  In a congregation of 100 having one black family of 5 would actually be representative of the population at large, believe it or not.  BUT not all congregations there have anything approaching a 32% Hispanic membership.  Once again, most have separate Spanish speaking congregations, and sometimes they even meet down the hall in the fellowship annex.  I understand the language issue complicates it all, but are we setting ourselves up for generations and generations of our Hispanic brothers and sisters being a separate body in practice?  Does the language barrier make it a necessity we can't won't get past?
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 09:12:21
are we setting ourselves up for generations and generations of our Hispanic brothers and sisters being a separate body in practice?  Does the language barrier make it a necessity we can't won't get past?

Of course, this raises another issue.  Do these people really want to become contributing Americans?  Or do they want to remain a separate exclusivist society, soaking this country for all its worth, on their own terms?  And will their church become a co-conspiratorial enabler?  This is very sad, on so many levels.

(Mind you, my family came from Mexico about 80 years ago, and the first thing they did was learn English.)
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 09:20:09
I don't think it's at all that simple.  The congregations in my circle of experience were a mix of people that were part new immigrants (vast majority were learning English but not fluent yet) and part 2nd and 3rd generation Hispanic Americans who spoke English fluently, but preferred to worship in the Spanish congregation.  For the latter, language was not the chief issue, but comfort & culture.

As to the other issue you bring up, the vast, vast majority of people I know that have immigrated from Mexico have been hard-working, contributing Americans once here.  Often far moreso than the people who criticize their coming.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 09:20:45
Texans have to talk about Texas all the time to cover up the fact that they wish they were Montanans.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jaime on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 09:22:25
Texans have to talk about Texas all the time to cover up the fact that they wish they were Montanans.

I just thank God that there are 49 other states so as to keep Texas from being too crowded.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 09:24:34
Texans have to talk about Texas all the time to cover up the fact that they wish they were Montanans.

I just thank God that there are 49 other states so as to keep Texas from being too crowded.

Good save, but I see through your answer right to your envy of those in Montana, the LAST BEST PLACE.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 09:27:58
Texans have to talk about Texas all the time to cover up the fact that they wish they were Montanans.
You wish.  We have chicken fried steak and Tex-Mex.  You've got what?  Miley Cyrus in a wig?
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 09:31:38
Texans have to talk about Texas all the time to cover up the fact that they wish they were Montanans.
You wish.  We have chicken fried steak and Tex-Mex.  You've got what?  Miley Cyrus in a wig?

The Rocky Mountains, less people, cowboys, rodeos, Yellowstone, Glacier, not being southern or northern but being western.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 09:39:00
Don't forget you also have Henry Winkler and Robert Redford.  Thanks for keeping them out of our hair.

Oh, and the crazy militia folk, too.  Thanks for being our buffer from them.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 09:39:45
Maybe we should talk about regional-origin integration now?  ::noworries::
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 09:42:28
1- I don't think it's at all that simple. 

2- 3rd generation Hispanic Americans who spoke English fluently, but preferred to worship in the Spanish congregation. 

3- For the latter, language was not the chief issue, but comfort & culture.

4- vast majority of people I know that have immigrated from Mexico have been hard-working, contributing Americans once here. 

5- Often far moreso than the people who criticize their coming.

1- Sure it is.  Could a whitey from Kansas move to Mexico and be afforded all the same accommodations and courtesies?  I think not.

2- Then shame on them for not lifting their Latino brothers out of their divisiveness.

3- Comfort, you say?  Sorry, I must have a defective Bible. because the one that I have says that being a Christian is about self-denial and sacrifice.

4- Good.

5- Yes, very true.


You want to celebrate your culture?  Then I say have a barbecue after church.  Break out the carne asada, the mariachis, etc.  But be sure to bring along a few hermanos gabachos, and for Christ's sake (literally), have the decency to speak to them in English.

I've always found it very interesting that in our "tolerant" society, it's (almost) always the white folks (of whom I am not one) that have to do all the accommodating.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 09:47:49
::doh::  First of all, who cares what happens when "Kansas whitey" goes to Mexico?  We're not in Mexico, and what they do or don't do to accommodate him is irrelevant to what is good/better/best for the church where we are is.  Right is not determined by the actions of others, but by what honors God.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 09:59:32
Regarding the Hispanic issue, we've had a major influx of this in my area in recent years (as have many other parts of the country).

And, there are local Hispanic ministries to address this.  Our church supports a Spanish-speaking congregation, as an example.  I haven't considered the possibility that this is creating a new separation though.

In this case, we do offer English classes during the week as an outreach/ministry.  I've even helped with computer classes located at the church building where this congregation meets.

In many cases, you go where these people are and minister to their needs.  The needs are different, so there's a way to focus on that.  There's been much talk here about the "sin" of racial segregation.  But, this isn't always intentionally the case.  For example, our members are encouraged to attend services at the Hispanic church whenever possible.  And, joint activities are occasionally done.  And, some of their members occasionally come to our services.

In many cases, these Spanish-speaking folks are trying to learn English.  But, why not minister to their spiritual needs by taking the language barrier out of the equation and provide services in Spanish for them?  It's easy to say, "well, they just need to learn English and go to church with the rest of us!"  But, I don't think there's anything wrong with providing Spanish assemblies, if this better meets their spiritual needs.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 10:08:20
I agree there's not always a sinful intent involved, certainly.  I think it's the Law of Unintended Consequences that holds potential to bite us in the hind quarters.

It sounds like your congregation has decided to (wisely, imho) take a proactive approach and at least try to head off at the pass some of the possible future issues.  Ministry together goes a long way toward making new bonds and healing old ones.  In some ways, serving in ministry heals wounds coming together in an assembly cannot.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 10:11:38
I agree there's not always a sinful intent involved, certainly.  I think it's the Law of Unintended Consequences that holds potential to bite us in the hind quarters.

It sounds like your congregation has decided to (wisely, imho) take a proactive approach and at least try to head off at the pass some of the possible future issues.  Ministry together goes a long way toward making new bonds and healing old ones.  In some ways, serving in ministry heals wounds coming together in an assembly cannot.

I think being the assembly, rather than the assembly just being a worship service would heal wounds as well.  I think the focus on the assembly as a worship service rather than an included focus on fellowship is a big problem no matter the racial makeup of a congregation.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 11:05:57
Granted.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Dennis on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 11:39:43
By the way, despite my South/West Teaxas background [background not roots the answer to the question "what does that make me" was an "Army Brat"], I AM the Kansas Whitey so choose your words carefully.  FWIW our Kansas congregation [mostly other Kansas Whiteys with a few hispanics and African Americans] sends teams to Mexico regularly to participate in building efforts for Mexican Congregations.  Although I have not had the opportunity to go yet, I understand they have been treated very well.

As to the general subject, I have a hard time with the idea that it is always someone else's responsibility to conform.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 11:46:44
Dennis, hopefully you understood I was repeating the term used, not out of denigration, but actually because I didn't care for the term myself.  My sister just left El Paso and she'd have said it made you "blessed."

I've made quite a few trips to Mexico, and other countries as well.  I found Christian hospitality in all the churches I visited save one (a rather odd little congregation in England). 
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: zoonance on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 13:34:11
It's also easy to say the ol' "everybody's got a little prejudice" line to make it seem as though no one should speak too hard a line against it.  However, that's speculative, not factual.  Only God would know if that's true.  It's also very pessimistic and accusatory, and is based on the assumption no one can really set aside racism...which seems also defeatist and lacking in trust that the Spirit can really cause us to see past measures of the flesh.  Istm.

Oh really?  There's certainly nothing pessimistic and accusatory about this statement, is there?  ::wink::

We can certainly speak ironies without realizing it.

No, it's not necessarily defeatist or lacking in trust in the Spirit.  It's just acknowledging the weakness of the human condition... and being honest about most people's shortcomings and inconsistencies.  I'm glad you were above this when you were dating... although, I would find it interesting if a Southern lady who had problems with a Southern boy marrying a Yankee girl... didn't also have issues with interracial marriage either (though I'm assuming your grandmother may have said that to you with a hint of jest).  I'm not saying that wouldn't be a possibility though.

Some of my good Southern relatives might give me a hard time if I married a girl from up north... but, only in a joking way, I think.


Warning:  Ugly truth coming up....
It may be "impossible" to get over -isms.    If it were even somewhat a teeny bit easier to do, why can't we all get along when we have every reason that we should be able to?  Race is just another facet of humanity it seems.  If it was only race, maybe.  If it is something else... take a peek around the Forum.  If that diminishes the unifying power of the cross, then who is diminishing it? Can the unifying power of the cross be diminished or enhanced by human effort?   ::pondering::
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 13:56:44
Istm that Rev. 5 paints the picture of what's expected of us:

Quote
6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 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,  10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth." 11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" 13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!" 14 And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" and the elders fell down and worshiped.

In the throne room of God it is the reality.  If it is impossible among us, it won't be because of a diminishing of the power of the Lamb on the throne, but a lack of resolve on our parts to see Him there and bend the knee.



(I operate under the general rule that lowering expectations guarantees lower results.)
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Dennis on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 14:05:45
Dennis, hopefully you understood I was repeating the term used, not out of denigration, but actually because I didn't care for the term myself.  My sister just left El Paso and she'd have said it made you "blessed."

I've made quite a few trips to Mexico, and other countries as well.  I found Christian hospitality in all the churches I visited save one (a rather odd little congregation in England). 
Hopefully you and Stevehut could tell my tongue was at least partly in my cheek in that post.  I have fond memories of most every place my Army Brat's life [and later Army Officer's life] took me, but I was only 5 weeks old when my Dad was transferred from Ft Bliss, TX to Ft Chaffee, AR [near Ft Smith] so I don't really have any memories of El Paso, fond or otherwise.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Dennis on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 14:09:04
Istm that Rev. 5 paints the picture of what's expected of us:

Quote
6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 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,  10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth." 11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" 13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!" 14 And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" and the elders fell down and worshiped.

In the throne room of God it is the reality.  If it is impossible among us, it won't be because of a diminishing of the power of the Lamb on the throne, but a lack of resolve on our parts to see Him there and bend the knee.



(I operate under the general rule that lowering expectations guarantees lower results.)
I heard someone [maybe Patrick Mead] say recently that some of our more restricitve brethren may make it to heaven, but they won't enjoy it for the first couple of weeks [when they see who else is there].
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 22:32:43
1- I agree there's not always a sinful intent involved, certainly.  I think it's the Law of Unintended Consequences

2- that holds potential to bite us in the hind quarters.

1- Yup

2-  ::noworries::  Double-yup


And btw, is now the right time to confess that my grandmother's family is from Austin (TX)?   They once had thousands of acres of farmland in Travis County, and my cousin was the chief deputy constable.  Now they're down to just a few acres, and no one plows it anymore.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 22:40:43
It's easy to say, "well, they just need to learn English and go to church with the rest of us!"  But, I don't think there's anything wrong with providing Spanish assemblies, if this better meets their spiritual needs.

Your story is encouraging, DCR.

But apart from church fellowship, they still need to learn English ASAP.  This language barrier is also a huge obstacle to jobs and education.  Lots of the Latinos around here are smart and have many job skills.  But if they can't communicate with the boss and co-workers and the customers, those skills and smarts don't help much.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be interrogated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 22:49:07
Will they be interrogated?  Just might.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Imabear on Tue Aug 12, 2008 - 23:13:29
It's easy to say, "well, they just need to learn English and go to church with the rest of us!"  But, I don't think there's anything wrong with providing Spanish assemblies, if this better meets their spiritual needs.

Your story is encouraging, DCR.

But apart from church fellowship, they still need to learn English ASAP.  This language barrier is also a huge obstacle to jobs and education.  Lots of the Latinos around here are smart and have many job skills.  But if they can't communicate with the boss and co-workers and the customers, those skills and smarts don't help much.
Then maybe "White" churches, should offer to hold English for Speakers of Other Languages classes, for those in the Spanish speaking congregations.  My parent's church in NJ does this as an outreach to the Hispanic community in their area (mostly Puerto Ricans)
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Wed Aug 13, 2008 - 07:19:03
It's easy to say, "well, they just need to learn English and go to church with the rest of us!"  But, I don't think there's anything wrong with providing Spanish assemblies, if this better meets their spiritual needs.

Your story is encouraging, DCR.

But apart from church fellowship, they still need to learn English ASAP.  This language barrier is also a huge obstacle to jobs and education.  Lots of the Latinos around here are smart and have many job skills.  But if they can't communicate with the boss and co-workers and the customers, those skills and smarts don't help much.
Then maybe "White" churches, should offer to hold English for Speakers of Other Languages classes, for those in the Spanish speaking congregations.  My parent's church in NJ does this as an outreach to the Hispanic community in their area (mostly Puerto Ricans)

...which is exactly what we're doing.  We actually have two programs going.  One uses the "Friendspeak" material (some may have heard of this) for classes located at our building primarily for Asian immigrants (mainly Chinese and Korean).  As a result, we have several Asians who now attend our services.

We also have English classes for Hispanics at the building where they meet.  I've helped with these classes before, but I am now mainly involved with the computer classes.  We actually have five levels of English.  Level 1 is beginning level for those who speak little or no English.  It goes all the way up to Level 5 for more advanced English.

But, that's in addition to the fact that the worship services are in Spanish at the building.  The preacher (who is under the oversight of our eldership) is originally from Mexico and is fluently bilingual in English and Spanish.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Wed Aug 13, 2008 - 07:54:35
Then maybe "White" churches, should offer to hold English for Speakers of Other Languages classes, for those in the Spanish speaking congregations. 

Ah, and now you've touched on one of my pet peeves that I stated earlier.   ::destroyingcomputer::  Why is this Whitey's responsibility?  I find it very interesting that in our "tolerant" society, it's (almost) always the white folks (of whom I am not one) that have to do all the accommodating.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Wed Aug 13, 2008 - 08:01:21
1- I AM the Kansas Whitey so choose your words carefully. 

2- As to the general subject, I have a hard time with the idea that it is always someone else's responsibility to conform.

1-  rofl

2- Yup.   ::nodding::
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Dennis on Wed Aug 13, 2008 - 09:16:06
I appreciate your "yup" to my point 2, [and also that you understood point 1 was the tongue in cheek part] but it seems to me that your comment in your immediately previous post [reply 96] is inconsistent.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Wed Aug 13, 2008 - 09:34:15
your comment in your immediately previous post [reply 96] is inconsistent.

I don't understand, Dennis. 

Maybe this will clear it up: I have no problem whatsoever with "white" churches reaching out to Latinos, or any other ethnic group.  (Except that "white" churches exist in the first place, but that's another sermon for another day.)

But sometimes that crushes the initiative of the person being helped.  People get everything spoon-fed to them, and they don't feel the burden to do for themselves. 

But this, of course, is not uniquely a "church" issue, or an ethnic issue.  I work as a cashier in a supermarket, and I see people "work the system" with food stamps (and other benefit programs) every day.  The people who benefit from our state's generosity, are often the rudest and most demanding in the store.   They despise me, while they're filling their pantries using my money!

Often, when certain people come into my line and they're poorly dressed --and they pile up all kinds of steak and shrimp and gourmet items -- I think to myself "they're paying with food stamps."  And over 90% of the time, it turns out to be true.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Dennis on Wed Aug 13, 2008 - 09:42:54
Steve,

My previous comment was that Chrisitians should not sit by and avoid serving others because "it's their responsibility to 'pull themselves up by their bootstraps.'"  The question I ask myself as a Christian should be "How can I best serve others and bring Christ to those who need Him."  If I can help those who have a need by providing English classes, Then English classes is a good thing.  If I can reach those who are lost by having Spanish services, the Spanish services are a good thing.  As far as being spoon fed, wouldn't you agree that the fact Christ died for us while we were yet in our sins [Rom 5:8] is pretty much the ultimate in being spoon fed?  Isn't that kind of what Paul was getting at by "becoming all things to all people?"
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Imabear on Wed Aug 13, 2008 - 09:55:08
Then maybe "White" churches, should offer to hold English for Speakers of Other Languages classes, for those in the Spanish speaking congregations. 

Ah, and now you've touched on one of my pet peeves that I stated earlier.   ::destroyingcomputer::  Why is this Whitey's responsibility?  I find it very interesting that in our "tolerant" society, it's (almost) always the white folks (of whom I am not one) that have to do all the accommodating.
A big part of the message of Jesus, is that we should be servants to each other.  That we should love one another.  (Washing each other's feet, feeding, and clothing one another.)  Don't you think that includes accommodating one another?
My parent's church offers the classes.  It's up to the people who don't speak English to attend, to study, to learn.  Being tolerant of one another?  Yeah, I do believe if their going to live here, they should make efforts to learn the language.  Why is it wrong to lend some assistance in that area?
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Wed Aug 13, 2008 - 09:59:04
Why is this Whitey's responsibility?  I find it very interesting that in our "tolerant" society, it's (almost) always the white folks (of whom I am not one) that have to do all the accommodating.

In the context of this discussion, it doesn't matter whose responsibility it is (or more particularly what the color of the skin happens to be of those Christians who are in a position to do something).  We are called to be servants.  If a predominantly white church happens to be in a position to offer service to others in the name of Christ... it's just like something I once heard:

Opportunity + Ability = Responsibility
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Wed Aug 13, 2008 - 10:14:39
(Except that "white" churches exist in the first place, but that's another sermon for another day.)

If an area is predominantly white, then the churches are going to generally reflect that.  I just wanted to bring up that caveat again.  If only whites live in a certain part of town, then chances are good that the church will be mostly white in that area.

If, on the other hand, a substantial percentage of races live in the immediate area where the church is only white, then you may have a point.

However, even that doesn't necessarily tell the whole story.  The demographic/racial makeup of a community may have changed over time.  And, a local church may be made up mainly of people who lived in that community for a much longer period of time.  Yet, that points to another problem.  It's the "frozen chosen" syndrome.  So many aging churches can become stagnant and lose their ability to draw in new people from the surrounding community.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Wed Aug 13, 2008 - 10:22:48
My previous comment was that Chrisitians should not sit by and avoid serving others because "it's their responsibility to 'pull themselves up by their bootstraps.'" 

I couldn't agree more.

But perhaps bootstrapping should be part of the curriculum?
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Wed Aug 13, 2008 - 10:26:28


But perhaps bootstrapping should be part of the curriculum?

Definitely.  It's not in Scripture, but there's the old Chinese proverb about only giving a man a fish versus teaching a man to fish.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Wed Aug 13, 2008 - 10:27:22
1- If an area is predominantly white, then the churches are going to generally reflect that. 

2- If, on the other hand, a substantial percentage of races live in the immediate area where the church is only white, then you may have a point.

3- It's the "frozen chosen" syndrome.  So many aging churches can become stagnant and lose their ability to draw in new people from the surrounding community.


1- Yup.   ::nodding::  I already conceded that, in an earlier post about Tokyo.

2- Did you miss the 100 posts where I said that I live in Los Angeles?  Biggest melting pot in the world.  Yet people drive past a dozen other churches to attend their own one-race congregation.  I'd imagine that most large American cities are much the same.

3- Yup.   ::nodding::
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Wed Aug 13, 2008 - 10:34:22
We are called to be servants.

Yup.   ::nodding::

And sometimes the best "service" we can do, is to teach them to fish.  And definitely not set up an endless cycle of co-dependency.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Wed Aug 13, 2008 - 20:33:50
Why is this Whitey's responsibility?  I find it very interesting that in our "tolerant" society, it's (almost) always the white folks (of whom I am not one) that have to do all the accommodating.

In the context of this discussion, it doesn't matter whose responsibility it is (or more particularly what the color of the skin happens to be of those Christians who are in a position to do something).  We are called to be servants.  If a predominantly white church happens to be in a position to offer service to others in the name of Christ... it's just like something I once heard:

Opportunity + Ability = Responsibility
::amen:: That's a great equation. ::wink::
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Wed Aug 13, 2008 - 22:03:54
Why is this Whitey's responsibility?  I find it very interesting that in our "tolerant" society, it's (almost) always the white folks (of whom I am not one) that have to do all the accommodating.

In the context of this discussion, it doesn't matter whose responsibility it is (or more particularly what the color of the skin happens to be of those Christians who are in a position to do something).  We are called to be servants.  If a predominantly white church happens to be in a position to offer service to others in the name of Christ... it's just like something I once heard:

Opportunity + Ability = Responsibility
::amen:: That's a great equation. ::wink::

I see, a derivation from the Book of Spiderman.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: marc on Wed Aug 13, 2008 - 22:14:21
Why is this Whitey's responsibility?  I find it very interesting that in our "tolerant" society, it's (almost) always the white folks (of whom I am not one) that have to do all the accommodating.

In the context of this discussion, it doesn't matter whose responsibility it is (or more particularly what the color of the skin happens to be of those Christians who are in a position to do something).  We are called to be servants.  If a predominantly white church happens to be in a position to offer service to others in the name of Christ... it's just like something I once heard:

Opportunity + Ability = Responsibility
::amen:: That's a great equation. ::wink::

I see, a derivation from the Book of Spiderman.

No, the book of Spiderman simply presents the pythag theory of right responsibility. 

You know, Power2+Power2=Responsibility2
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Wed Aug 13, 2008 - 22:43:04
Why is this Whitey's responsibility?  I find it very interesting that in our "tolerant" society, it's (almost) always the white folks (of whom I am not one) that have to do all the accommodating.

In the context of this discussion, it doesn't matter whose responsibility it is (or more particularly what the color of the skin happens to be of those Christians who are in a position to do something).  We are called to be servants.  If a predominantly white church happens to be in a position to offer service to others in the name of Christ... it's just like something I once heard:

Opportunity + Ability = Responsibility
::amen:: That's a great equation. ::wink::

I see, a derivation from the Book of Spiderman.

"With great power comes great responsibility"... that's from Spiderman.

No, I learned the "equation" from my 9th grade Bible class, taught by Coach Gore (No relation to Al, as far as I know... I think he was the girls basketball coach when he wasn't teaching Bible).
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Wed Aug 13, 2008 - 22:46:49
I learned it from a brother named Rex Boyles.  I wonder where they got it?  Matthew 25?
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Wed Aug 13, 2008 - 23:14:16
"With great power comes great responsibility"... that's from Spiderman.

I thought that was Yoda...??
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: marc on Thu Aug 14, 2008 - 08:54:39
Stan Lee, Yoda, what's the difference?  ::shrug::
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Aug 14, 2008 - 10:50:30
"With great power comes great responsibility"... that's from Spiderman.

I thought that was Yoda...??

No, if Yoda had said it, it would have been,

"With power great, responsibility great comes!"
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Aug 14, 2008 - 10:58:34
No, if Yoda had said it, it would have been,
"With power great, responsibility great comes!"

Oh yes, totally different   ::doh::  Silly me.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Aug 14, 2008 - 11:01:45
No, if Yoda had said it, it would have been,
"With power great, responsibility great comes!"

Oh yes, totally different   ::doh::  Silly me.

But, being a fan of the Star Wars movies, I don't remember Yoda saying anything to that effect.

It does sound rather "Yodaish" though, I guess.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Thu Aug 14, 2008 - 11:10:58
No, if Yoda had said it, it would have been,
"With power great, responsibility great comes!"

Oh yes, totally different   ::doh::  Silly me.

But, being a fan of the Star Wars movies, I don't remember Yoda saying anything to that effect.

It does sound rather "Yodaish" though, I guess.

fan of the Star Wars movies = super nerd
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Aug 14, 2008 - 11:13:21
No, if Yoda had said it, it would have been,
"With power great, responsibility great comes!"

Oh yes, totally different   ::doh::  Silly me.

But, being a fan of the Star Wars movies, I don't remember Yoda saying anything to that effect.

It does sound rather "Yodaish" though, I guess.

fan of the Star Wars movies = super nerd

I wasn't the one who said I would consider dressing up as a Ferengi.........
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Thu Aug 14, 2008 - 11:14:30
No, if Yoda had said it, it would have been,
"With power great, responsibility great comes!"

Oh yes, totally different   ::doh::  Silly me.

But, being a fan of the Star Wars movies, I don't remember Yoda saying anything to that effect.

It does sound rather "Yodaish" though, I guess.

fan of the Star Wars movies = super nerd

I wasn't the one who said I would consider dressing up as a Ferengi.........

And that makes me a nerd.  Not a SuperNerd.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Aug 14, 2008 - 11:20:19
Reminder:

Topic: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Thu Aug 14, 2008 - 11:29:06
Reminder:

Topic: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?

Like most churches, maybe when everyone is a shade of brown.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: zoonance on Fri Aug 15, 2008 - 13:01:49
Reminder:

Topic: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?


Will the coC ever be unified?   

(For those who feel free to speak ill of this fellowship of brothers and sisters in Christ - will your particular niche ever be unified?  Or will there simply be the formation of a New and Improved version....)
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Fri Aug 15, 2008 - 17:49:31
(For those who feel free to speak ill of this fellowship of brothers and sisters in Christ - will your particular niche ever be unified? 

Sounds like an unresponsive response there, zoo.   ::help::

Why should it matter, what everyone else is doing?  If "integration" is the right thing to do, then it's the right thing to do.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: zoonance on Sat Aug 16, 2008 - 13:12:30
Integrate based on skin color?  based on cultural practices?  based on nonsalvation doctrinal differences? (whatever those are.  eating meat vs. not eating meat, women sitting with the men vs. separate sections. bible classes vs. No bible classes. based on _______?    based on "salvation" issues?   (IM vs nonIM, baptism required vs practiced by the already saved, etc etc etc.

When is it the right thing to do and when is it the wrong thing to do?  ::pondering::
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sat Aug 16, 2008 - 13:16:01
Integrate based on skin color?  based on cultural practices?  based on nonsalvation doctrinal differences?

I believe that for the duration of this thread, we've been speaking in the context of ethnic integration.   ::pondering::
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: zoonance on Sat Aug 16, 2008 - 17:29:30
Integrate based on skin color?  based on cultural practices?  based on nonsalvation doctrinal differences?

I believe that for the duration of this thread, we've been speaking in the context of ethnic integration.   ::pondering::


There is no such thing as ethnicity without history, culture, doctrinal stands, etc.   
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sat Aug 16, 2008 - 18:41:30
There is no such thing as ethnicity without history, culture, doctrinal stands, etc.   

 ???   ?
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Sherman Nobles on Mon Aug 18, 2008 - 09:22:54
I mean where I am there are white cOC's and black cOC's. Not that its really are problem, just sayin'.

You have a few black families scattered through white cOC's but that is not what I mean by intergration.

Why the seperation if Jesus does not see a reason to seperate? The church is suppose to be representin.'

Why the seperation?  Because Jesus loves people.  He recognizes that reaching people with the Gospel is best accomplished through existing relational/social lines.  And thus the best way to expand the Kingdom of God is to use blacks to reach blacks, whites to reach whites, hispanics to reach hispanics, asians to reach asians, muslims to reach muslims, etc. etc. etc. 

The commission of the church is to go into all the world, preach the gospel, and make disciples.  If God left heaven and became a man to reach men, how much more will He not motivate people to reach their people.  The order of the growth of churches and ministries is often from Jerusalem (same culture), Judea (a sister culture), to all the world (cross-cultural). 

Of course, as Western culture changes and becomes more transethnic, local churches will increasingly reflect more tranethnicity in worship style and leadership.  Whether ethnic-centered or transethnically diverse, I care not.  What I care is that we are preaching the good news of God's love for us, leading people to Christ and making disciples!
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Mon Aug 18, 2008 - 09:58:49
the best way to expand the Kingdom of God is to use blacks to reach blacks, whites to reach whites,

We don't need a segregated church to accomplish that. 
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Sherman Nobles on Mon Aug 18, 2008 - 15:37:17
the best way to expand the Kingdom of God is to use blacks to reach blacks, whites to reach whites,

We don't need a segregated church to accomplish that. 

A text without a context is a pretext - an assumed meaning that misses the author's intent. 

My intent was to point out that God is busy about reaching as many people with His love and forgiveness as He can.  He's chosen to do this primarily through humans, and often the best way to reach someone with such a relational message as the gospel is through existing relationships.  Cross-cultural communication/ministry is more challenging than communication/ministry within one's own culture or a similar culture. 

And of course, one of the primary goals of cross-cultural missions is to establish a viable fellowship within that culture, one that reflects many of the distinctives of that culture, the Bible in their language, using their modes of communication, culturally distinctive worship (songs, instruments, styles, etc.), etc.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 07:45:16
I couldn't agree more, Sherman.  And toward that end, many churches (including my own) have any number of specialized ministries.  The Latinos reach out to Latinos, the bankers reach out to bankers, the teens reach out to teens, etc.  It's all about relationships.

And all of this can be done under one roof.  Otherwise, Peter's dream was all for naught.

Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Sherman Nobles on Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 08:52:08
I couldn't agree more, Sherman.  And toward that end, many churches (including my own) have any number of specialized ministries.  The Latinos reach out to Latinos, the bankers reach out to bankers, the teens reach out to teens, etc.  It's all about relationships.

And all of this can be done under one roof.  Otherwise, Peter's dream was all for naught.

Why does it have to be under one roof in order for Peter's dream to be reality?  I think the roof of heaven can cover all these different ministries; but no man-made roof can cover them all. 

Also, what specifically do you mean by "roof"?  One specific sytematic theology? One specific theology about one special doctrine?  One specific leader or board?  And I assume surely you don't mean one specific organized Denomination? 

Furthermore, Peter's dream was about the great diversity of people and cultures that are accepted by the Lord.  It powerfully challenged Peter's prejudices, his Jewish-centeredness, revealing that God did not limit His kingdom to only Israel. 

Do you recall Luke 9:49-50?

Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 09:06:02
Sherman, let me assure you, I'm not such a deep thinker as all that.   ::noworries::  I'm not talking about any kind of denominational pride here, or any particular doctrinal system.

By "one roof," I simply mean that a single local congregation can serve people of all races in their community. 
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: zoonance on Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 10:32:18
the best way to expand the Kingdom of God is to use blacks to reach blacks, whites to reach whites,

We don't need a segregated church to accomplish that. 



A jew to reach the gentiles.... wait, that has been done.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: zoonance on Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 10:37:32
There is no such thing as ethnicity without history, culture, doctrinal stands, etc.  

 ???   ?


Ethnicity is phenotypic expression of genotype.  I have a laotian son who has a twin.  My son lives in a white christian house in Texas.  His twin brother lives in a laotion buddhist home in Kansas. (only 2nd generation so influenced by americanism, but grandparents still quite "laotion"    Ethnicity = both boys are laotion by race and very close both as twins and as american school kids...  Otherwise, they are heavily influenced by everything else.     

Desegration/Unity simply based on skin color or other physical features as THE answer to the issue is naive.   
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Sherman Nobles on Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 15:37:18
Sherman, let me assure you, I'm not such a deep thinker as all that.   ::noworries::  I'm not talking about any kind of denominational pride here, or any particular doctrinal system.

By "one roof," I simply mean that a single local congregation can serve people of all races in their community. 

We might not need it, but those prejudiced against us might need it.  In other words, a Korean who is strongly prejudiced against the Japanese, will more readily receive the gospel through a Korean than he would through a Japanese.  One of the principles of missions work is derived from the incarnation.  God became a man so as to reveal to us God; how much more can we change our cultural preferences to reach other cultures. 

1 Cor. 9:19-23
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

Not only is it about reaching others with Christ, but it's also about the development of the various cultural expressions of worship.  One day, peoples from every tongue and tribe will be worshipping our God.  Hallelujah! 

Of course, I agree that we should not be prejudiced and we in our local congregations should do what we can to reach out to everyone we can.  On the other hand, I believe many individual congregations have callings/purposes from God; these are often reflected in the commonly shared passions and visions of the people.  For example, some churches are commissioned by God to reach a specific culture or subculture.  And as those churches are faithful to those callings, they see progress.  However, as they try to do other things they are not called to do, they see little, if any, progress.  Some churches have a specific message they've been inspired with, a specific truth that the Lord intends to salt throughout the greater body of Christ. 

I see the great diversity in the body of Christ as a means of God expanding His kingdom.  This diversity is used by the Lord and often initiated by the Lord to accomplish his purposes.  God is far greater than our petty squables, often using even our weaknesses to accomplish His will. 
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: da525382 on Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 21:49:12
I see the great diversity in the body of Christ as a means of God expanding His kingdom.  This diversity is used by the Lord and often initiated by the Lord to accomplish his purposes.  God is far greater than our petty squables, often using even our weaknesses to accomplish His will. 

A hearty "amen" to that one, Sherman......
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 23:20:23
1- a Korean who is strongly prejudiced against the Japanese, will more readily receive the gospel through a Korean

2- I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

3- For example, some churches are commissioned by God to reach a specific culture or subculture. 


1- I couldn't agree more.  ::nodding::

2- Great argument for a specialized ministry.  But not a one-race church.

3- Great argument for a specialized ministry.  But not a one-race church.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Aug 19, 2008 - 23:21:13
zoo -

In English, please?   ???
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Sherman Nobles on Wed Aug 20, 2008 - 12:35:48
BTW,  I happen to have moved a few months ago to a new area and am currently in the process of looking for a local church to join.  The church I was a member of for the last 10 years was intentionally transethnic; and one of the things I'm seeking in the congregation that we join is that it be transethnic. As I've pointed out, I don't believe that every congregation must be transethnic; but there are far too few that are.   In fact, in the last 6 months we have not ran across one congregation that is transethnic at the leadership level.  Some are transethnic in membership and worship style, but are mono-ethnic at the leadership level. 
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: zoonance on Wed Aug 20, 2008 - 15:27:57
zoo -

In English, please?   ???



¿Qué parte de mi comentario no era en inglés?
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Wed Aug 20, 2008 - 16:16:21
¿Qué parte de mi comentario no era en inglés?

Todo ::lookaround::
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: zoonance on Wed Aug 20, 2008 - 17:31:54
a laotion will look laotion because of his genes.   A person is the sum total of genes, family traditions, cultural influences, positive and negative experiences, etc etc etc etc etc etc etc.....
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Wed Aug 20, 2008 - 18:02:20
a laotion will look laotion because of his genes.   A person is the sum total of genes, family traditions, cultural influences, positive and negative experiences....

Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. 

But somehow I suspect that I'm missing something.... ::whistle::
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Johnb on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 07:02:29
Many here come from the RM that  could not get people of the same race and culture to even reconize one another as brothers in Christ but now we are going to solve the segreagation of local churches?  rofl
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: savedbyhim on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 07:46:08
BTW,  I happen to have moved a few months ago to a new area and am currently in the process of looking for a local church to join.  The church I was a member of for the last 10 years was intentionally transethnic; and one of the things I'm seeking in the congregation that we join is that it be transethnic. As I've pointed out, I don't believe that every congregation must be transethnic; but there are far too few that are.   In fact, in the last 6 months we have not ran across one congregation that is transethnic at the leadership level.  Some are transethnic in membership and worship style, but are mono-ethnic at the leadership level. 

I agree Sherman about the mono-ethnic leadership thing.....as sad as that is, it's all true. We (speaking to white people here) can't be all warm and fuzzy because we were able to get a few blacks or ethnics to worship in the same building with us. We must let these people grow also into leaders and let them to take their place amongst the leadership of the church as much as anyone else. But I sometimes see them as being relegated to some back row position that only makes "us" feel better about ourselves. Well, it shouldn't.....we need to take a look at this more seriously and get past the discrimination and practices that have kept all races of believers at a level of distrust with each other.

The church I just moved from a few months ago was very active in reaching out to other ethnic groups, but sadly they still only had an "all white" leadership. There were a few ministers of color but not among elders, etc.

Anyway, I think that if we are ever going to be as the bible describes....neither Jew nor Greek....then we have to make sure we address this leadership issue also.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 07:55:00
BTW,  I happen to have moved a few months ago to a new area and am currently in the process of looking for a local church to join.  The church I was a member of for the last 10 years was intentionally transethnic; and one of the things I'm seeking in the congregation that we join is that it be transethnic. As I've pointed out, I don't believe that every congregation must be transethnic; but there are far too few that are.   In fact, in the last 6 months we have not ran across one congregation that is transethnic at the leadership level.  Some are transethnic in membership and worship style, but are mono-ethnic at the leadership level. 

I agree Sherman about the mono-ethnic leadership thing.....as sad as that is, it's all true. We (speaking to white people here) can't be all warm and fuzzy because we were able to get a few blacks or ethnics to worship in the same building with us. We must let these people grow also into leaders and let them to take their place amongst the leadership of the church as much as anyone else. But I sometimes see them as being relegated to some back row position that only makes "us" feel better about ourselves. Well, it shouldn't.....we need to take a look at this more seriously and get past the discrimination and practices that have kept all races of believers at a level of distrust with each other.

The church I just moved from a few months ago was very active in reaching out to other ethnic groups, but sadly they still only had an "all white" leadership. There were a few ministers of color but not among elders, etc.

Anyway, I think that if we are ever going to be as the bible describes....neither Jew nor Greek....then we have to make sure we address this leadership issue also.

Affirmative action for church elderships?  ::pondering::
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 08:17:16
If a church isn't integrated on common doctrine and heritage, how can they even think about being integrated on common doctrine and heritage with a church largely of a different ethnicity?
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 08:21:31
Affirmative action for church elderships?  ::pondering::

 ::noworries::

At my church, we've never had a particular "push" to recruit a mixed membership or leadership.  We simply knock on doors all over town, and invite whoever answers the door.  And when someone expresses an interest in serving in leadership, we give them every consideration.  This naturally gives us a varied representation at every level.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: savedbyhim on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 08:22:50
Affirmative action for church elderships?  ::pondering::

 ::noworries::

At my church, we've never had a particular "push" to recruit a mixed membership or leadership.  We simply knock on doors all over town, and invite whoever answers the door.  And when someone expresses an interest in serving in leadership, we give them every consideration.  This naturally gives us a varied representation at every level.

Sounds like the way it should be.... ::amen!::
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Sherman Nobles on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 08:31:55
A transethnic leadership is key to having a truly transethnic congregation or denomination.  And to me, the greatest test of whether one is still personally prejudiced or not is whether one could emotionally not oppose one's child from marrying cross-culturally.  This is where the rubber meets the road for most any parent.  

Few people realize just how much our personal preferences and subconscious emotions, values, and judgements are based upon our culture.   What we eat, what we value, what we accept as true are all strongly influenced by our culture.  For example, though the word of God says that pork is nasty (unclean), how many of us would get sick to our stomachs just thinking about eating pork?  This is just an example, no need to derail this thread talking about OT dietary teachings.  It's just a simple example of world-view.

As our culture changes and becomes more transethnic, so will our churches.  It's just sad that the church is not leading the way instead of bringing up the tail-end.  On the other hand, if one looks at the newly born churches outside of traditional denominations then one sees more transethnicity because our children have and are growing us in a culture that is increasingly anti-racism.  

One of my favorite sayings comes from the movie "Gettysburg".  In it a Yankee Colonel and Sargeant are talking about race.  The Colonel is speaking about the "divine spark" he sees in every human regardless of race.  The Sargeant says that he's not so deep but he does believe that "Any man that judges the individual by the group is a pea-wit!" which is actually a very profound statement for racism is founded primarily in ignorance and pride; both of which blind us.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Sherman Nobles on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 08:37:28
Affirmative action for church elderships?  ::pondering::

 ::noworries::

At my church, we've never had a particular "push" to recruit a mixed membership or leadership.  We simply knock on doors all over town, and invite whoever answers the door.  And when someone expresses an interest in serving in leadership, we give them every consideration.  This naturally gives us a varied representation at every level.

Of course, such depends upon how transethnic your community is.  If your community is transethnic, then it is easier for your church to be transethnic.  However, the more racially divided your community, the more difficulties local congregations face in becoming transethnic.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 08:48:14
Just reviewing this thread a few pages back, and this one struck me...

Folks attending close to where they live or going to a congregation of the same group because they feel more comfortable there is division??  and sin??

Where I come from, when it makes you "uncomfortable" to associate with people of another race, we have a name for that.  We call it racism.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 08:50:41
If a church isn't integrated on common doctrine and heritage, how can they even think about being integrated on common doctrine and heritage with a church largely of a different ethnicity?

Autonomy raises its ugly head again.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 08:55:36
If a church isn't integrated on common doctrine and heritage, how can they even think about being integrated on common doctrine and heritage with a church largely of a different ethnicity?

Good point, Gary.  I must say that it befuddles me to no end, when I see people join up with a church and then argue with everything it does and teaches.  If you don't share their beliefs, then get out of there!
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 08:58:38
Of course, such depends upon how transethnic your community is.  If your community is transethnic, then it is easier for your church to be transethnic. 

Oh, we have plenty of ethnic neighborhoods around here; black, white, Latino, Asian, rich, poor, etc.  But our meeting place is within a 20-minute drive of all.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 09:07:00
Just reviewing this thread a few pages back, and this one struck me...

Folks attending close to where they live or going to a congregation of the same group because they feel more comfortable there is division??  and sin??

Where I come from, when it makes you "uncomfortable" to associate with people of another race, we have a name for that.  We call it racism.

This is where it gets tricky, though.  The problem with some folks may not be that they are uncomfortable "associating with people of another race."  In other words, it may not be an issue of skin color at all.

But, it's possible that many predominantly black churches may do things a bit differently from what someone whose experience is among predominantly white churches is used to.  Suddenly, it's not about skin color.  Instead, it becomes an issue of preference with regard to worship styles and perhaps personal expression.  This gets a little tricky.  Of course, nowadays, there exists more diversity even among all white churches, with regard to worship styles (for example, whether a traditional single song leader leads worship or whether a group/praise team leads worship... or maybe something as simple as whether folks in a church clap, raise hands, or shout/cheer at times during worship).

That all becomes an issue that is separate and apart from racism... yet differences may happen to exist across racial lines, in some cases.  In a broad sense, it's a cultural or traditional issue.  Some will try to make these doctrinal issues, however (such as that some of the things I listed above are actually Biblically wrong).  Then, we have a whole other set of issues to deal with.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 09:31:18
Instead, it becomes an issue of preference with regard to worship styles and perhaps personal expression. 


Yup.   ::nodding::  So we're still dealing with the issue of "comfort."

My service to God has always caused me to stretch outside my comfort zone.  Otherwise, why bother being a Christian in the first place?   ::doh::
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 09:34:06
I don't have to worry about it much in Whitey McWhiteville.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 09:40:31
Instead, it becomes an issue of preference with regard to worship styles and perhaps personal expression. 


Yup.   ::nodding::  So we're still dealing with the issue of "comfort."

My service to God has always caused me to stretch outside my comfort zone.  Otherwise, why bother being a Christian in the first place?   ::doh::

You may or may not be able to relate to this point.  But, some folks actually consider stretching outside of their "comfort zone" to be sin (and, by "comfort zone," I mean what they are accustomed to in a worship service).

I've heard folks cite the passage about things being "in decency and in order" to show that clapping during worship is wrong.  I'm not saying that they're correct in that thinking... but, it is where some people are coming from.  Then, we have a problem to address with these people that isn't even about skin color.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 09:43:45
I've heard folks cite the passage about things being "in decency and in order" to show that clapping during worship is wrong.  I'm not saying that they're correct in that thinking... but, it is where some people are coming from.  Then, we have a problem to address with these people that isn't even about skin color.

So then the question remains, what is more important to you: personal comfort, or serving God?  Choose ye this day whom ye shall serve.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 09:56:47
I've heard folks cite the passage about things being "in decency and in order" to show that clapping during worship is wrong.  I'm not saying that they're correct in that thinking... but, it is where some people are coming from.  Then, we have a problem to address with these people that isn't even about skin color.

So then the question remains, what is more important to you: personal comfort, or serving God?  Choose ye this day whom ye shall serve.

To the people I was referring to... their comfort zone is all about how they are serving God.  To leave their "comfort zone" is to not "serve God" in a way that they consider to be appropriate.  Again, I'm not defending their point of view on that, and I didn't wish to go off topic.  But, all that to show that being "uncomfortable" in a church of a different racial makeup may not necessarily have anything to do with the racial makeup.  It just becomes an issue when someone, who moves into a community, has two churches to choose from in a situation where the churches are unfortunately predominantly one race or the other.  If the church that is predominantly of the other race does things a little differently from what the person is used to... they're going to tend to choose the church that is more like what they are used to (if that's the case).  And, if they have a very rigid perspective on what is "acceptable" in a worship service, that may determine their choice.

My main point is that this is a very complicated issue... one that doesn't all revolve around skin color alone.  We have cultural differences at work here as well...  and, then differing interpretations and slants on what one views as being acceptable, authorized, or appropriate in the context of worship or other things with regard to how things are "done" in church.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: memmy on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 10:01:06
If the focus was on Who the focus was supposed to be on, rather than pleasing each other, then we would have, say, approximately 100% less division in the church today?

Seems like the unity today cannot exist mostly due to everyones "personal preferences".

If we had our eyes on Jesus, and off of everyone else, we all would be truly color blind, tone deaf to what we concern ourselves to be "out of our comfort zones", and mute to opening our mouths to make sure that everyone "does it all right".........(in whose eyes anyways?)

Oh wahhhh people.   ::cryingtears::  Doesn't it really seem that what it all boils down to is that we are all a bunch of self serving cry babies? ::fit::

And the ones with the biggest cry get handed their binkies first.  ::baby::

 ::frown::

Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 10:21:12
I just wish it was that simple.

Actually, the message I get from the Bible is that we are supposed to focus on one another, in addition to focusing on God.  Romans 14-15 is good to read.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 10:44:39
Again, I'm not defending their point of view on that, and I didn't wish to go off topic. 


Good enough, DCR.   ::tippinghat:: I think I mostly agree with your perspective here.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: zoonance on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 10:47:34
Instead, it becomes an issue of preference with regard to worship styles and perhaps personal expression. 


Yup.   ::nodding::  So we're still dealing with the issue of "comfort."

My service to God has always caused me to stretch outside my comfort zone.  Otherwise, why bother being a Christian in the first place?   ::doh::

You obviously haven't really experienced the serious attempts at "desegration" in any of the  congregations where you have worshipped have you?
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 10:55:20
You obviously haven't really experienced the serious attempts at "desegration" in any of the  congregations where you have worshipped have you?

The one-race churches that I attended in the past (and there were several), made no attempt to help me become saved.  And when I questioned the sameness of the membership, they thought I was crazy.  They didn't see it as a problem to be "fixed," so hence, no attempts to desegregate, "serious" or otherwise.

So to answer your q, no, I didn't stick around for long.

The church where I finally did become a Christian, was multi-racial from day one.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: memmy on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 11:07:30
I just wish it was that simple.

Actually, the message I get from the Bible is that we are supposed to focus on one another, in addition to focusing on God.  Romans 14-15 is good to read.

In addition, yes..........but the main focus is to keep our eyes on the Prize.

As in anything, if we keep our focus off of that, we will miss it in the end.

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Phil: 3:14

(Notice it says "In Christ Jesus", not in the way we run, but in what the focus is on.)

That's the way it is in everything, isn't it?

Maybe we should allow it to again be that simple. Maybe this is what we need to get the message out to believers about.

Like how they put blinders on the horses in the race, so they can't see anything to distract them from the goal.

Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: zoonance on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 12:46:09
You obviously haven't really experienced the serious attempts at "desegration" in any of the  congregations where you have worshipped have you?

The one-race churches that I attended in the past (and there were several), made no attempt to help me become saved.  And when I questioned the sameness of the membership, they thought I was crazy.  They didn't see it as a problem to be "fixed," so hence, no attempts to desegregate, "serious" or otherwise.

So to answer your q, no, I didn't stick around for long.

The church where I finally did become a Christian, was multi-racial from day one.


If they were multi-racial from day one - they never had to deal with the reality on the same level either.   Whose "fault" is it really?
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Aug 21, 2008 - 14:37:10
If they were multi-racial from day one - they never had to deal with the reality on the same level either.   Whose "fault" is it really?

??? ?

Ah, you know these people and their histories and motives, do ya?   ::doh:: 

The reason why they made the decision to plant this new church in Los Angeles, was precisely because they had observed these (and other) issues in their earlier church affiliations and sought to apply the lessons they learned.

Similarly, many of the people who visit our church for the first time are amazed that we have found a worship style that pleases all.  And that everyone is treated the same, and we all get along.

When Japan (a  99% ethnically homogenous nation) bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, they assumed that the Americans would be pushovers.  Why?  Because we (unlike them) were a multi-ethnic society, and they couldn't imagine that such a people could actually work together for a common purpose.

Apparently, they were wrong.  Could there be a lesson here for modern churches?  Hmmmm??
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Sherman Nobles on Mon Aug 25, 2008 - 15:16:12
Of course, such depends upon how transethnic your community is.  If your community is transethnic, then it is easier for your church to be transethnic. 

Oh, we have plenty of ethnic neighborhoods around here; black, white, Latino, Asian, rich, poor, etc.  But our meeting place is within a 20-minute drive of all.

Exactly, so your community is transethnic and thus your church has an easier time being transethnic. 

I believe we share the same values concerning transethnicity within the church; but I don't believe every church must be transethnich.  I believe that God inspires variety in churches to reach a variety in people.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: James Rondon on Tue Aug 26, 2008 - 00:23:52
There are plenty of one-race churches around here.  Clearly, this is sin.  Always.

There is only one race.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: zoonance on Tue Aug 26, 2008 - 08:03:21
If they were multi-racial from day one - they never had to deal with the reality on the same level either.   Whose "fault" is it really?

??? ?

Ah, you know these people and their histories and motives, do ya?   ::doh:: 





The reason why they made the decision to plant this new church in Los Angeles, was precisely because they had observed these (and other) issues in their earlier church affiliations and sought to apply the lessons they learned.

Similarly, many of the people who visit our church for the first time are amazed that we have found a worship style that pleases all.  And that everyone is treated the same, and we all get along.

When Japan (a  99% ethnically homogenous nation) bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, they assumed that the Americans would be pushovers.  Why?  Because we (unlike them) were a multi-ethnic society, and they couldn't imagine that such a people could actually work together for a common purpose.

Apparently, they were wrong.  Could there be a lesson here for modern churches?  Hmmmm??



True.  I knew those people as well as you and I know the rest of us and still feel free to comment as  if we do!


This new congregation wanted to do this, together, from various backgrounds and histories.   That is still not the same as trying to pull it off in an established congregation.  Which of the established congregations trying to merge will be the "most established" because, inevitably, one will likely reestablish because that is what each one has experienced doing individually in the first place.   (I'm not saying this well!....)
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Aug 26, 2008 - 09:35:49
That is still not the same as trying to pull it off in an established congregation. 

Yup.   ::nodding::

And just like with Alcoholics Anonymous, the first step is to admit that you have a problem. 

There's an all-black church down the street from here, and they have several wonderful public outreach ministries.  One of them is a health-care service for children, that is, black kids only.  Through my son's school, I met a couple of parents who took their white kids to the clinic (they were unclear on the concept) and were turned away.

So I went to the church and asked why they won't serve white kids.  After a 10-minute conversation, they still didn't understand the question.

I finally gave up. 
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Aug 26, 2008 - 09:41:04
Sherman, I will remind you of the post that you quoted from me:

Oh, we have plenty of ethnic neighborhoods around here; black, white, Latino, Asian, rich, poor, etc.  But our meeting place is within a 20-minute drive of all.

I have traveled a bit around the USA, including many big cities, and I have yet to encounter a place where the above-described situation doesn't exist; that is, if they would only drive just a few blocks or a few miles, they could worship in a melting-pot setting.  These people are not unable to fellowship outside of their own race.  They simply choose not to make the effort.

And when the churches are content to let it remain so, they become co-conspirators.

At the Crenshaw Christian Center in Los Angeles (Fred Price's church, not too far from me) they have an almost all-black congregation.  The members swarm there every week from a 100-mile radius, to worship where almost everyone looks like them. 

Likewise the Crystal Cathedral (Robert Schuller), the white church.

Likewise the many Latino churches in downtown LA.

So there goes the silly argument "we worship where we live."  They drive past dozens of other churches, to fellowship among their own.

Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Aug 26, 2008 - 09:52:39
(I'm not saying this well!....)

Try it again, zoo.   ::disco::
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: memmy on Tue Aug 26, 2008 - 10:41:22
Bottom line........

The coC can't even seem to integrate it's race period, the Human race. If there are differences, they are not accepted outside of their "norm", no matter what flavor those outside each box is like.

We should be working on that. If that would happen, the other should fall into place, shouldn't it?

The only way to do so, is put the focus on Jesus, period.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: zoonance on Tue Aug 26, 2008 - 12:13:03
If the focus was on Who the focus was supposed to be on, rather than pleasing each other, then we would have, say, approximately 100% less division in the church today?

Seems like the unity today cannot exist mostly due to everyones "personal preferences".

If we had our eyes on Jesus, and off of everyone else, we all would be truly color blind, tone deaf to what we concern ourselves to be "out of our comfort zones", and mute to opening our mouths to make sure that everyone "does it all right".........(in whose eyes anyways?)

Oh wahhhh people.   ::cryingtears::  Doesn't it really seem that what it all boils down to is that we are all a bunch of self serving cry babies? ::fit::

And the ones with the biggest cry get handed their binkies first.  ::baby::

 ::frown::





I wish I could ask without the least hint of trying to sound like a jerk - I really don't mean to.  But I think it is fair to ask.   (Myself as well!)

Why do you attend where you go?   Why don't you attend where "they" (anybody else) attends instead of contributing to the divisions?      It is clear that it must be more than "It is only about Him" 
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Aug 26, 2008 - 14:09:10
Good question, zoo.

In my case, I began to study the Bible for the first time about 18 years ago.  At that point, I began to realize that my Sunday School education was quite incomplete.  And as for what I did learn in my youth, much of it didn't match up with the Word.

So I chose a church that teaches what I learned in the Bible.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: DCR on Tue Aug 26, 2008 - 14:27:38
Take it from the One we should keep our eyes on...

Matthew 25
35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

 37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

 40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"




It sounds like Jesus wants us to spend much of our time focusing on others.  That's different than "judging" in the sense of Matthew 7, by the way.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: Imabear on Tue Aug 26, 2008 - 18:25:19

I wish I could ask without the least hint of trying to sound like a jerk - I really don't mean to.  But I think it is fair to ask.   (Myself as well!)

Why do you attend where you go?   Why don't you attend where "they" (anybody else) attends instead of contributing to the divisions?      It is clear that it must be more than "It is only about Him" 
It seems like you have some good questions for a whole new topic.  Maybe in a broader category than RM.  (And no, You don't sound like a jerk.)
I think some divisions are okay.  I think different worship styles and practices are acceptable.  I think doctrinal differences will continue.  I also agree that our focus should be on what DCR posted:
Take it from the One we should keep our eyes on...

Matthew 25
35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

 37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

 40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"




It sounds like Jesus wants us to spend much of our time focusing on others.  That's different than "judging" in the sense of Matthew 7, by the way.
I chose the church I attend because they preach the word and they are very service and community oriented.  They do have some beliefs and practices that are different than yours, but that doesn't mean I think I'm right and you're wrong.  We're just different.  Yeah, I know you have to draw a line somewhere or we'll be lost into anything goes liberalism.  And here come the divisions again... where to draw the lines???
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: memmy on Tue Aug 26, 2008 - 20:32:40
You don't sound like a jerk at all zoo.  ::hug::

Why do I not go to a coC? Or why do I go where I go now?

I can't go to a coC in my area without being reminded of all the divisions, so the focus that I try to keep out of my mind is continually put there when I go there. Even the "liberal" ones, only 2 coC's out of literally hundreds of them in this area, by the way, still tend to be trying hard to teach their members to be more grace centered since their focus for years has been on division, whether being a part of them or fighting against them. Since they are making strides to get away from divisions, they still talk about it and that tends to distract me from what is most important.

I do think it is wonderful for those there who are just beginning to understand God's grace, love and mercy and learning how to be more Christ centered. But for me, it is still a distraction since where I now attend, we don't even have the need discuss issues of division as that has not been a focus there for years as in the coC's around here, and as we still see at GCMag, all over the place.

At this time, where I attend, we are now hoping the entire church congregation will soon go through a good discipleship program together as to be able to reach the lost, unlike just reaching other coC members.

I do admire and praise those who are staying in the coC's though, that can and will stand up to make a difference there, who will not be distracted by what causes the divisions. But for me who hasn't a single voice in the coC's, just because I am female, I could not possible do anything there but cause more division. That's another issue as well.

Does that help to make my point clearer? I hope so, since I don't think I seem to be getting it across very well.

Blessings, Memmy
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: PEGGY JOYCE on Wed Aug 27, 2008 - 14:46:48
Isn't it ironic,  memmy,  that I know exactly what you are saying (and very well, I'd say).

You are my true sister in Christ, and one that means a lot to me.   
You have explained it very well from your heart.   I love that!!

God bless,
Peggy
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Wed Sep 03, 2008 - 00:45:04
If someday, everyone is a shade of brown due to "inter-racial" marriages, will people still discriminate on minor shade or cultural backgrounds?

Probably.  If history is a guide, they will just find something else to fight about.  People don't like to run out of enemies.

When Yugoslavia was under Soviet rule, they were all brothers; everyone was united by their hate of a common enemy.  But when the USSR dissolved, they danced in the streets for about a week.  Then they went to war against each other.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 11:17:29
The reason why they made the decision to plant this new church in Los Angeles, was precisely because they had observed these (and other) issues in their earlier church affiliations and sought to apply the lessons they learned.


This new congregation wanted to do this, together, from various backgrounds and histories.   That is still not the same as trying to pull it off in an established congregation. 

I don't think I would ever try to integrate an existing congregation; too much tradition, baggage, old-style thinking.

Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 11:20:19
I don't think I would ever try to integrate an existing congregation; too much tradition, baggage, old-style thinking.

What would be your alternative, then?



Start a new one in the same area?  ::pondering::
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 11:24:26
What would be your alternative, then?
Start a new one in the same area?  ::pondering::

Years ago, we did try working within existing congregations.  This ended up creating much resentment from the longtime leaders and members. 

But in this new church in LA: 50 missionaries from Boston, San Francisco, and San Diego in 1989 have now multiplied to about 8,000.

Looks like it's working.

Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 11:30:27
Isn't that division?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 11:33:19
I don't think I would ever try to integrate an existing congregation; too much tradition, baggage, old-style thinking.

What would be your alternative, then?



Start a new one in the same area?  ::pondering::
Richard Rogers used to say that it's easier to get things right in a new plant than in a old established congregation, and that from the pragmatic pov it makes a whole lot more sense.  Paul seemed to think much the same way, preferring to work with those who do not yet know Christ (Ro. 15:20).

I'm sure planting a new congregation committed to reaching the whole community is a far better reason for planting than most of the split-derived reasons in your neck of the woods (or the neck of the woods of my youth, either).

My opinion is that there are more than enough lost folk to go around, even in the Bible Belt a new congregation reaching people is a welcome addition, so long as it's not from egotistical, antagonistic, or arrogant motives, that is.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 11:33:53
Isn't that division?
Planting a new congregation isn't division.  Factious splits are division.  Intent and tactics matter. 

Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 11:34:28
Gary, as I said, we tried for years to work within existing congregations.  And in the end, the only way to peace was through excessive compromise.  Unity is good, even great.  But at the expense of sound doctrine and righteous living?  I say hit the road.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 11:36:00
JMG, Gary has a point.  But what is the motivation of the planting?  Many church plants are simply the selfish ambitions of a young preacher who wants to make his mark. 
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 11:38:41
JMG, Gary has a point.  But what is the motivation of the planting?  Many church plants are simply the selfish ambitions of a young preacher who wants to make his mark. 

I believe I addressed that already:

....so long as it's not from egotistical, antagonistic, or arrogant motives, that is.

Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 12:04:58
What would be your alternative, then?
Start a new one in the same area?  ::pondering::


Years ago, we did try working within existing congregations.  This ended up creating much resentment from the longtime leaders and members. 

But in this new church in LA: 50 missionaries from Boston, San Francisco, and San Diego in 1989 have now multiplied to about 8,000.

Looks like it's working.




With that being the case, why was another situation that was recently brought before us here judged as being a schism (http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/index.php/topic,27989.msg531779.html#msg531779), if this isn't?

Or, is this just another schism?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 16:19:23
Or, is this just another schism?

DCR, as I recall, that previous discussion was about starting up a new competing congregation just down the street from another of the same affiliation.

With the situation that I described above, that was not the case.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 16:23:43
what we are doing is far from a schism.....we are trying to unite on the heart of the Gospel....

You're breaking from one congregation to form another.   ::sick::  Sounds like a schism to me.

 ::pondering::
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 16:38:37
Good to see that you have your thinking face on today, D.

Yes, that post was from me.  And as I responded to you above: That previous discussion was about starting up a new competing congregation just down the street from another of the same affiliation.

With the situation that I described with my own church, that was not the case.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 16:39:47
Good to see that you have your thinking face on today, D.

Yes, that post was from me.  And as I responded to you above: That previous discussion was about starting up a new competing congregation just down the street from another of the same affiliation.

With the situation that I described with my own church, that was not the case.

I don't think that Notofmyown's situation is as you described.  From what I've read it is more of a church plant with input from elders from both the Ind. Christian Church/Churches of Christ and the CofC.  Big difference.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 16:47:25
Good to see that you have your thinking face on today, D.

Yes, that post was from me.  And as I responded to you above: That previous discussion was about starting up a new competing congregation just down the street from another of the same affiliation.

With the situation that I described with my own church, that was not the case.

So, your situation was not schism?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 16:49:15
So, your situation was not schism?

They traveled hundreds of miles to start a new congregation in a new city.

They didn't just drive down the street and set up a competing church, out of dissatisfaction with another.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 16:50:31
So, your situation was not schism?

They traveled hundreds of miles to start a new congregation in a new city.

They didn't just drive down the street and set up a competing church, out of dissatisfaction with another.

The other church in question may not have traveled hundreds of miles, but if you read closely, I don't believe it was out of dissatisfaction with the Independent Christian Church either.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 16:53:41
So, your situation was not schism?

They traveled hundreds of miles to start a new congregation in a new city.

They didn't just drive down the street and set up a competing church, out of dissatisfaction with another.


Then, I'm getting a little confused in light of our discussion up to this point:

Gary, as I said, we tried for years to work within existing congregations.  And in the end, the only way to peace was through excessive compromise.  Unity is good, even great.  But at the expense of sound doctrine and righteous living?  I say hit the road.


So, schism is okay... as long as you move hundreds of miles away to start your new congregation?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 16:55:41
Hit the road to another congregation, not to invent a new one.

Planting a church to serve a previously unserved population, is a noble cause, and it's not the same thing.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 16:57:33
Hit the road to another congregation.

Not to invent a new one.

Hit the road as opposed to working "within existing congregations"  (your words) is what I read you to say.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 16:58:32
Hit the road to another congregation, not to invent a new one.

Church planting is another matter.

The situation in the other thread could rightly be called a church plant.  It appeared it had the blessing of the eldership of two different congregations.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 17:00:06
Hit the road as opposed to working "within existing congregations"  (your words) is what I read you to say.

Dialogue, of course, is always the best first course of action.  I think we're going in circles here.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Tue Sep 09, 2008 - 17:06:27
Hit the road as opposed to working "within existing congregations"  (your words) is what I read you to say.

Dialogue, of course, is always the best first course of action.  I think we're going in circles here.

The only difference I see between your situation and notofmyown's situation is that his group is on good terms with and has the support of the other nearby congregation.  Yet, you called his situation "schism"?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Wed Sep 10, 2008 - 09:21:58
I suppose it's strange to me, the idea of two churches in the same community, going in together to plant a new church as a house church just down the street.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: zoonance on Thu Sep 11, 2008 - 17:02:59
I suppose it's strange to me, the idea of two churches in the same community, going in together to plant a new church as a house church just down the street.



Because a certain percentage in each dare to unite on certain common grounds that the other percentage of each congregation won't?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 11, 2008 - 17:10:23
Because a certain percentage in each dare to unite on certain common grounds that the other percentage of each congregation won't?

Nope.  I simply have never heard of it being done before.  So still trying to wrap my mind around the concept.

Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: zoonance on Thu Sep 11, 2008 - 17:17:05
Because a certain percentage in each dare to unite on certain common grounds that the other percentage of each congregation won't?

Nope.  I simply have never heard of it being done before.  So still trying to wrap my mind around the concept.




I doubt it would happen very often.  (at least not with the sincerist of motives!)  Disgruntled gathering is not in and of itself particularly laud worthy.   However, providing a niche which furthers growth (in a number of ways) might be.  I don't know.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 11, 2008 - 17:28:13
If I understand it correctly, both of these churches are supporting a church plant which teaches (or practices?) something that neither one of them believes in.  Or am I missing something?   ::shrug::
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: zoonance on Thu Sep 11, 2008 - 17:33:38
If I understand it correctly, both of these churches are supporting a church plant which teaches (or practices?) something that neither one of them believes in.  Or am I missing something?   ::shrug::



At this time, I no longer remember anything at all about who we are talking about so I am not only missing something... I am clearly missing everything!  I will have to read over the posts again.  Something I probably won't do at the moment.  A hurricane is coming our way and I need to go home.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Sat Sep 13, 2008 - 09:19:14
If I understand it correctly, both of these churches are supporting a church plant which teaches (or practices?) something that neither one of them believes in.  Or am I missing something?   ::shrug::

Only notofmyown can give all the details of this situation and can answer your question.  But, understand the historical connection of the two congregations, and it might make a little more sense.  One is apparently an Independent Christian Church, and the other is a Church of Christ (non-instrumental).  These churches have a common history in the Restoration Movement.  But, there was a split in the movement over 100 years ago over what was allowable in public worship assemblies, in addition to some other issues.

The folks from the CofC are used to no instrumental music being used in worship.  The folks from the CC always had this though.  Many from these two groups, in recent years, have desired to explore a restoration of their once lost unity.

However, in order to do that, some differences in the ways they do things have to be reconciled.  Perhaps, this smaller merger assembly is an experiment toward that possibility.

The differences (due to autonomy) on scriptural matters may be negligible.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: snoopdawg on Sun Sep 14, 2008 - 18:46:49
blituri,

How do you suggest we church folk get our praise-on?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: blituri on Sun Sep 14, 2008 - 20:42:56
Saying "lord, lord" is not praising God: Jesus and the Greek authorities call this "prophesying" which includes the singing and instruments by which people thought they could perform miracles such as casting out demons. Jesus said of them that the Father does not know their name because the SON will not confess anyone who claims to be a mediator.

Praise singing is the OLDEST profession and the SECOND oldest was often part of the ritual: you have to make the gods happy if you expect them to hear your worship.  I think singers and clappers and machine players are really like banshees wailing in space because they believe that THEY have to do hard work to keep from getting hurt. That is why the shout so loud about their LIBERTY. I truly feel sorry for them and so do a large percentage of the OWNERS when they impose their bodies between you and God.

2Pet. 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

"In ancient Mesopotamia its main purpose appears to have been the enhancement of what was seen as beneficial. With the sole exception of wisdom literature,

    the core genres are panegyric in nature (i.e.,
    they praise something or someone),
    and the magical power and use of praise
    is to instill, call up, or activate the virtues presented in the praise.

"That praise is of the essence of hymns, for instance, is shown by the fact that over and over again the encomiast, the official praiser, (See Kantor, Precenter, Worship Leader) whose task it was to sing these hymns,

      closed with the standing phrase: "O [the name of a deity or human hero], thy praise is sweet." The same phrase is common also at the end of myths and epics, two further praise genres that also belonged in the repertoire of the encomiast.

"They praise not only in description but also in narrative,
by recounting acts of valour done by the hero,

    thus sustaining and enhancing his power to do such deeds,
    according to the magical view.

Paul defined the HOW we praise: we tell God's story in God's Words:

Rom. 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Rom. 15:2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
Rom. 15:3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
Rom. 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Rom. 15:5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
Rom. 15:6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify [praise] God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Rom. 15:7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

As the synagogue excluded "vocal and instrumental praise" the ekklesia or in Paul's word "synagogue" is EXCLUSIVE of self- pleasure and inclusive of the above quote: even the Lord's Supper is a teaching activity.

I don't believe in predestination but in post-destination: when people begin to tamper with God's Word and pretend to be mediators in song and sermon the STRONG DELUSION is so well taught that what any simple simon could grasp if you read the NOT musical passages would understand. At the same time "doctors of the Law" could not see or hear it if Jesus materialized on their pulpit and read it to them.

Paul said:

Heb. 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

before he said:

Heb. 12:27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Heb. 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
Heb. 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.




Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: da525382 on Sun Sep 14, 2008 - 23:08:53
Blituri,

You most certainly have an interesting thinking process.  What's amazing to me is that you can understand yourself.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: memmy on Sun Sep 14, 2008 - 23:24:51
Isn't it ironic,  memmy,  that I know exactly what you are saying (and very well, I'd say).

You are my true sister in Christ, and one that means a lot to me.  
You have explained it very well from your heart.   I love that!!

God bless,
Peggy
Thank you Peggy Joyce! Some reason I am just now seeing this. I am sorry it took so long for me to see it.

I think it's wonderful to have sisters in Christ, isn't it?

To one of mine, from one of yours,  ::hug:: Memmy
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: memmy on Sun Sep 14, 2008 - 23:29:25
Isn't that division?
Planting a new congregation isn't division.  Factious splits are division.  Intent and tactics matter. 



What we say about church plants from where I attend.

We shouldn't call them divisions when you are in the work of the Lord together, you call it multiplication!
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Mon Sep 15, 2008 - 00:10:46
Weren't we talking about racial diversity in here?   ???
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Mon Sep 15, 2008 - 00:24:52
Weren't we talking about racial diversity in here?   ???

Fine.  I'll split out the sidetrack discussion to a new thread.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: memmy on Mon Sep 15, 2008 - 06:38:25
Weren't we talking about racial diversity in here?   ???

Yeah sorry. I am just not familiar with that subject around here. Most of the people who grew up here are from here and I don't believe there was a problem with it in the coC's because there were not many if any people of color in them. They usually are Methodist/ Weslyan. Doesn't mean we aren't friends  together. One of my best friends from childhood is a black girl and we still only live one ridge away from each other with our families. Her kids grew up with mine, and now our grands are getting to know each other.

As far as worshipping together. She used to go to church with me as kids, youth rallies too. But as far as worship styles, I believe they are much more charasmatic and verbal in their style, although where I go now, no one would flinch to any response to worship style. After all our weekly bulletin we receive walking into service states, "Quiet or exuberant, with laughter or tears, private or shared, kneeling, sitting, standing or even dancing, thank you for worshipping God and His Son with us today. May your experience be extravagant!"

The black community here has a pretty tight knit family bond community that is well respected around here. We would be welcome there just as much as we would welcome them here. They are mixed races, whites and blacks. They are looked at and accepted as families, not as a color.

Although coC's around here have trouble worshipping with all whites being integrated as far as how they find differences in every detail in worship. Most won't even try to adapt to a different worship style, but to me that has nothing to do with color of our skin but in the inability to accept other worship styles. They have a huge barrier to surpass there.

So basically I would say it's more of a worship style change refusal than a race one here.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Wed Sep 24, 2008 - 15:54:25
There are plenty of one-race churches around here.  Clearly, this is sin.  Always.
Why is it necessarily sinful?  I would concur if people of different races are unwelcome, but if it stems from a choice regarding what makes one comfortable, I disagree.
Wouldn't you agree that a lot of choices that "make one comfortable" are sinful?
Sure, but I don't think this is one of them. 
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Wed Sep 24, 2008 - 16:07:05
Why is it necessarily sinful?  I would concur if people of different races are unwelcome, but if it stems from a choice regarding what makes one comfortable, I disagree.
I think you answered that question better than I ever could have.

If worshipping God with people of a different race makes you uncomfortable, then yes, that is a sinful attitude that divides the body of Christ.
Ah, but that wasn't the question was it? The statement I answered was:
Quote
There are plenty of one-race churches around here.  Clearly, this is sin.  Always.
To which I answered:
Quote
Why is it necessarily sinful?  I would concur if people of different races are unwelcome, but if it stems from a choice regarding what makes one comfortable, I disagree.
I recently live in a town with two congregations: one was predominantly white with a few black families and a few Hispanic families. The other was a black congregation. I attended the former, and was perfectly happy there. Had the latter been the only congregation in town, I would have attended it. Since I had a choice, I attended the former. That is not a sinful attitude at all. 
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Cross-titled on Wed Sep 24, 2008 - 16:54:37

I recently live in a town with two congregations: one was predominantly white with a few black families and a few Hispanic families. The other was a black congregation. I attended the former, ...

Why?

Had the latter been the only congregation in town, I would have attended it.

Why?  A last resort?

Since I had a choice, I attended the former. That is not a sinful attitude at all. 

Since you had a choice, we'll never know what you would have done.

If you chose the former because of worship style, fine.  But if you chose it because ... well, you know .... that's not fine.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Wed Sep 24, 2008 - 18:27:38

I recently live in a town with two congregations: one was predominantly white with a few black families and a few Hispanic families. The other was a black congregation. I attended the former, ...

Why?

Had the latter been the only congregation in town, I would have attended it.

Why?  A last resort?

Since I had a choice, I attended the former. That is not a sinful attitude at all. 

Since you had a choice, we'll never know what you would have done.

If you chose the former because of worship style, fine.  But if you chose it because ... well, you know .... that's not fine.
1) Culture preferences
2) Because I considered the black congregation to be sound, knew the preacher well, pulpit exchanges were very beneficial, etc. Sure it was a last resort, if you want to put it that way. Since there were only two, one is first in preference and one is last in preference.
3) Yes, I do know exactly what I would have done.

Why would cultural preference not be fine? B, C, V please?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Wed Sep 24, 2008 - 19:08:29
Since I had a choice, I attended the former. That is not a sinful attitude at all. 

Ummm...  So now you've changed the subject.   ::lookaround::  I don't think that was the issue under discussion here...

You say that you were stuck with a limited number of choices.  Seems to me that was a matter of choice on your part.

When I had an opportunity to move and buy a house six years ago, it never occurred to be to just buy a house and then pick from whatever churches happened to be in the area.  I chose the church first; all else followed.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Wed Sep 24, 2008 - 19:22:05
Since I had a choice, I attended the former. That is not a sinful attitude at all. 

Ummm...  So now you've changed the subject.   ::lookaround::  I don't think that was the issue under discussion here...

You say that you were stuck with a limited number of choices.  Seems to me that was a matter of choice on your part.

When I had an opportunity to move and buy a house six years ago, it never occurred to be to just buy a house and then pick from whatever churches happened to be in the area.  I chose the church first; all else followed.
Not sure how I have changed the subject. What are you referring to?

Actually, I didn't say I was "stuck" with limited choices. I merely stated a fact: there were two congregations.  Many, many areas are not fortunate enough to have a single congregation, much less a choice of a few or several.  I had a cultural preference towards one over the other.  There is nothing whatsoever wrong with that.

And, absolutely it was a choice on my part.  No disagreement there at all. 
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Dennis on Wed Sep 24, 2008 - 21:07:16
Why would cultural preference not be fine? B, C, V please?
How about Galatians 3?  How about the whole book of 1 Corinthians.  How about the parable of the good Samaritan?  It seems to me that a great deal of the NT is aimed at breaking down cultural differences and making us one.  Now its your turn, show us BCV for your position -- that it is OK to separate based on "cultural preferences."
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Wed Sep 24, 2008 - 21:21:40
Why would cultural preference not be fine? B, C, V please?
How about Galatians 3?  How about the whole book of 1 Corinthians.  How about the parable of the good Samaritan?  It seems to me that a great deal of the NT is aimed at breaking down cultural differences and making us one.  Now its your turn, show us BCV for your position -- that it is OK to separate based on "cultural preferences."
Actually, those passages are dealing with deep-seeded prejudices. The assumption you are making, and a false one at that, is that those who choose Congregation A over Congregation B because of culture are necessarily racist and consequently sinful. You have not proven that.
As to B, C, & V, I am not the one creating a man-made law.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Johnb on Wed Sep 24, 2008 - 21:31:04
Personally I don't know or care if the CoC will ever be intergrated.  Most Christian churches are not.  IMO mainly because the white concept of integration is for the black and other minorities to accept our way of doing things and usually accepting minor roles in leadership.  If I were black I would attend a mostly black church also.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Dennis on Wed Sep 24, 2008 - 21:51:05
Why would cultural preference not be fine? B, C, V please?
How about Galatians 3?  How about the whole book of 1 Corinthians.  How about the parable of the good Samaritan?  It seems to me that a great deal of the NT is aimed at breaking down cultural differences and making us one.  Now its your turn, show us BCV for your position -- that it is OK to separate based on "cultural preferences."
Actually, those passages are dealing with deep-seeded prejudices.
I agree
Quote
The assumption you are making, and a false one at that, is that those who choose Congregation A over Congregation B because of culture are necessarily racist and consequently sinful. You have not proven that.
As to B, C, & V, I am not the one creating a man-made law.
And you are assuming that "cultural" prejudice is OK, but "racial" prejudiuce is not.   Frankly, I think some of the prejudices you agree that Paul was addressing Greek and Jew, male and female, rich and poor, slave and free, were in fact cultural.  I cannot find any justification in scripture for a distinction between "cultural" bias and precudice which is OK and "racial" bias and prejudice which is not. The fact that you refuse my challenge suggests to me that you can't either.  As you agreed earlier.  There are a lot of times we can feel comfortably sinful.  I want to make clear, I am not claiming to be perfect in this area.  I wish my congregation was more diverse, but that doesn't mean I will try to justify it.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Wed Sep 24, 2008 - 23:00:15
Why would cultural preference not be fine? B, C, V please?
How about Galatians 3?  How about the whole book of 1 Corinthians.  How about the parable of the good Samaritan?  It seems to me that a great deal of the NT is aimed at breaking down cultural differences and making us one.  Now its your turn, show us BCV for your position -- that it is OK to separate based on "cultural preferences."
Actually, those passages are dealing with deep-seeded prejudices.
I agree
Quote
The assumption you are making, and a false one at that, is that those who choose Congregation A over Congregation B because of culture are necessarily racist and consequently sinful. You have not proven that.
As to B, C, & V, I am not the one creating a man-made law.
And you are assuming that "cultural" prejudice is OK, but "racial" prejudiuce is not.   Frankly, I think some of the prejudices you agree that Paul was addressing Greek and Jew, male and female, rich and poor, slave and free, were in fact cultural.  I cannot find any justification in scripture for a distinction between "cultural" bias and precudice which is OK and "racial" bias and prejudice which is not. The fact that you refuse my challenge suggests to me that you can't either.  As you agreed earlier.  There are a lot of times we can feel comfortably sinful.  I want to make clear, I am not claiming to be perfect in this area.  I wish my congregation was more diverse, but that doesn't mean I will try to justify it.
Not quite. Cultural preferences are not prejudicial in the pejorative sense. Paul is not addressing benign cultural preferences. Now, if such cultural preferences are based on prejudices that refuse fellowship to another Christian because of race, status, gender, wealth, class, etc, then certainly his admonitions would be applicable.

The Bible was never intended to address the fruitful imaginations of men with a never-ending list of "Thou shalt's" and "Thou shalt not's." The onus is on you to provide the scriptural passage for this law.

Right, I agreed earlier that some choices that "make us comfortable" can be sinful. I also noted that this isn't one of them. There is no proof whatsoever that God disapproves of cultural preferences (again benign preferences).

I'll give you another example. There is a small church in Baghdad where the males hold hands quite frequently. That is Arab culture. Men hold hands all the time. They walk down the streets holding hands. There is nothing sexual or inappropriate about it. But it bugs me when an Arab guy takes hold of me and wants to walk hand in hand. My culture is different, and that is OK too. If I had a choice between going to an Arab congregation where the males hold hands all the time and a congregation of my cultural background, I would choose the latter because of what I am most comfortable with. I don't have anything against the former. They are my brothers and sisters, and I would openly fellowship with them and support them. But if I had a choice, I would rather be a regular member with a congregation of my own cultural background. You will never convince me that this is unacceptable to God.

Finally, I am 100% in favor of diversity. Diversity is good. But I first commented on this thread because of the following statement:
Quote
There are plenty of one-race churches around here.  Clearly, this is sin.  Always.
That is as irresponsible as it is stereotypical. I'm sure some of those people are deeply prejudicial, but not all.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 01:37:37
Actually, I didn't say I was "stuck" with limited choices. I merely stated a fact: there were two congregations. 

You chose to live in a community with only two churches.  What would you have done, if neither taught what you believe to be a sound doctrine?   ???
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 06:29:41
Actually, I didn't say I was "stuck" with limited choices. I merely stated a fact: there were two congregations. 

You chose to live in a community with only two churches.  What would you have done, if neither taught what you believe to be a sound doctrine?   ???

I did, and I was thankful that two congregtions were working in the area. 
Looked farther afield.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 08:01:00
Why would cultural preference not be fine? B, C, V please?
Why would it be?  BCV?  It's not like only one side of the discussion needs to provide it's biblical support, you know, and it's you who hold the view that's being examined.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 08:29:13
Why would cultural preference not be fine? B, C, V please?
Why would it be?  BCV?  It's not like only one side of the discussion needs to provide it's biblical support, you know, and it's you who hold the view that's being examined.
Actually, it is up to those who boldly assert that a single race congregation is always sinful to provide biblical evidence for their assertion.  Look at the declaration again:
Quote
There are plenty of one-race churches around here.  Clearly, this is sin.  Always.
Do you really want to defend such a statement? Always?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 08:39:29
True, they should, but that doesn't exempt you from needing to provide BCV (your proposed standard to other posters) for your view on associating based on "culture".  So...
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 08:53:52
I don't need to find a specific B, C, V for benign cultural associations anymore than I need to find a specific B, C, V for conducting Bible Study. Under the New Covenant, we are expected to congregate. Scripture does not mandate the particulars, i.e. time of day, location, demographics, etc. To declare that benign cultural preferences are sinful is to go beyond what is written.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 08:56:26
So, based on Okimar's situation with the two churches to choose from... which church should he have chosen, and why?

What if all else was equal between the churches, except that one was primarily white and the other primarily black?  He has to choose one or the other.  Which will it be?

If he happened to lean toward the white church simply because he has more in common with being white, should he have chosen the black church in order to not be in the wrong?

Should we deliberately not choose to be a part of the congregation on the basis that we have more in common with those congregants compared to another?  Or, maybe we dare not admit that, or we're racist?  What are we saying here?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 09:06:19
I don't need to find a specific B, C, V for benign cultural associations anymore than I need to find a specific B, C, V for conducting Bible Study. Under the New Covenant, we are expected to congregate. Scripture does not mandate the particulars, i.e. time of day, location, demographics, etc. To declare that benign cultural preferences are sinful is to go beyond what is written.
Then you appear to be holding yourself to one standard (no need for BCV) and others to another (must have BCV).  ::pondering::
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 09:07:42
So, based on Okimar's situation with the two churches to choose from... which church should he have chosen, and why?

What if all else was equal between the churches, except that one was primarily white and the other primarily black?  He has to choose one or the other.  Which will it be?

If he happened to lean toward the white church simply because he has more in common in being white, should he have chosen the black church in order to not be in the wrong?

Should we deliberately not choose to be a part of the congregation on the basis that we have more in common with those congregants compared to another?  Or, maybe we dare not admit that, or we're racist?  What are we saying here?
Others can answer those questions.  I'm more concerned at the moment with the concept that all but Okimar need BCV to support their views of whether or not "culture" is sufficient a criteria for association with a local congregation.  It seems a double standard.


(and yes, I have BCV for my concern: "For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you." Mt. 7:2 NASB)
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 09:20:43
Both sides of that question are an argument from silence.

What I have observed here was Okimar initially responding to some rather broad statements that one race churches are automatically sinful.  He asked for BCV for such an assertion.  Fair question, I think.  That's a more reasonable question than the other side now asking if he has BCV for choosing a church based on culture, IMO.

Not to change the subject, but this somewhat reminds me of the IM debate.  One side asks for BCV for whether we "can" do something.  The other side asks for BCV showing that doing something is "sin."

I'm of the mind that if one person says that something is a "sin," then there is more burden of proof on him to show that Scripture categorically condemns it than another person needing to prove that Scripture specifically allows someone to do a certain thing.

If you're calling something a sin, then you better be able to Scripturally show us why.

That's more reasonable than asking whether Okimar is "authorized" to decide between two churches based on culture or anything else for that matter.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 09:26:17
I don't need to find a specific B, C, V for benign cultural associations anymore than I need to find a specific B, C, V for conducting Bible Study. Under the New Covenant, we are expected to congregate. Scripture does not mandate the particulars, i.e. time of day, location, demographics, etc. To declare that benign cultural preferences are sinful is to go beyond what is written.
Then you appear to be holding yourself to one standard (no need for BCV) and others to another (must have BCV).  ::pondering::
Not so. The one who declares that single-race congregations are always sinful must provide scriptural support. No one can do it. The evidence does not exist. It goes beyond what is written. I don't have to find B, C, V that counters every conceivable innovation or man-made law that arises from the fruitful imagination of men. Can you imagine the volumes it would take to address then all?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 09:29:55
You're still getting away from your own issue, which seems like a dodge to me.  Where is the BCV that says you can choose to associate with one congregation over another based on "culture"?

I've not made an argument that single race churches are inherently sinful, so I'll not need to defend a view I haven't proposed.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 09:34:18
So, based on Okimar's situation with the two churches to choose from... which church should he have chosen, and why?

What if all else was equal between the churches, except that one was primarily white and the other primarily black?  He has to choose one or the other.  Which will it be?

If he happened to lean toward the white church simply because he has more in common with being white, should he have chosen the black church in order to not be in the wrong?

Should we deliberately not choose to be a part of the congregation on the basis that we have more in common with those congregants compared to another?  Or, maybe we dare not admit that, or we're racist?  What are we saying here?
These are very pertinent questions, DCR. I think they illustrate the lack of thinking regarding the consequences.
According to the position of some, I shouldn't have attended either of the two congregations because they were both in sinful error, even though they were in open fellowship.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Cross-titled on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 09:43:16
So, based on Okimar's situation with the two churches to choose from... which church should he have chosen, and why?

What if all else was equal between the churches, except that one was primarily white and the other primarily black?  He has to choose one or the other.  Which will it be?

If he happened to lean toward the white church simply because he has more in common with being white, should he have chosen the black church in order to not be in the wrong?

Should we deliberately not choose to be a part of the congregation on the basis that we have more in common with those congregants compared to another?  Or, maybe we dare not admit that, or we're racist?  What are we saying here?

Great questions!

First of all, if all else was equal between the churches, except that one was primarily white and the other primarily black, why should there be two congregations in the first place?  Sounds like there are a few hundred people who should be looking at themselves a little more critically and figuring that out.

I live in a metropolitan community of a million or so.  There are five CoC's who host, on a rotating basis, a joint worship service on the evening of every 5th Sunday.  One year when we hosted, I asked one of our brothers from the black congregation to take part as a song leader.  The service was already planned and we had trouble finding a song on the program he knew well enough to lead.  Finally I said,  "What about Leaning On The Everlasting Arms?"  He said, "Good!  Everyone knows that."

When it came time for him to sing, I barely recognized it as the same song I had grown up knowing.  It was very, very slow with ad lib vocalizing in between phrases.  (What ..... a ..... fellowship .. whoa-a-a-a ..... what ..... a ..... joy devine .. yes, my Lord ..... leaning ....... etc.)  It was very different, refreshing and, most of all, heartfelt praise.

In these services, you'll hear a lot of "amen, preach it brother, praise the Lord, yes-yes-yes, thank you Jesus" that we rarely do during our sermons.  It is a very different style.  Is it a different culture?  The truth is, yeah, I guess it is.  I never ever thought of myself as racist because I don't go there.  Distance would be one reason.  One can enjoy the unity in our diversity because of what we have in Jesus.  I guess there is a B C V in the good book about that somewhere.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:03:34
First of all, if all else was equal between the churches, except that one was primarily white and the other primarily black, why should there be two congregations in the first place?  Sounds like there are a few hundred people who should be looking at themselves a little more critically and figuring that out.

Perhaps, they're inheriting the effects of past segregation?  The folks at each church may have been raised in their particular congregation.  They go to the church because they've always gone to it, and younger generations continue to attend there.  Segregation is not always chosen, we inherit it.  You can't blame the current living church members now for the effects of the past.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:05:14
Whether or not you continue to carry one what you inherit is indeed a choice, DCR, and one for which one is held accountable (speaking to life broader than simply the issue at hand).
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:06:36
Will the CofC ever integrate into/with the rest of Christianity.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:10:45
What if all else was equal between the churches, except that one was primarily white and the other primarily black?  He has to choose one or the other.  Which will it be?

I think the problem here, is that two separate churches exist in the first place.  Wasn't that the original premise of this thread? ???
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:11:20
Will the CofC ever integrate into/with the rest of Christianity.
Will the rest of Christianity ever integrate into the church of Christ?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:15:29
You can't blame the current living church members now for the effects of the past.

Sure I can, and I will continue to do so for as long as I live.

These people worship in segregated churches week after week, year after year, knowing full well that there's another segregated church down the street.  And they choose not to attempt to fix it.

Several years ago, my wife and I visited her family in Virginia.  They attend a Methodist church in that town, and they hate everything about it.  So I asked, why not leave?  They turned to me in disgust.  "This is our family church, our great-grandparents founded it over 100 years ago!"  They blindly followed generations of family custom, and never once considered making an independent decision.

Jesus was condemned to death, not by Pilate's action, but instead by his inaction
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:16:35
You're still getting away from your own issue, which seems like a dodge to me.  Where is the BCV that says you can choose to associate with one congregation over another based on "culture"?

I've not made an argument that single race churches are inherently sinful, so I'll not need to defend a view I haven't proposed.
Seems to me that is what you are doing. You are arguing that cultural preferences are not authorized. If they are not authorized then they are sinful. Single race congregations are sometimes based on culture, therefore those single-race congregations are sinful.  

I said:
Quote
Why would cultural preference not be fine? B, C, V please?
Then you said:
Quote
Why would it be?  BCV?
If this is not what you are arguing, I fail to see your point.

My authority to congregate based on cultural preferences rests in the the Lord's expectation that we congregate. He has not legislated deomgraphics.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:22:31
How about Galatians 3?  How about the whole book of 1 Corinthians.  How about the parable of the good Samaritan?  It seems to me that a great deal of the NT is aimed at breaking down cultural differences and making us one. 

 ::amen!::

I would add to that, Peter's dream.  Because there are no longer any food barriers, there should be no people barriers.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:23:34
These people worship in segregated churches week after week, year after year, knowing full well that there's another segregated church down the street.  And they choose not to attempt to fix it.
Who says it NEEDS to be fixed? Isn't that just your personal opinion? As long as the congregations accept each other as fellow Christians and extend the right hand of fellowship, who are you to tell them that they are in error?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:25:17
How about Galatians 3?  How about the whole book of 1 Corinthians.  How about the parable of the good Samaritan?  It seems to me that a great deal of the NT is aimed at breaking down cultural differences and making us one. 

 ::amen!::

I would add to that, Peter's dream.  Because there are no longer any food barriers, there should be no people barriers.
Peter's dream, like the other references, is not dealing with benign cultural preferences. It is dealing with one group not accepting another as Christians or candidates for the Gospel.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:25:42
Whether or not you continue to carry one what you inherit is indeed a choice, DCR, and one for which one is held accountable (speaking to life broader than simply the issue at hand).

What are you suggesting that should be done?  What I'm hearing is that white churches are being condemned because they are primarily white, or black churches are being condemned because they're all black.

I'm not saying that the segregation is a good thing.  Not at all.  I'm just saying that it's a fact of life.  We inherit those problems.

Okay... how do you fix that?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:26:41
As long as the congregations accept each other as fellow Christians and extend the right hand of fellowship

And they do this by separating themselves?   ::noworries::   No less an authority than Dr. King himself, condemned this situation.  I'm sure you have heard the quote, "The most segreated day of the week is Sunday morning..."

This almost sounds like "I'm not a racist, look at my one black friend over here..."
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:27:34
Okay... how do you fix that?

How about, making them into a single congregation? 
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:30:29
Peter's dream, like the other references, is not dealing with benign cultural preferences. It is dealing with one group not accepting another as Christians or candidates for the Gospel.

Yup.   ::nodding::  All the more reason to have a multi-cultural congregation, for the mutual edification of all.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Dennis on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:31:11
I haven't gone back to see all of my prior posts, and I do not recall if I said specifically that one race congregations are always sinful.  If I did, that is going too far.  There are indeed communities where one race congregations are pretty much the only option because the communities themselves consist of only one race.  But I will say that I believe separating on the basis of race is always wrong -- whether we disguise it as "culturally" based, or we simply dismiss it as "where each group wants to be" or whatever.  I think Paul's writing is filled with passages that tell us there should be no such divisions among us -- we should all be one in Christ.  I think trying to find some reason to say "Paul wasn't talking about my divisions" or "my divisions are benign" is where we go beyond the word.  That is why I asked for BCV, not because I am trying to be confrontational, but because I truly want to know.  Where does God tell us that cultural divisions are benign?

I am basing my position on my understanding of what the passage I cited actually say, whether you agree with me or not. And I do not think they ar ethat mysteroius or ambiguous.  I agree with Oki that God did not legislate demographics, but he did plead with us for unity.  Maybe we have a different understanding of "cultural," but I do not see how cultural differences are in any way consistent with unity.  Keep in mind, I am questioning myself as much as anyone else here.  I do not know your circumstances, but I know the congregations I have been a part of, and, on the whole, I think we can and should do a whole lot better in this area.  I think we should hold ourselves to a higher standard.  I am pretty sure God does.

As to DCR's comment about past separations that are "inherited," I do not agree we are necessarily free from guilt.  If we work to maintain the barriers, or even ignore them, rather than break them down, then we share the guilt.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:31:36
Okay... how do you fix that?

How about, making them into a single congregation? 

And how big is a congregation going to be before it is permissible for more than one in an area?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:34:57
As long as the congregations accept each other as fellow Christians and extend the right hand of fellowship
And they do this by separating themselves?   ::noworries:: 

This almost sounds like "I'm not a racist, look at my one black friend over here..."
They are not separating themselves. They cooperate, they support each other, they exchange pulpits, they fellowship, they attend each other's meetings, ...  If they separated themselves, they wouldn't do those things.

Cultural preferences do not necessarily equate to racism.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:35:43
Okay... how do you fix that?

How about, making them into a single congregation? 

What if the two congregations are successfully functioning in the immediate communities where they're located?  One church may be a more effective outreach to its surrounding neighborhoods compared to the other.  Different churches may function to serve different groups of people.

Consolidating/combining two congregations is not as easy as it sounds (regardless of even the racial question).  The only church consolidations I've ever seen took place when one or both congregations had dwindled in size and number, and they saw it as advantageous to combine their efforts as one congregation.  But, if two congregations are functioning successfully, why risk that to satisfy someone's ideal?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:36:28
And how big is a congregation going to be before it is permissible for more than one in an area?

 ???  Around here, none of the COC's have more than about 100 members on the books, and of those maybe half show up on Sunday.  So I don't think any of them is in danger of filling Yankee Stadium.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:36:49
Whether or not you continue to carry one what you inherit is indeed a choice, DCR, and one for which one is held accountable (speaking to life broader than simply the issue at hand).

What are you suggesting that should be done?  What I'm hearing is that white churches are being condemned because they are primarily white, or black churches are being condemned because they're all black.

I'm not saying that the segregation is a good thing.  Not at all.  I'm just saying that it's a fact of life.  We inherit those problems.

Okay... how do you fix that?
You did note that my comment was on the broader issue of "that's what I inherited" being just an excuse, right?  That would be true in any discussion (which was my point).  It's just another form of "that's just the way I am" think.

As to your questions about what can be done by successive generations, I've got to head out the door, but I would like to get back to them.  I will say this.  In the past  few weeks I've heard eye-witness accounts of Churches of Christ letting blacks know that they "would be more comfortable down the road" (said in Texas) and that a mixed race couple "would make the congregation too uncomfortable...so please attend the church the next block over" (Kentucky).  How long do you think such an inheritance is pleasing to God?  How many generations get to say "that's just what they handed me?" before being held personally accountable for tolerating (and even imitating) such behavior?

So many of the "inherited" and "cultural" and "comfortable" arguments just start to sound like softer bigotry after a while.  
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:37:17
Peter's dream, like the other references, is not dealing with benign cultural preferences. It is dealing with one group not accepting another as Christians or candidates for the Gospel.

Yup.   ::nodding::  All the more reason to have a multi-cultural congregation, for the mutual edification of all.
Again, that is your opinion (and mine as well), but you cannot allow your opinion to add to the word of God.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:41:14
And how big is a congregation going to be before it is permissible for more than one in an area?

 ???  Around here, none of the COC's have more than about 100 members on the books, and of those maybe half show up on Sunday.  So I don't think any of them is in danger of filling Yankee Stadium.

In my city, there are multiple CofC congregations of over 1000+.  My church alone is having issues with space and parking.  At some point, the mere practicality of handling and effectively serving large numbers of people enters the equation.

How do you address that issue in your grand ideal of one superchurch per city?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:41:23
1- they attend each other's meetings, ...

2- Cultural preferences do not necessarily equate to racism.

1- Listen to yourself, Oki.  If there's an "each other,"  that means they separated themselves.

2- I couldn't agree more.  I like Mexican food more than I like Thai food.  But when I go to meet with God's people, I set it aside.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:43:41
In my city, there are multiple CofC congregations of over 1000+. 

Which raises a different issue that calls for more creative solutions.  I think we all know that in COC, that is a very rare situation indeed.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:44:40
In my city, there are multiple CofC congregations of over 1000+. 

Which raises a different issue that calls for more creative solutions.  I think we all know that in COC, that is a very rare situation indeed.

Except in Nashville, Tennessee.  ::wink::
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:44:46
Again, that is your opinion (and mine as well), but you cannot allow your opinion to add to the word of God.

And the Bible commands us to have one-race churches?   rofl  Not following your line of reasoning here.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:48:05
What if the two congregations are successfully functioning in the immediate communities where they're located?

Then they can continue to do so.   ::doh::  I reach out to my neighbors, you reach out to yours, and Brother Bubba can still preach to his co-workers, etc.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:48:26
Again, that is your opinion (and mine as well), but you cannot allow your opinion to add to the word of God.

And the Bible commands us to have one-race churches?   rofl  Not following your line of reasoning here.

Who said the Bible commanded us to have one-race churches?  Or, that it was wrong to have multiple races in a single church?  I haven't heard Okimar or anyone else make such a statement or even imply it.


I really think we're all talking past each other here with our "prejudices" regarding what the other side is really saying...
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:50:15
What if the two congregations are successfully functioning in the immediate communities where they're located?

Then they can continue to do so.   ::doh:: 

And, thus continue to function as the two separately located congregations that they are...
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:50:48
Who said the Bible commanded us to have one-race churches?  

Um, I believe you said that by arguing against racial separation, I was "adding to the word."
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:51:37
Who said the Bible commanded us to have one-race churches?  

Um, I believe you said that by arguing against racial separation, I was "adding to the word."

What?  Quote me/show me where I said that.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:54:06
And, thus continue to function as the two separately located congregations that they are...

I suppose that in many large churches, you'll find exclusivist cliques, yes.  And when they are found, they should be rebuked. 

Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:56:18
And, thus continue to function as the two separately located congregations that they are...

I suppose that in many large churches, you'll find exclusivist cliques, yes.  And when they are found, they should be rebuked. 



Of course.  And, I agree.  But, I'm not sure what that has to do with what I said...
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:56:28
Again, that is your opinion (and mine as well), but you cannot allow your opinion to add to the word of God.

Oops, I apologize, DCR.  That was Oki.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:57:42
Of course.  And, I agree.  But, I'm not sure what that has to do with what I said...

You were concerned that a combined congregation might still be (in effect) divided.  And when such in-house division appears, it should be rebuked in the strongest terms.

My point in my earlier post, was that if two congregations combine, they can still serve their community as they always have.  And in so doing, they can be a much better witness to their surrounding community.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 10:59:53
Again, that is your opinion (and mine as well), but you cannot allow your opinion to add to the word of God.

Oops, I apologize, DCR.  That was Oki.

Fine.  But, where did you get from this that Oki was saying that "the Bible commands us to have one-race churches"?  No one is saying that here.  And, that was my point.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 11:05:26
where did you get from this that Oki was saying that "the Bible commands us to have one-race churches"?  

Oki told me that in arguing for racial diversity, I was "adding to the word." 

And he said this, after I and someone else cited several BCV's about it.

Hence, my confusion about his point.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 11:10:05
where did you get from this that Oki was saying that "the Bible commands us to have one-race churches"? 

Oki told me that in arguing for racial diversity, I was "adding to the word." 

No, he was saying that the idea that all churches should be required to be multicultural... was adding to the word.  Notice that he even said he agreed with your opinion that multi-cultural congregations are a good thing.

Again, that is your opinion (and mine as well), but you cannot allow your opinion to add to the word of God.

..."adding to the word" in the sense of requiring churches to be multi-cultural.

It seems that we have some fundamental confusion here over the difference between something being good and even desireable... and something being required or else you're sinning.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 11:12:02
1- they attend each other's meetings, ...

2- Cultural preferences do not necessarily equate to racism.

1- Listen to yourself, Oki.  If there's an "each other,"  that means they separated themselves.

2- I couldn't agree more.  I like Mexican food more than I like Thai food.  But when I go to meet with God's people, I set it aside.
1) You are jumping to unwarranted conclusions. To separate oneself is to place barriers and enforce them.
2) It is not necessarily a matter of disliking a group of people.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 11:13:12
Again, that is your opinion (and mine as well), but you cannot allow your opinion to add to the word of God.

And the Bible commands us to have one-race churches?   rofl  Not following your line of reasoning here.
The Bible doesn't legislate demographics, period.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 11:14:20
Let me clarify my position here, folks.

You might have an all-white church, and that doesn't mean that all of the people are racists.  But there's a good chance that some of them are, yet you'll never know, because you never see them outside of that all-white group.

In a multi-racial congregation, the whites can reach out to their white neighbors, and the Latinos can reach out to their Latino neighbors, etc.  Those neighbors might be more likely to respond to the Gospel, if it is presented by someone who looks like them.  I get that.

But then we bring them to a melting-pot congregation, and they interact with everyone, this can help expose their sin of racism (if that's the case).  Then we can help them overcome it.

Sometimes racists are completely unaware they have a problem, because in their everyday lives they just don't have much interaction with many people outside their own race. Churches can address this problem in a way that no one else can.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 11:15:02
I couldn't agree more, Oki. 
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 11:17:29
To separate oneself is to place barriers and enforce them.

Yup.   ::nodding::  And when you have an all-white church, that's an awfully tough barrier for a Korean person to climb over and feel welcome.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 11:18:36
Who said the Bible commanded us to have one-race churches?  

Um, I believe you said that by arguing against racial separation, I was "adding to the word."
Wrong again. You can argue against racial separation all you want. But you can't say this:
Quote
There are plenty of one-race churches around here.  Clearly, this is sin.  Always.
without adding to the word of God.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 11:21:12
Disobeying God isn't sin?   ::eek::
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 11:23:54
Disobeying God isn't sin?   ::eek::

So, all churches that happen to consist of members of the same race are disobeying God?  Clearly?  Always?


I think the absoluteness of the statement Okimar just quoted is the whole problem here.

Just to post it again...

There are plenty of one-race churches around here.  Clearly, this is sin.  Always.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 11:32:05
To separate oneself is to place barriers and enforce them.

Yup.   ::nodding::  And when you have an all-white church, that's an awfully tough barrier for a Korean person to climb over and feel welcome.
Agreed, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the all white church is sinful.
Also, unless the white church is running people off, is it necessarily their fault that other groups of people chose to regularly worship somewhere else? Maybe it is, but then again, maybe it isn't. Consider the church in Baghdad: perhaps one day a westerner will be able to choose from several congregations. If he is uncomfortable with holding another man's hand, he'll likely choose another congregation based on culture. Nothing wrong with that.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 11:36:50
It seems that we have some fundamental confusion here over the difference between something being good and even desireable... and something being required or else you're sinning.
I think DCR's statement sums up the difference quite nicely.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 12:16:26
1- Agreed, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the all white church is sinful.

2- Also, unless the white church is running people off,

3- Consider the church in Baghdad:

1-Granted.  But a failure to evangelize a broader audience is still a problem.

2- Oh, is that the standard?  How about, making them feel welcome?  I believe some in here commented about that "comfort" thing.

3- I look forward to the day when that will be a problem.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 12:19:46
So, all churches that happen to consist of members of the same race are disobeying God? 

These things happen either by design, or by neglect.  Sin of omission, or sin of commission.  Failure to evangelize a broader audience is still a problem.

As I've said previously, if that church happens to be in a city that's almost all one race (such as Tokyo), that's a different story.  But that doesn't apply to most people in USA, which (I think) was the context of this story.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 13:05:53
Sin of omission, or sin of commission. 


I've heard this distinction made before (even all the way back to Sunday School as a kid), and I want to explore it... but in a separate thread:  When is something a "sin"? (http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/index.php/topic,29061.msg547738.html#msg547738).
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:02:25
It seems that we have some fundamental confusion here over the difference between something being good and even desireable...

So if we all agree that this is something good and even desirable, then...

Why would anyone object to doing it?

Would it be wrong to do, even if there was no biblical mandate?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:11:14
1- Agreed, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the all white church is sinful.

2- Also, unless the white church is running people off,

3- Consider the church in Baghdad:

1-Granted.  But a failure to evangelize a broader audience is still a problem.

2- Oh, is that the standard?  How about, making them feel welcome?  I believe some in here commented about that "comfort" thing.

3- I look forward to the day when that will be a problem.
1) Granted? That's not what you said.  Are you changing your position from your previous stmt, "There are plenty of one-race churches around here.  Clearly, this is sin.  Always."
2) Running them off, making them feel unwelcome, etc, etc. You can include all those.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:15:32
So, all churches that happen to consist of members of the same race are disobeying God? 

These things happen either by design, or by neglect.  Sin of omission, or sin of commission.  Failure to evangelize a broader audience is still a problem.

As I've said previously, if that church happens to be in a city that's almost all one race (such as Tokyo), that's a different story.  But that doesn't apply to most people in USA, which (I think) was the context of this story.
Our problem with your statements is that you necessarily find sin where there may be none. You assume that every case is a failure to evangelize a broader audiance. From my experience, that's just not true.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:17:12
It seems that we have some fundamental confusion here over the difference between something being good and even desireable...

So if we all agree that this is something good and even desirable, then...

Why would anyone object to doing it?

Would it be wrong to do, even if there was no biblical mandate?
No one is objecting. We are objecting to your lableing single-race churches as clearly and always sinful.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:23:47
It seems that we have some fundamental confusion here over the difference between something being good and even desireable...

So if we all agree that this is something good and even desirable, then...

Why would anyone object to doing it?

Would it be wrong to do, even if there was no biblical mandate?

LOL.  No one is objecting to doing it, and no one is saying that it is "wrong" to do it.  If two churches of segregated races decide to merge, then more power to them.  Praise God.  No one is objecting to that scenario.

But, that's not grounds to launch missiles at a church who hasn't merged in such a way, where we judge them to be in sin simply because everybody there happens to be of the same race.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:24:55
You assume that every case is a failure to evangelize a broader audiance. From my experience, that's just not true.

If they are a sea of sameness in a melting-pot city, what else would you attribute it to? I personally know plenty of one-race churches, over 50 years old, in cities where the population was plenty integrated.  They evangelized everyone for 50 years, and just by accident ended up with a fellowship of all whiteys? 
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:28:07
Wait a minute... if we look at a church and point out that everyone there happens to be the same race and then judge them because of that...

Is this not racism?

If we were truly color-blind, then the skin color of those inside any given church is a non-issue... whether they're black only, white only, or black and white.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:30:40
we judge them to be in sin simply because everybody there happens to be of the same race.

I know a church down the street from here, where they have a free clinic for children where they can get all of their shots, checkups, etc.  Wonderful ministry.

So I sent a friend of mine there, because her baby need some treatment for something, I don't recall what the ailment was.  But they never got past the receptionist.  Why?

Because they're white.   

I didn't believe her, so I checked out the church website.  Sure enough, the clinic was for black kids only.  These people don't "happen to be" all the same race.  This is their deliberate design.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:33:10
Is this not racism?

Nope, because it's not me doing the judging.  The Word of God is my (and their) judge.

The character of the institution is hugely important in the eyes of God; witness the seven letters at the beginning of Revelation.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:34:48
we judge them to be in sin simply because everybody there happens to be of the same race.

I know a church down the street from here, where they have a free clinic for children where they can get all of their shots, checkups, etc.  Wonderful ministry.

So I sent a friend of mine there, because her baby need some treatment for something, I don't recall what the ailment was.  But they never got past the receptionist.  Why?

Because they're white.   

I didn't believe her, so I checked out the church website.  Sure enough, the clinic was for black kids only.  These people don't "happen to be" all the same race.  This is their deliberate design.

I'm sure you can find anecdotes/examples where racism has existed in specific places.  That's not the issue.

The point is that we don't need to be making sweeping judgments on the basis that a congregation is all of one race.  If someone in a specific congregation has treated someone unfairly on the basis of race, then address that.  But, don't judge a congregation because all the members just happen to share a skin color.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:37:55
Is this not racism?

Nope, because it's not me doing the judging.  The Word of God is my (and their) judge.

The character of the institution is hugely important in the eyes of God; witness the seven letters at the beginning of Revelation.

The Word of God never judged a congregation because everyone in it happened to share a skin color.  You're the one doing that here.

The Word of God judges us not by the color of our skin, but rather by our actions and the intents of our hearts.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:39:50
You assume that every case is a failure to evangelize a broader audiance. From my experience, that's just not true.

If they are a sea of sameness in a melting-pot city, what else would you attribute it to? I personally know plenty of one-race churches, over 50 years old, in cities where the population was plenty integrated.  They evangelized everyone for 50 years, and just by accident ended up with a fellowship of all whiteys? 
Why are your so-called culprits the white congregations? Do you hold the same disdain for the all black congregations, the all Korean congregations, the all Arab congregations? Singeling out one group seems racist to me.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:41:48
You assume that every case is a failure to evangelize a broader audiance. From my experience, that's just not true.

If they are a sea of sameness in a melting-pot city, what else would you attribute it to? I personally know plenty of one-race churches, over 50 years old, in cities where the population was plenty integrated.  They evangelized everyone for 50 years, and just by accident ended up with a fellowship of all whiteys? 
Your use of the term "whitey" is racist.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:43:38
The Word of God judges us not by the color of our skin, but rather by our actions and the intents of our hearts.

I couldn't agree more.

And if a person doesn't desire to share Christian fellowship with people of a different color, that indicates their action and intent.

And if the leaders of that person's congregation allow it to continue year after year, then that likewise speaks to their actions and intent.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:45:37
we judge them to be in sin simply because everybody there happens to be of the same race.

I know a church down the street from here, where they have a free clinic for children where they can get all of their shots, checkups, etc.  Wonderful ministry.

So I sent a friend of mine there, because her baby need some treatment for something, I don't recall what the ailment was.  But they never got past the receptionist.  Why?

Because they're white.   

I didn't believe her, so I checked out the church website.  Sure enough, the clinic was for black kids only.  These people don't "happen to be" all the same race.  This is their deliberate design.
So, you take one case, or even a hundred cases, and apply it universally. How very stereotypical. Everything is a conspiracy.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:48:43
The Word of God judges us not by the color of our skin, but rather by our actions and the intents of our hearts.

I couldn't agree more.

And if a person doesn't desire to share Christian fellowship with people of a different color, that indicates their action and intent.

Now, you're talking about someone who "doesn't desire to share Christian fellowship with a people of a different color."  It is not a foregone conclusion that those in a church where everyone is of the same color... automatically means that they don't desire fellowship with other races.  That's your judgment.  

And, it is prejudice to assert that members of congregations where everyone happens to share the same skin color feel that way.

If someone really does feel that way... then deal with that.  But, don't assume that someone feels that way.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:50:10
Why are your so-called culprits the white congregations? Do you hold the same disdain for the all black congregations, the all Korean congregations, the all Arab congregations? Singeling out one group seems racist to me.

I have used several different ethnic designations in the course of this and other threads, just as examples.  Yes, I "hold the same disdain" for any one-race situation.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:51:00
The Word of God judges us not by the color of our skin, but rather by our actions and the intents of our hearts.

I couldn't agree more.

And if a person doesn't desire to share Christian fellowship with people of a different color, that indicates their action and intent.

And if the leaders of that person's congregation allow it to continue year after year, then that likewise speaks to their actions and intent.
My perception is that you have a grave misunderstanding of fellowship. First, you erroneously assume that all single race congregations have no desire to share Christian fellowship with people of a different color. You also erroneously assume that only those sitting together in the same building are in fellowship. Christian fellowship is not limited to the confines of the church building.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:51:35
Yes, I "hold the same disdain" for any one-race situation.

And, that is a racist, prejudicial attitude in itself.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:51:58
Now, you're talking about someone who "doesn't desire to share Christian fellowship with a people of a different color."  It is not a foregone conclusion that those in a church where everyone is of the same color...

Isn't your church the (or at least one of) the place where you go for Christian fellowship?   ???
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:52:31
And, that is a racist, prejudicial attitude in itself.

I thought racism was a preference for one over another...no? 
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:53:45
Christian fellowship is not limited to the confines of the church building.

I couldn't agree  more.  And I have never believed otherwise.  I spoke of a congregation (fellowship), not a building.

And choosing a church is a major part of that enterprise.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:55:49
Now, you're talking about someone who "doesn't desire to share Christian fellowship with a people of a different color."  It is not a foregone conclusion that those in a church where everyone is of the same color...

Isn't your church the (or at least one of) the place where you go for Christian fellowship?   ???

Yes.  But, fellowship is not limited to the meeting times in the building (of course, Christians are the "church").  I'm not exactly sure what your point is though.

And, that is a racist, prejudicial attitude in itself.

I thought racism was a preference for one over another...no? 

It is the judgment of and differential treatment of someone based on race.  If you're judging a group of people because they all happen to be of the same race, then yes, that's a form of racism.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:55:53
Why are your so-called culprits the white congregations? Do you hold the same disdain for the all black congregations, the all Korean congregations, the all Arab congregations? Singeling out one group seems racist to me.

I have used several different ethnic designations in the course of this and other threads, just as examples.  Yes, I "hold the same disdain" for any one-race situation.
Yeah, and you also used a racial slur. Doesn't exactly give you a lot of credibility.

You might also want to reconsider your efforts to add to God's word because you are binding where God has not bound.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:55:59
Now, where is snoopdawg when I need him?  ::noworries::
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 14:58:34
Yes.  But, fellowship is not limited to the meeting times in the building

I couldn't agree more.  Still, choosing a church is a visible sign of something, no?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 15:00:02
Yes.  But, fellowship is not limited to the meeting times in the building

I couldn't agree more.  Still, choosing a church is a visible sign of something, no?

Yes, but I'm still not sure where you're going with that.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 15:43:24
And, that is a racist, prejudicial attitude in itself.

I thought racism was a preference for one over another...no? 
No, it is not merely a preference. Most people prefer to marry within their own race. The desire to do so does not make ALL of them racist. Some, yes, but, not all.
Webster defines racism thusly, "A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race."
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 19:56:42
"A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race."

Well, that's a mouthful.

Frankly, I never had a chance to be a racist.  I have a hugely mixed-up heritage myself, and my friends in school were all the colors of the rainbow.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 20:02:03
If you're judging a group of people because they all happen to be of the same race

 ::disco::

Nothing in our human society "just happens."  One-race churches don't just fall from the sky.  Each of those members made an individual choice to be there.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 20:13:45
If you're judging a group of people because they all happen to be of the same race

 ::disco::

Nothing in our human society "just happens."  One-race churches don't just fall from the sky.  Each of those members made an individual choice to be there.

::doh::

There are many churches that contain families that go back generations.  Some may be there because they "made an individual choice to be there."  But, often, there are family connections, friends, and others from their communities that drew everyone there who is there.  If a church consists of some pillar black families, then it will largely be black... or of some core white families, then the church will largely be white.

All this, again, also ignores the fact that many communities and sections of any given city tend to be primarily of one race.  The churches that meet in and serve those communities are going to have a similar racial makeup.  That's just the way it is.

This is not that hard.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 20:27:02
If you're judging a group of people because they all happen to be of the same race

 ::disco::

Nothing in our human society "just happens."  One-race churches don't just fall from the sky.  Each of those members made an individual choice to be there.

::doh::

There are many churches that contain families that go back generations.  Some may be there because they "made an individual choice to be there."  But, often, there are family connections, friends, and others from their communities that drew everyone there who is there.  If a church consists of some pillar black families, then it will largely be black... or of some core white families, then the church will largely be white.

All this, again, also ignores the fact that many communities and sections of any given city tend to be primarily of one race.  The churches that meet in and serve those communities are going to have a similar racial makeup.  That's just the way it is.

This is not that hard.

Guess folks need to not just think about integrated churches, but integrated communities.  Any non-white folks up for moving to Montana?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 20:32:59
I think that's the real problem here... communities are segregated.  The church can try... but, it has limitations and only so much it can do, when cities continue to be segregated.

I'm thinking some of the communication problem we're having here is that we're coming from a different set of experiences.  Steve is from L.A.  Perhaps, L.A. is much more integrated than Nashville, TN, a Southern city.  In many cities across the country, there are white parts of town, and there are black parts of town.  It's that way in Nashville and in many other cities.  Churches are going to unfortunately reflect that.

They can try to overcome this.  But, at the end of the day, you can't judgmentally condemn one of those churches that is dealing with the constraints of the surrounding community... simply because it's made up of one race.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 21:24:45
1- But, often, there are family connections, friends, and others from their communities that drew everyone there who is there. 

2- All this, again, also ignores the fact that many communities and sections of any given city tend to be primarily of one race. 

1- Yup.   ::nodding::  My in-laws hate everything about their church, but they refuse to leave.  They are one of the founding families, and what would the neighbors think if they left?   ::eek::

But they're all adults, over 21, and they still made a choice, whether they recognize it or not.

2- Again, as I've said before, there are plenty of churches (including one-race types) where the people drive miles and miles to attend their favorite churches.  People drive from several counties to hear Fred Price preach in Los Angeles.

Quite often, geography is not the issue.  People make choices.

And please don't get me started on segregated neighborhoods.   ::frustrated::
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 21:47:08
Scanning over the pages since I was in this morning, there are a couple of things that jump out.  Lots of defensiveness, and lots of excuses.  It's even been implied that the NT is silent on racial issues.  To that, I'd have to wonder what Acts 6 was about with the appointing of the seven, why there were so many times Paul had to address Jewish/Gentile issues, and why diversity is referenced several times in relation to the kingdom of God.  The scripture is not silent, but some are saying to the scriptures, "Silence," perhaps.

If a church is not multiracial because its community is not multiracial, that's really not even the issue at hand at all, now is it?  I certainly don't see anyone here suggesting that a false or manufactured diversity is what Jesus is seeking (<---interestingly, the first time he's been mentioned in the last several pages).  What the real issue is, is when a congregation is nested in a multiracial (perhaps even multilingual and multinational) community, yet is uniracial.  In most circumstances, that's a sign of an unhealthy congregation.  I don't see any defense for purposefully remaining unhealthy.  Now, that doesn't mean the people are racist.  It could be that they, like one congregation I knew well in Lubbock, saw the community change around them (from basically one race, to several) and were so inwardly focused (not racist at all) that they didn't evangelize their new neighbors.  That's unhealthy, and unacceptable.

In our defensiveness about race, istm we miss that there may well be legitimate unhealthy concerns that the lack of diversity spring from.  Don't get so caught up in defending that your congregation is not racist that you forget to ask the necessary introspective questions. 

Why does our congregation not reflect our community?
Who is being overlooked in our ministry(s)?
If I were not [insert your race here] would I see my congregation differently?  How?
Am I only fellowshipping within the congregation with people just like me?
Do I see the practices of congregations of other backgrounds/races as novelties (when I visit a black congregation do I think the singing and amening is "neat"?) rather than worship I could involve myself in?  Or, along with that, would I say their worship is "not my thing"?

And, do this--ask a person of another race who would openly discuss these things with you to visit and give their impressions.  And don't write them off, and don't be defensive.  Listen.  Be prepared to find that there are people saying and doing things to keep things the way they are that you would never expect, and would never approve of.  (that's what happened last week to a good friend of mine who thought his congregation was more welcoming of diversity than it now seems to be...a black man was asked to leave unbeknownst to the church leadership)

I think people on both sides of all today's back & forth have some tough questions.  But they shouldn't be questions to be asking of others, but that we should be asking ourselves.  I don't think "what do we do?" is of much use until that happens first, and without knee-jerk defenses & attacks.

That's my ::twocents::.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Dennis on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 21:53:19
Scanning over the pages since I was in this morning, there are a couple of things that jump out.  Lots of defensiveness, and lots of excuses.  It's even been implied that the NT is silent on racial issues.  To that, I'd have to wonder what Acts 6 was about with the appointing of the seven, why there were so many time Paul had to address Jewish/Gentile issues, and why diversity is referenced several times in relation to the kingdom of God.  The scripture is not silent, but some are saying to the scriptures, "Silence," perhaps.

If a church is not multiracial because it's community is not multiracial, that's really not even the issue at hand at all, now is it?  I certainly don't see anyone here suggesting that a false or manufactured diversity is what Jesus is seeking (<---interestingly, the first time he's been mentioned in the last several pages).  What the real issue is, is when a congregation is nested in a multiracial (perhaps even multilingual and multinational) community, yet is uniracial.  In most circumstances, that's a sign of an unhealthy congregation.  I don't see any defense for purposefully remaining unhealthy.  Now, that doesn't mean the people are racist.  It could be that they, like one congregation I knew well in Lubbock, saw the community change around them (from basically one race, to several) and were so inwardly focused (not racist at all) that they didn't evangelize their new neighbors.  That's unhealthy, and unacceptable.

In our defensiveness about race, itm we miss that there may well be legitimate unhealthy concerns that the lack of diversity spring from.  Don't get so caught up in defending that you're congregation is not racist that you forget to ask the necessary introspective questions.  

Why does our congregation not reflect our community?
Who is being overlooked in our ministry(s)?
If I were not [insert your race here] would I see my congregation differently?  How?
Am I only fellowshiping within the congregation with people just like me?
Do I see the practices of congregations of other backgrounds/races as novelties (when I visit a black congregation do I think the singing and amening is "neat"?) rather than worship I could involve myself in?  Or, along with that, would I say their worship is "not my thing"?

And, do this--ask a person of another race who would openly discuss these things with you to visit and give their impressions.  And don't write them off, and don't be defensive.  Listen.  Be prepared to find that there are people saying and doing things to keep things the way they are that you would never expect, and would never approve of.  (that's what happened last week to a good friend of mine who thought his congregation was more welcoming of diversity than it now seems to be...a black man was asked to leave unbeknownst to the church leadership)

I think people on both sides of all today's back & forth have some tough questions.  But they shouldn't be questions to be asking of others, but that we should be asking ourselves.  I don't think "what do we do?" is of much use until that happens first, and without knee-jerk defenses & attacks.

That's my ::twocents::.
Good post.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Sep 25, 2008 - 23:26:26
1- It's even been implied that the NT is silent on racial issues.  To that, I'd have to wonder what Acts 6 was about with the appointing of the seven, why there were so many times Paul had to address Jewish/Gentile issues,

2- The scripture is not silent, but some are saying to the scriptures, "Silence," perhaps.

3- What the real issue is, is when a congregation is nested in a multiracial (perhaps even multilingual and multinational) community, yet is uniracial.  In most circumstances, that's a sign of an unhealthy congregation. 

4- one congregation I knew well in Lubbock, saw the community change around them (from basically one race, to several) and were so inwardly focused (not racist at all) that they didn't evangelize their new neighbors.  That's unhealthy, and unacceptable.


1- Yup.   ::nodding::

2-  ::noworries::

3-  ::amen!::

4- Yup.   ::disco::
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 09:31:32
Scanning over the pages since I was in this morning, there are a couple of things that jump out.  Lots of defensiveness, and lots of excuses.  It's even been implied that the NT is silent on racial issues.  To that, I'd have to wonder what Acts 6 was about with the appointing of the seven, why there were so many times Paul had to address Jewish/Gentile issues, and why diversity is referenced several times in relation to the kingdom of God.  The scripture is not silent, but some are saying to the scriptures, "Silence," perhaps.

If a church is not multiracial because its community is not multiracial, that's really not even the issue at hand at all, now is it?  I certainly don't see anyone here suggesting that a false or manufactured diversity is what Jesus is seeking (<---interestingly, the first time he's been mentioned in the last several pages).  What the real issue is, is when a congregation is nested in a multiracial (perhaps even multilingual and multinational) community, yet is uniracial.  In most circumstances, that's a sign of an unhealthy congregation.  I don't see any defense for purposefully remaining unhealthy.  Now, that doesn't mean the people are racist.  It could be that they, like one congregation I knew well in Lubbock, saw the community change around them (from basically one race, to several) and were so inwardly focused (not racist at all) that they didn't evangelize their new neighbors.  That's unhealthy, and unacceptable.

In our defensiveness about race, istm we miss that there may well be legitimate unhealthy concerns that the lack of diversity spring from.  Don't get so caught up in defending that your congregation is not racist that you forget to ask the necessary introspective questions. 

Why does our congregation not reflect our community?
Who is being overlooked in our ministry(s)?
If I were not [insert your race here] would I see my congregation differently?  How?
Am I only fellowshipping within the congregation with people just like me?
Do I see the practices of congregations of other backgrounds/races as novelties (when I visit a black congregation do I think the singing and amening is "neat"?) rather than worship I could involve myself in?  Or, along with that, would I say their worship is "not my thing"?

And, do this--ask a person of another race who would openly discuss these things with you to visit and give their impressions.  And don't write them off, and don't be defensive.  Listen.  Be prepared to find that there are people saying and doing things to keep things the way they are that you would never expect, and would never approve of.  (that's what happened last week to a good friend of mine who thought his congregation was more welcoming of diversity than it now seems to be...a black man was asked to leave unbeknownst to the church leadership)

I think people on both sides of all today's back & forth have some tough questions.  But they shouldn't be questions to be asking of others, but that we should be asking ourselves.  I don't think "what do we do?" is of much use until that happens first, and without knee-jerk defenses & attacks.

That's my ::twocents::.

Good points, but my intent has not been to be defensive about race. The only reason I commented on this thread was to address the legalism behind stevehut's post #2:
There are plenty of one-race churches around here.  Clearly, this is sin.  Always.
From my understanding of DCR's posts, that has been his intent as well.
The post above is purely man-made doctrine.

Furthermore, consider post #317:
Yes, I "hold the same disdain" for any one-race situation.
I perceive that this post, coupled with the one above, demonstrates a dangerous Pharisaical attitude.

Clearly there are race-related issues both within and without of the church. These issues apply to all races. Clearly much, much more work is needed. However, the answer is not to bind where God has not bound, to go beyond what is written, or to add to the word of God. This cuts off our nose to spite our face.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 09:59:22
Thank you, Okimar.  And, I concur.  The discussion here was not to make "excuses" for or defend racial problems... but rather to address some rather unfair and overgeneralized statements that have been made here (such as the aforementioned second post on this thread).

But, I would prefer to move on from that now, and have some less defensive and more constructive dialog about it.  At some point, I plan to address the issue of race in my particular part of the country.  The situation in Middle TN and other parts of the South is not quite the same as Los Angeles or New York or even a city on the high plains of West Texas.  There are differing social dynamics at work, in comparing different areas.  And, challenges are different depending on whether you're talking about an urban or rural area.  Society has ills such as racism.  How does the church deal with that?  The answer for Tennessee may not be quite the same as California or New York... because scenarios are a little different... historical background is a bit different.  Those are some challenges.  More later.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 10:55:17
Okimar, you'll notice I made no personal references, but said people have been defensive.  My aim was not to point the finger at anyone specifically, but to encourage self-examination on all our parts, including the lurkers (self very much included).

DCR, certainly problems and solutions differ from place to place, but I'll tell you that after living in places from Texas to the NE to Russia and my wife still other places (including Nashville ::wink::) that some of these problems are not as different as we think.  I'll tell you this, too, that LA and NY may have an appearance or reputation of being more multicultural, but that's not the same as having racial reconciliation and healing (which imho occurs only at its best at the foot of the cross).  Racial issues are as bad in suburban NY as they are in Jasper, TX, they just tend to be more subtle.  I found that Russians will discriminate against other eastern Europeans as "different races" when all I could were slightly different eyebrows. 

Satan finds ways to divide, and we're too often too intimidated by the challenges to face the problem head on.  Too often, we'd rather be "fellowshipped" from a distanced than deal with some of our systemic problems.

Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 11:08:18
Okimar, you'll notice I made no personal references, but said people have been defensive.  My aim was not to point the finger at anyone specifically, but to encourage self-examination on all our parts, including the lurkers (self very much included).
No worries.  ::cheers::
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 11:30:38
No worries.  ::cheers::

No worries? Are you sure?

Should I start a thread about the evils of beer-chugging (see the evil illustration above.)    rofl
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 11:34:42
Just pretend it's A&W root beer.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 11:40:46
It seems that some of my comments in here have drawn almost no response.  Very interesting...

Some in here have commented that churches are segregated because their communities are segregated.  But there are hundreds of large churches, all over this country, where people drive 100 miles or more to attend.  Many of these are ethnic churches, including Crenshaw Christian Center (Fred Price), where my cousin was an associate pastor many years ago.  So apparently, geography isn't quite the hindrance that many would believe.

I told of a church near my home, which has a health clinic that treats only black kids.  Non-afro kids are routinely turned away; I know this firsthand, from my neighbor and a few other white parents who tried.  No one in here seemed to be disturbed by that.

Someone in here related of a story of when they had a joint service with a black congregation across town, and the songleader brought a soulful rendition of "everlasting arms."  Some of the white congregants felt alienated by this unexpected development; but in every other area of life, are we not encouraged to engage in this very sort of cultural exchange?

Another person in here cited several BCV's that speak to this very issue.  Clearly, God hates division including ethnic division.  But even with this biblical evidence (as far as I can tell), no one in here was persuaded to back down from their defense of ethnic division.

Hmmm.... ::pondering::
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 11:42:52
People that drive 100 miles one way to go to an assembly weekly must have more bread than I do.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 12:05:33
In an area where there are lots of healthy churches, it does seem extravagant.  Around here, there are people in parts of upstate NY and VT that don't have much option but to drive 40-50 miles each way (sometimes that only equals 15-20 miles as the crow flies) if they want to worship with body larger than ma and the dog.  Same can be true in the desert region of West Texas and Eastern NM where towns are sometimes 80 miles apart.  Those folks often don't have more bread, just a longing to feed and be fed in worship & fellowship, and a willingness to cut out the funds from somewhere else...it can be tough.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 12:13:54
It seems that some of my comments in here have drawn almost no response.  Very interesting...
Another person in here cited several BCV's that speak to this very issue.  Clearly, God hates division including ethnic division.  But even with this biblical evidence (as far as I can tell), no one in here was persuaded to back down from their defense of ethnic division.

Hmmm.... ::pondering::
I responded to the BCVs. 
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 12:15:02
People that drive 100 miles one way to go to an assembly weekly must have more bread than I do.
And more patience than I.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 12:19:02
People that drive 100 miles one way to go to an assembly weekly must have more bread than I do.
And more patience than I.
I hear you.  When I was in school I used to preach for a little congregation 75 miles from where I lived.  Driving out wasn't bad, I was usually going over my lessons in my head and looking forward to seeing folks, but those drives home at the end of the day were just tedious and boring.  It's a good thing my wife was keeping me company or I'd have drifted off into a cotton field or gotten a triple digit speeding ticket for sure (well, to be honest I did deserve the latter a time or two).
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 12:20:58
In an area where there are lots of healthy churches, it does seem extravagant.  Around here, there are people in parts of upstate NY and VT that don't have much option but to drive 40-50 miles each way (sometimes that only equals 15-20 miles as the crow flies) if they want to worship with body larger than ma and the dog.  Same can be true in the desert region of West Texas and Eastern NM where towns are sometimes 80 miles apart.  Those folks often don't have more bread, just a longing to feed and be fed in worship & fellowship, and a willingness to cut out the funds from somewhere else...it can be tough.

I have to go at least 15, as I just moved I am in the process of still trying to find the right group of people.  But I am not driving nearly an hour to go where I was before.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: zoonance on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 12:25:33
In an area where there are lots of healthy churches, it does seem extravagant.  Around here, there are people in parts of upstate NY and VT that don't have much option but to drive 40-50 miles each way (sometimes that only equals 15-20 miles as the crow flies) if they want to worship with body larger than ma and the dog.  Same can be true in the desert region of West Texas and Eastern NM where towns are sometimes 80 miles apart.  Those folks often don't have more bread, just a longing to feed and be fed in worship & fellowship, and a willingness to cut out the funds from somewhere else...it can be tough.

I have to go at least 15, as I just moved I am in the process of still trying to find the right group of people.  But I am not driving nearly an hour to go where I was before.




I don't know how far we are from you but drive to Lufkin.  It won't be worth it to you but it will lift my spirits a ton!
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 12:27:59
People that drive 100 miles one way to go to an assembly weekly must have more bread than I do.
And more patience than I.
I hear you.  When I was in school I used to preach for a little congregation 75 miles from where I lived.  Driving out wasn't bad, I was usually going over my lessons in my head and looking forward to seeing folks, but those drives home at the end of the day were just tedious and boring.  It's a good thing my wife was keeping me company or I'd have drifted off into a cotton field or gotten a triple digit speeding ticket for sure (well, to be honest I did deserve the latter a time or two).
I'm with you. Driving makes me so sleepy.  I also have three young children who are apparently in constant competition over who can be the loudest...
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 12:30:21
In an area where there are lots of healthy churches, it does seem extravagant.  Around here, there are people in parts of upstate NY and VT that don't have much option but to drive 40-50 miles each way (sometimes that only equals 15-20 miles as the crow flies) if they want to worship with body larger than ma and the dog.  Same can be true in the desert region of West Texas and Eastern NM where towns are sometimes 80 miles apart.  Those folks often don't have more bread, just a longing to feed and be fed in worship & fellowship, and a willingness to cut out the funds from somewhere else...it can be tough.

I have to go at least 15, as I just moved I am in the process of still trying to find the right group of people.  But I am not driving nearly an hour to go where I was before.
I wouldn't either if I could avoid it.  When we moved here we purposefully bought a house smack in the middle of town so we would also be in the middle of where all our members are, and close to where we meet (a mile and a half).  I'd do the same if I was not a minister.  I don't like commuting, it's money down the drain and time you can't get back.  
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 12:34:08
In an area where there are lots of healthy churches, it does seem extravagant.  Around here, there are people in parts of upstate NY and VT that don't have much option but to drive 40-50 miles each way (sometimes that only equals 15-20 miles as the crow flies) if they want to worship with body larger than ma and the dog.  Same can be true in the desert region of West Texas and Eastern NM where towns are sometimes 80 miles apart.  Those folks often don't have more bread, just a longing to feed and be fed in worship & fellowship, and a willingness to cut out the funds from somewhere else...it can be tough.

I have to go at least 15, as I just moved I am in the process of still trying to find the right group of people.  But I am not driving nearly an hour to go where I was before.




I don't know how far we are from you but drive to Lufkin.  It won't be worth it to you but it will lift my spirits a ton!

Closest I've been to Lufkin, is Marshall.  I don't think I want to drive 1600 miles.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: zoonance on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 12:37:11
In an area where there are lots of healthy churches, it does seem extravagant.  Around here, there are people in parts of upstate NY and VT that don't have much option but to drive 40-50 miles each way (sometimes that only equals 15-20 miles as the crow flies) if they want to worship with body larger than ma and the dog.  Same can be true in the desert region of West Texas and Eastern NM where towns are sometimes 80 miles apart.  Those folks often don't have more bread, just a longing to feed and be fed in worship & fellowship, and a willingness to cut out the funds from somewhere else...it can be tough.

I have to go at least 15, as I just moved I am in the process of still trying to find the right group of people.  But I am not driving nearly an hour to go where I was before.




I don't know how far we are from you but drive to Lufkin.  It won't be worth it to you but it will lift my spirits a ton!

Closest I've been to Lufkin, is Marshall.  I don't think I want to drive 1600 miles.


Abraham went to Ur....  Are you denying His call to fly to Lufkin every week?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 12:48:03
In an area where there are lots of healthy churches, it does seem extravagant.  Around here, there are people in parts of upstate NY and VT that don't have much option but to drive 40-50 miles each way (sometimes that only equals 15-20 miles as the crow flies) if they want to worship with body larger than ma and the dog.  Same can be true in the desert region of West Texas and Eastern NM where towns are sometimes 80 miles apart.  Those folks often don't have more bread, just a longing to feed and be fed in worship & fellowship, and a willingness to cut out the funds from somewhere else...it can be tough.

I have to go at least 15, as I just moved I am in the process of still trying to find the right group of people.  But I am not driving nearly an hour to go where I was before.




I don't know how far we are from you but drive to Lufkin.  It won't be worth it to you but it will lift my spirits a ton!

Closest I've been to Lufkin, is Marshall.  I don't think I want to drive 1600 miles.


Abraham went to Ur....  Are you denying His call to fly to Lufkin every week?

Is there a School of the Bible (Bible Church) down there?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: zoonance on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 13:00:22
In an area where there are lots of healthy churches, it does seem extravagant.  Around here, there are people in parts of upstate NY and VT that don't have much option but to drive 40-50 miles each way (sometimes that only equals 15-20 miles as the crow flies) if they want to worship with body larger than ma and the dog.  Same can be true in the desert region of West Texas and Eastern NM where towns are sometimes 80 miles apart.  Those folks often don't have more bread, just a longing to feed and be fed in worship & fellowship, and a willingness to cut out the funds from somewhere else...it can be tough.

I have to go at least 15, as I just moved I am in the process of still trying to find the right group of people.  But I am not driving nearly an hour to go where I was before.




I don't know how far we are from you but drive to Lufkin.  It won't be worth it to you but it will lift my spirits a ton!

Closest I've been to Lufkin, is Marshall.  I don't think I want to drive 1600 miles.


Abraham went to Ur....  Are you denying His call to fly to Lufkin every week?

Is there a School of the Bible (Bible Church) down there?


Actually there is a Bible Church in town.  I attended their men's breakfast for a little while hoping to find some commoraderie (sp?) amongst other christians.  The subject that it just happened to be on was the Book of Revelations and after several weeks, I couldn't sit through any more of it.  Like most discussions, the Doctor pastor guided the meaning of the text - with the predictable mix of literal and allegory to defend his beliefs.  (postmillenialism) It was about that time that I found the Grace Centered Forum.   *Same stuff pops up here but at least there are plenty of other discussions going on as well)
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 13:03:01
In an area where there are lots of healthy churches, it does seem extravagant.  Around here, there are people in parts of upstate NY and VT that don't have much option but to drive 40-50 miles each way (sometimes that only equals 15-20 miles as the crow flies) if they want to worship with body larger than ma and the dog.  Same can be true in the desert region of West Texas and Eastern NM where towns are sometimes 80 miles apart.  Those folks often don't have more bread, just a longing to feed and be fed in worship & fellowship, and a willingness to cut out the funds from somewhere else...it can be tough.

I have to go at least 15, as I just moved I am in the process of still trying to find the right group of people.  But I am not driving nearly an hour to go where I was before.




I don't know how far we are from you but drive to Lufkin.  It won't be worth it to you but it will lift my spirits a ton!

Closest I've been to Lufkin, is Marshall.  I don't think I want to drive 1600 miles.


Abraham went to Ur....  Are you denying His call to fly to Lufkin every week?

Is there a School of the Bible (Bible Church) down there?


Actually there is a Bible Church in town.  I attended their men's breakfast for a little while hoping to find some commoraderie (sp?) amongst other christians.  The subject that it just happened to be on was the Book of Revelations and after several weeks, I couldn't sit through any more of it.  Like most discussions, the Doctor pastor guided the meaning of the text - with the predictable mix of literal and allegory to defend his beliefs.  (postmillenialism) It was about that time that I found the Grace Centered Forum.   *Same stuff pops up here but at least there are plenty of other discussions going on as well)

The guy was post-mill?  Usually most are pre-mill or at least don'tcare-mill (unofficially at least).
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 13:18:54
It seems that some of my comments in here have drawn almost no response.  Very interesting...

Such as?

Some in here have commented that churches are segregated because their communities are segregated.  But there are hundreds of large churches, all over this country, where people drive 100 miles or more to attend.  Many of these are ethnic churches, including Crenshaw Christian Center (Fred Price), where my cousin was an associate pastor many years ago.  So apparently, geography isn't quite the hindrance that many would believe.

We're still having a failure to communicate, it appears.  No one is denying that this could be the case with some folks.  Yes, some do drive great distances just so they can be in a church of their race.  But, I'm not defending people who do that. 

The point I have personally been trying to get across is that... in many cases... churches are single race because those in their surrounding community are predominantly one race.  But, I didn't assume that this was the case with all single race churches.  If some people drive great distances, past other churches or whatever, that doesn't change this simple fact.  I didn't say that all segregated churches are segregated because their surrounding communities are.  And, I didn't defend all segregated churches.  I simply pointed out that many single race churches are one race because they exist in communities that are one race.

We seem to be having a problem here understanding the difference between "sometimes" and "always."  Yes, you can show examples of some "church commute" habits in the way that you have.  But, that doesn't change the fact that churches in black communities are going to tend to be mostly if not totally black... same way with white churches in white communities.

Yes, some people do segregate themselves in churches by choice.  But, there are plenty of churches that may be segregated... because their communities are segregated.  I know there are people who will drive further to go to church, as you said.  But, that's a separate issue.  Often times, the real problem is the segregation of communities... which I will get into later with a description of the way things are in my part of the country.

Are there some churches that are segregated by choice?  I don't doubt that there are.  But, it's unfair of you to assume that this is the case for all churches that happen to be of one race.  And, that's been my point all along.  Churches are frequently attended by the demographic of the surrounding community.  Are there exceptions to this?  Sure.  But, that doesn't change the point.

I told of a church near my home, which has a health clinic that treats only black kids.  Non-afro kids are routinely turned away; I know this firsthand, from my neighbor and a few other white parents who tried.  No one in here seemed to be disturbed by that.

Yes, it's disturbing.  And, the fault is on those involved in that specific case.  But, you cite this example why?  To accuse all single race churches of this same kind of thing, whether they're guilty of it or not?

At the end of the day, we are talking about a society problem that many churches are simply a victim of.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 18:00:59
People that drive 100 miles one way to go to an assembly weekly must have more bread than I do.

I'm not suggesting that you should.  I simply believe that it's a false argument to suggest that one-race churches are the inevitable product of segregated neighborhoods.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 18:03:05
Around here, there are people in parts of upstate NY and VT that don't have much option but to drive 40-50 miles each way

So apparently, it can be done, and there are many people who do.  Generally in life, I have found that when people think something is important, they will find a way.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 21:05:21
date=1222447246]
1- Yes, some do drive great distances just so they can be in a church of their race.  But, I'm not defending people who do that. 

2- The point I have personally been trying to get across is that... in many cases... churches are single race because those in their surrounding community are predominantly one race. 

3- And, I didn't defend all segregated churches. 

4- Yes, some people do segregate themselves in churches by choice. 

5- At the end of the day, we are talking about a society problem that many churches are simply a victim of.

1-  ::amen!::

2- Which (neighborhood of residence) is also a choice.

3-  ::amen!::

4- Yup.   ::nodding::  And as for the others...they do so at gunpoint?

5- Victim of what?  And of who?:  Who or what compelled them into this situation?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Johnb on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 21:18:49
Most black congregations do not want to be an integrated congreagtion if the majority is white because they would lose power and control.  I don't know what biblical principal it being violated by folks deciding to attend an assembly of folks with simular views and cultural background as their own. 
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 21:23:39
Most black congregations do not want to be an integrated congreagtion if the majority is white because they would lose power and control. 

Power and control?   ::eek::  I can't speak for anyone else here, but that was not the way that I chose my church.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Fri Sep 26, 2008 - 22:22:34
People that drive 100 miles one way to go to an assembly weekly must have more bread than I do.

I'm not suggesting that you should.  I simply believe that it's a false argument to suggest that one-race churches are the inevitable product of segregated neighborhoods.

Where I live there isn't a neighborhood, or public sewers, or public water.  If my sister-in-law came to visit, there would be an explosion of minorities in the zip code.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sat Sep 27, 2008 - 00:11:34
Hey, I just reviewed the thread and found this comment that I missed previously:

How do you address that issue in your grand ideal of one superchurch per city?

 ???  ?  What's this about a grand ideal?

Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Johnb on Sat Sep 27, 2008 - 07:29:15
Steve most folks like to attend church where they enjoy the singing and the mood of the service,  What happens if one goes to a church of another culture they feel out of place and have no ability to change that.  They either conform to the majority culture of go somewhere else.  That is what I was talking about by power and control.  Like it or not most folks go to church where they feel welcome and where they feel at home (a place they feel they can serve and be accepted)  Again what biblical principal are folks breaking by attending a church that is mostly of their ace or culture?   If this is a great problem then why don't all the white CoC folks get in their cars and go to a mostly black church and intergrate that way.  Or maybe there should be a bussing program where we bus white folks to black churches and black folks to white churches.  You know forced integration like the school system did?   
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Sat Sep 27, 2008 - 07:58:26
2- Which (neighborhood of residence) is also a choice.

No... not necessarily, Steve.  No offense, but that's an incredibly naive statement to make in many parts of this country.  Let me ask you something... does LA have what we refer to in my city as "the Projects"?  Have you ever heard of low-income housing?  Such exists in my city... and, sadly it largely falls along racial lines.  We have something called "the inner city."  And, it's quite heavily weighted toward a certain race living there.  There are some ugly truths in many places in this country that you seem to be ignoring... or maybe you're simply unaware of it.  Many have the luxury of being able to "choose" which neighborhood to live in.  Many don't.  Now, you're opening a whole other can of worms.  And, aside from that, you may have no concept of situations that exist in my part of the country where whole towns are black or where whole towns are white.  And, I'm even talking about rural towns and communities outside of Nashville and the region's other larger cities.  In many cases, people live, die, raise children and grandchildren, and struggle to make ends meet... without ever leaving these towns and communities.  They can't just up and decide to "move to another neighborhood" to satisfy the noble cause of racial diversity.  It's not near that simple.

4- Yup.   ::nodding::  And as for the others...they do so at gunpoint?

5- Victim of what?  And of who?:  Who or what compelled them into this situation?

See above.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Sat Sep 27, 2008 - 10:29:57
As previously discussed, I'm going to now attempt to give a description of the racial dynamic that exists in the area where I am from and where I have lived my whole life, in order to give some insight into the problem of racial segregation... at least as it exists in many areas of our country.

I live in a region that is referred to as the "Midsouth"... which is basically the area that spans west from the Appalachians to the Ozarks, south of the Ohio River, but north of the area which is referred to as the "Deep South."  We're talking about Tennessee, Arkansas, and adjacent portions of other states.  Nearly every day in Nashville, I drive past historical markers memorializing the places where hundreds and, in some cases, thousands died in armed conflict... between Americans.  Yes, some people can say that the Civil War was quite literally fought in their back yard.  To this day, some go out with metal detectors and still find bullets and artillery shells in the ground still there after nearly 150 years.  We don't have to revisit the history of that to recall what took place in this country with regard to slavery and other things connected to that.

I grew up in a small town outside of Nashville, where my family and many relatives still live.  If you took a stroll through the neighborhoods there and passed the houses on the country roads, you might come to the conclusion that only whites live in this area.  I grew up going to a church that was all white.  Someone might occasionally bring some black friends to church.  But, that was about it.  It would appear to be a totally white town... until you happened to drive down certain roads.

The town is located on a highway in a valley, but it backs up to some hills on the north side of town.  Beyond that, it's just wooded hills, undeveloped land.  Well, there's this one corner on the back side of town, where there's this isolated road that goes back into a hollow and then up into the hills, where the residents are, for the most part, black.  Conveniently, at the mouth of that hollow where the road comes out, there is a little AME church.  We think we have racial segregation problems in the CofC... someone please explain to me the African Methodist Episcopal Church!

So, in my white CofC on the other end of town... what were we doing wrong?  If any of those folks that lived on that road came to be with us... they would be welcomed with open arms, I assure you.  I have no doubt that there were outreach efforts in the community.  Were the black residents on the other end of town excluded from that?  Of course not!  They were just as invited as any other member of the community.  What should we have done differently?  But, see, there's also a problem here of an intersection of race with denominational division.  I suspect most of the folks who lived on that road probably attended that AME church.  So, it's not only a matter of race... we're also crossing denominational lines.  That's where it gets even stickier.

Keep driving down the highway out of my town, and you'll pass through more rural areas... rural white areas.  I don't even know if there was a black soul to be found through a certain stretch of that highway... until you come to this other town... a town which is predominantly black.  Most everyone there has lived there for generations.  We're talking about a history that possibly goes back to the aftermath of the Civil War, when freed slaves would live together in these communities.  They had to stick together, given what they faced in the decades to come.  The people living in those communities now are their descendants.  Well, in this rural black town, there is a CofC.  I visited there with some family once.  They were loving and welcoming, and the preacher even hugged us.  I think we were the only whites in that church on that particular Sunday morning.  So, what should we do about this?  Tell them... we want you to disband and start driving several miles up the road to start attending our church for the cause of racial integration?  Or, maybe our larger white congregation should start going to church there?  The building was too small to hold us anyway.  Or maybe, we should insist on buying up land in their town just so some whites can move in?  Or, maybe we should try to talk them into selling their homes and then buying lots in the "white" sections of our town for the cause of racial integration?  What is the practical solution?  I really want to hear it.

Just to give another example of this, I currently live in a "mostly" white community within the Nashville city limits ("mostly"... because there are a number of other ethnicities in the area now... including my next door neighbors, who are a Hispanic family).  But, historically... back 50 years or more, it was probably a white-only community.  Well, if you make a short drive just over a ridge, you'll notice a little road that turns right.  At the intersection of that road, there is a little CofC... a black church.  And, this is because about all the residents who live on that road are black.  Well, where that road comes out, there is also a historical marker.  It says something to this effect (http://www.nashville.gov/finance/management_and_budget/CB2005/noflash/baw_ql.htm):

Quote
George Tolbert, a farmer, bought 97 ½ acres here at the intersection of Tolbert Road and Old Hickory Boulevard in Bellevue. He was a former slave who, according to family tradition, purchased his own freedom. Tolbert worked 45 acres by 1880 and cut and sold wood with his sons. Land ownership signified true freedom for blacks after the Civil War.  Generations of Tolbert's descendants continued to live on his land, which has been known as Tolbert Hollow since 1879.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sat Sep 27, 2008 - 17:19:30
1- What happens if one goes to a church of another culture they feel out of place and have no ability to change that. 

2- most folks go to church where they feel welcome and where they feel at home (a place they feel they can serve and be accepted) 

1- Not suggesting anyone should. 

2- Hence, the inherent problem of a segregated church, by intentionally limiting their reach.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sat Sep 27, 2008 - 17:30:05
1- No offense, but that's an incredibly naive statement to make in many parts of this country. 

2-  does LA have what we refer to in my city as "the Projects"?  Have you ever heard of low-income housing?  Such exists in my city... and, sadly it largely falls along racial lines. 

3- We have something called "the inner city." 

4- Many have the luxury of being able to "choose" which neighborhood to live in.  Many don't. 

5- whole towns are black or where whole towns are white. 

1- I live exactly where I chose to live.  Do you?

2- Yup.   ::nodding::  And I know Latinos who live in the black ghetto, and Italians who live in Koreatown.

3- Likewise here.

4- Why?  The rent at the projects in Boyle Heights (Latino) are about the same as the projects in Watts (blacks).

5- I'd imagine that some of the projects out here are as big as those towns.  And just as the people can drive from Boyle Heights to Watts, I suspect that your neighbors can drive from town to town.

Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sat Sep 27, 2008 - 18:00:37
1- Yes, some people can say that the Civil War was quite literally fought in their back yard.  To this day, some go out with metal detectors and still find bullets and artillery shells in the ground still there after nearly 150 years. 

2- It would appear to be a totally white town... until you happened to drive down certain roads.

3- We think we have racial segregation problems in the CofC... someone please explain to me the African Methodist Episcopal Church!

4- If any of those folks that lived on that road came to be with us... they would be welcomed with open arms, I assure you. 

5- Were the black residents on the other end of town excluded from that?  Of course not! 

6- What should we have done differently? 

7- there's also a problem here of an intersection of race with denominational division. 

8-  Or, maybe we should try to talk them into selling their homes and then buying lots in the "white" sections of our town for the cause of racial integration?  What is the practical solution?  I really want to hear it.



1- Sounds fascinating.  Down the street from here they made the Space Shuttles, and sometimes land them here if there's bad weather in Florida.

2- Some places around here are just like that.

3- I hear ya.  It's not even subtle; it's in the name of the church!  Several AME's in LA area.

4-  ::amen!::

5-  ::amen!::

6- This would need to be a long-term ongoing outreach, methinks.

7- Yup.   ::nodding::

8- This is what we do:

When we plant a new church, we deliberately choose a multi-ethnic group of missionaries, as diverse as is possible or practical.  (But probably not so much, in a place like Tokyo.) Some will be singles, some will be married couples with children, some will be college students.  We make every effort to also have an ethnically varied leadership and staff.  All things to all men.

These people are then spread out to live in different places all over town.  In the big cities, a few are sent to live out in the suburbs and hinterlands.

Each household hosts a weekly dinner or Bible study, and they knock on doors and share with people at shopping malls and at their schools or workplaces.  We teach them (from the Bible) what we believe in, and what we do.  Most of the visitors never return more than a few times, but many end up attending the Sunday service or midweek.  Among those, many end up becoming members.

The Sundays and midweeks will be arranged in some central location.  It might be a large home of a member or a rented hall or hotel ballroom, depending on the situation.  For those who don't have their own transportation, they will be offered rides with the members.


When we do this, we always end up with a melting pot of membership.  In time, we sometimes establish specialized ministry, such as a Latino group for those who don't speak English.  Or a support group for single moms, or sobriety, or whatever.  This even worked in Johannesburg, during the height of apartheid.

But that's a new planting, which doesn't have any pre-existing baggage.  The section in red (above), can be done in any existing congregation.

You spoke of "merging" or otherwise joint-venturing with another existing church.  I suppose that could work, but I've never heard of anyone doing it successfully.  It would be more natural, methinks, to simply evangelize like crazy and see where it leads.

__________________________


I don't pretend that this would be easy, nor that it would work overnight.  But I've been hearing people tell me for decades now that this is a hopeless situation far beyond repair, because these people are so set in their ways.

But someone has to try.





Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Sat Sep 27, 2008 - 23:33:21
1- No offense, but that's an incredibly naive statement to make in many parts of this country. 

2-  does LA have what we refer to in my city as "the Projects"?  Have you ever heard of low-income housing?  Such exists in my city... and, sadly it largely falls along racial lines. 

3- We have something called "the inner city." 

4- Many have the luxury of being able to "choose" which neighborhood to live in.  Many don't. 

5- whole towns are black or where whole towns are white. 

1- I live exactly where I chose to live.  Do you?

 ::headscratch::

Uh... good for you.  Could you live anywhere you chose to live though?  I couldn't.  There are some places... that would require multiples above even my paygrade to live.  Don't get me wrong... I'm blessed to live in reasonable comfort.  But, I'm no Bill Gates either.  However, I have absolutely no idea what you and I have to do with those I described who couldn't live just anywhere they wanted.  But, whatever.


2- Yup.   ::nodding::  And I know Latinos who live in the black ghetto, and Italians who live in Koreatown.

3- Likewise here.

4- Why?  The rent at the projects in Boyle Heights (Latino) are about the same as the projects in Watts (blacks).

5- I'd imagine that some of the projects out here are as big as those towns.  And just as the people can drive from Boyle Heights to Watts, I suspect that your neighbors can drive from town to town.



Why should they drive from town to town when they have a church right there in their own community??
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sat Sep 27, 2008 - 23:51:43
1- I have absolutely no idea what you and I have to do with those I described who couldn't live just anywhere they wanted. 

2- Why should they drive from town to town when they have a church right there in their own community??

1- I didn't say that I am able to live anywhere I might choose.  I said that I chose a place to live.  And no one told me I couldn't.

2- Didn't say they should.  But if they desire to worship in a diversified setting, they can.  They have options, beyond the church on the corner.


Any thoughts on that church-planting model? 
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sun Sep 28, 2008 - 00:11:55
A thought on church-merging, which entered this discussion:

About ten years ago in the San Fernando Valley, two large churches merged.  One was a rapidly growing congregation in need of more space, and the other was a smaller congregation with a brand-new facility with a huge and unmanageable mortgage.  On one level, this was a match made in heaven.

But in practice, it quickly became unworkable.  Some were loyal to one pastor, and some to the other.  Several power struggles ensued, even down to what type of soap to use in the bathrooms and what kind of microphones to use for the sound system.

Since then, hundreds of people have left the church, taking their weekly giving with them.  Ergo, some of the economic benefits that they expected from the combined operations never really materialized, and others didn't last for long.

And by the way, DCR, I just might be joining you in Nashville one of these days.  I'm a writer, and your town is the world HQ of Christian publishing. 

This is our sister church, where the lead evangelist is an old friend of mine: http://www.greaternashvillechurch.org/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=98
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Sun Sep 28, 2008 - 00:15:28
1- I have absolutely no idea what you and I have to do with those I described who couldn't live just anywhere they wanted. 

2- Why should they drive from town to town when they have a church right there in their own community??

1- I didn't say that I am able to live anywhere I might choose.  I said that I chose a place to live.  And no one told me I couldn't.

Who said anything about someone being told that they couldn't live somewhere?  My point was that it's not feasible for some folks to uproot themselves and move to another location when they don't have the means.  Besides, they would have to have a reason to move.  Fulfilling the cause of racial diversity is not going to motivate (most) people to do this.  I'm sure someone out there might make a noble decision to deliberately move to another area inhabited by a different race.  Good for them.  I don't anticipate that people are going to suddenly decide to start doing this in large numbers though.

2- Didn't say they should.  But if they desire to worship in a diversified setting, they can.  They have options, beyond the church on the corner.

Of course someone may have options and may choose to drive further to church.  That's up to them.  That doesn't change the fact that many more may be content to worship and serve with the local fellowship on the corner.  And, what's wrong with them doing that... if they're effectively serving the kingdom in their local community there?


Any thoughts on that church-planting model? 

I'll have to read that further before responding, but your description of the way things are done by the ICOC does give some insight behind what you've been saying here, I think.  At least, I somewhat see the perspective you're coming from now (not that I agree with your perspective but that I'm beginning to understand more what your perspective is).
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sun Sep 28, 2008 - 00:27:05
1- My point was that it's not feasible for some folks to uproot themselves and move to another location when they don't have the means.  

2- Fulfilling the cause of racial diversity is not going to motivate (most) people to do this.  

3- I don't anticipate that people are going to suddenly decide to start doing this in large numbers

4- many more may be content to worship and serve with the local fellowship on the corner.  

5- I'll have to read that further before responding, but your description of the way things are done by the ICOC does give some insight behind what you've been saying here

1- Not suggesting they should.  Simply that they ended up in their current situation, by choice.  And it is within their power to change, if they choose to.

2- I agree.

3- Me either.

4- Which is also a choice.

5- Not asking you to sign up with my church.   ::noworries::  Just to respond to a couple of paragraphs.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Sun Sep 28, 2008 - 00:38:23
Simply that they ended up in their current situation, by choice. 

Then, you've missed everything I've said.  How did those people who are descended from families living in those places for generations... end up in their current situation by choice?  That's the naivete here.  By choice... they may choose, if they are able, to move out of that area.  But, in many cases, they were born and raised in those communities.  That's why they're there.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sun Sep 28, 2008 - 00:47:21
they may choose, if they are able, to move out of that area.  But, in many cases, they were born and raised in those communities.  That's why they're there.

I was born and raised in Hollywood, on Sunset Boulevard, to be exact.

My family, on both sides, (mom and dad) has lived within a small area of LA, for over 100 years.  I still miss the downtown area dearly.  My grandparents bought their house back in the 1920's, and now my cousin lives there.  I could have stayed and continued the tradition, but I chose to move away.  Not because it would have been wrong to stay,  but I had other ideas and other interests that led me in a different direction.  Anyone in TN could do the same.

Born on Sunset in 1962, is not in itself a reason to live there in 2008.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Sun Sep 28, 2008 - 00:51:06
Anyone in TN could do the same.

I'm sure many probably could.  But, who says they have to?  Maybe there's not necessarily a reason for someone to move out of their community?  And, if they are content living in the community where they are and are spiritually fed at the local church where they live, then what is wrong with that, exactly?

What if it is even... God's will and desire for someone to stay in their native community and perhaps work with the local church there?  Did you ever consider that?

If you thought it best for you to move outside of the community of your childhood, then good for you.  Don't assume that what's the right thing for you is necessarily the right thing for everyone else though.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sun Sep 28, 2008 - 01:06:21
But, who says they have to? 

Not me.

Last time I checked, the topic of this thread was about racial segregation in COC churches. 

Yes, people like to worship near home, and home is often in a segregated neighborhood.

But home and worship are still a matter of choice.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Sun Sep 28, 2008 - 01:17:28
But, who says they have to? 

Not me.

You've certainly been implying it all along... saying that churches made up of a single race are in sin... unless you wish to retract that statement?

Last time I checked, the topic of this thread was about racial segregation in COC churches. 

Yes, it is.  And, what we've been discussing here is a vital part of that issue.

Yes, people like to worship near home, and home is often in a segregated neighborhood.

But home and worship are still a matter of choice.

We're really going in circles now.  You seem to have such a rigid, presumptuous, and simplistic view of things that this discussion is not really going anywhere at all.  I'm obviously not getting my points across, and I'm really starting to see the connection between this and possible indoctrination tactics of the ICOC/Discipling Movement.

Sorry if that came across as harsh.  Perhaps I need to sign off for the night (it's after 1:00 AM my time)...
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sun Sep 28, 2008 - 09:54:08
DCR, I do appreciate it that you have stuck with me this far.  I understand your explanations just fine, I simply disagree.  I am aware that I often represent the minority view in here, but that's OK with me.  My goal is not to necessarily win the argument, but instead to give people a different way of looking at things, that they might not have considered before.

To be clear, I'm not here to gather followers for ICOC, nor to defend anything that they do or teach.  The views that I have expressed in here, were not learned from anyone in ICOC.  I began to form these opinions in my early teens, long before Kip went to Boston.  Still, I do admire that church-planting model, and it can be employed anywhere.

Alright, perhaps it's an overly broad statement to say that racial division in churches is "always sinful."  I must say, however, that I find it interesting that an all-white country club is considered racist -- regardless of the history or culture or how they ended up that way -- and yet an all-black church is " a matter of culture,"  and only a racist would ever question it.  I just don't buy the argument that it's the unavoidable product of segregated neighborhoods.  Or that segregated neighborhoods are the inevitable product of longtime family traditions. 

So often, I meet people who tell me "My pappy was a Methodist, his pappy was a Methodist, and his pappy was a Methodist, so it's good enough for me."  And yet, after a lifetime of attending the same UMC church, decade after decade, they don't know what it means to be a Methodist.  Come on, I bet you probably know someone like this, if not many. 

Similarly, I often see news stories about drunk drivers who careen out of control and kill someone.  Their excuse?  My dad was an alcoholic, and his dad was an alcoholic, so it's not my fault. 

Based on my family traditions -- and where I grew up -- and the people who influenced me in my youth -- I have every excuse to be a drug-addicted, whiskey-swilling, promiscuous, homeless, chain-smoking, AIDS-infected homosexual prostitute.  Those things would be the natural product of my upbringing.  And I'm thoroughly convinced that my longtime heritage in the UCC (an indirect RM offshoot) would not have even tried to dissuade me away from any of it.

Please, please, I don't mean to imply that those sins are equivalent to living in a one-race neighborhood or church.  I'm simply trying to give you a window into my broader thinking process, and how I arrived at the views that I now hold dear.

My son is nine years old now, and he loves coming to church with me.  He reads his Bible every day and prays every evening, certainly far ahead of his old man at that age.  I would love to baptize him in a few years; nothing would give me greater joy in life.  But the worst thing he could do, imho, is to join this church because "my pappy did it."  I want him to have his own convictions, his own faith, his own chosen path.

I don't pretend that it's easy to change.  It was hugely difficult for me, when I did.  But if our nation is ever going to heal its racial tensions, then (imho) it's the responsibility of Christian churches to lead the way.  The first-century church is a wonderful example for us, in this regard.

Are all people in segregated churches racists?  I doubt it.  But many could be, and you'd never know it, because their whole world is lived among their own.  Or perhaps they don't even realize it themselves.  Mixing up the fellowship could be a good way to find out, and heal those attitudes.  Who better to deal with this situation, than the people of God?

At the end of the day, from what I've seen, churches have been prevented from mixing because they think it's too hard, or it's too impractical, or some of the members might not like it.  But that's not a good reason not to try.

Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Mon Sep 29, 2008 - 09:06:49
Alright, perhaps it's an overly broad statement to say that racial division in churches is "always sinful."  I must say, however, that I find it interesting that an all-white country club is considered racist -- regardless of the history or culture or how they ended up that way -- and yet an all-black church is " a matter of culture,"  and only a racist would ever question it.  I just don't buy the argument that it's the unavoidable product of segregated neighborhoods.  Or that segregated neighborhoods are the inevitable product of longtime family traditions. 

A group, whether you're talking about a country club or a church, is racist if it does not allow people of another race or races to join.  I don't know of any all-white church that wouldn't allow another race in the door.  And, it would be beyond disgusting if such a group did exist.  But, you can't just look at a group, see that everyone is of the same race, and then just assume that they don't allow other races or that the group must be racist... or even that they are neglecting evangelizing people of other races.  That's what's unfair here.  For all we know, an all-white church may have made great efforts to reach out to people of other races.  But, at the end of the day, you can't necessarily force those of other races to be there either.  That all depends on any specific given church's situation where it is located.  That's why we cannot make sweeping judgments and criticisms and apply it to everyone and assume that all are guilty of something or are negligent of something simply because their demographic makeup doesn't match up to some perceived ideal.   

I don't pretend that it's easy to change.  It was hugely difficult for me, when I did.  But if our nation is ever going to heal its racial tensions, then (imho) it's the responsibility of Christian churches to lead the way.  The first-century church is a wonderful example for us, in this regard.

Are all people in segregated churches racists?  I doubt it.  But many could be, and you'd never know it, because their whole world is lived among their own.  Or perhaps they don't even realize it themselves.  Mixing up the fellowship could be a good way to find out, and heal those attitudes.  Who better to deal with this situation, than the people of God?

At the end of the day, from what I've seen, churches have been prevented from mixing because they think it's too hard, or it's too impractical, or some of the members might not like it.  But that's not a good reason not to try.



Some of this seems to amount to activism, and its purpose is to fulfill the contemporary notion of racial diversity/integration, affirmative action, perhaps even measuring up to quotas so that a church is visibly multi-racial.  If individual churches decided to focus on creating a multi-racial environment, I suppose that's commendable.  But, I get uncomfortable when one looks down on other churches for not putting its energies into the cause creating a multi-racial fellowship.  If a church is all white, how does it meet trying to introduce a percentage of black members?  Do we put a little less energy into evangelizing whites in the community and put a little more energy into evangelizing blacks?  Preferential treatment or perhaps "affirmative action" in evangelism just so we start bringing more black members through the doors?  Something about this makes me uneasy.  In order to bring multiple races into the congregation, it seems that we're now "targeting" specific groups just to make sure we're diverse enough.  But, in my way of thinking, the gospel is for all, and we should preach it equally to all, without respect to race at all, instead of specifically targeting percentages of other groups in an effort to make us multi-racial enough.  Then, it becomes more about us, and what we look like over bringing the gospel to the lost.  This seems to actually encourage the respect of skin color, in my mind, which may be a benign yet subtle form of racism in itself.  We're so proud of our multi-racial congregation!  Just look at us!


Galatians 3:28
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Mon Sep 29, 2008 - 12:15:16
DCR said
Quote
I don't know of any all-white church that wouldn't allow another race in the door.  And, it would be beyond disgusting if such a group did exist.
As I've pointed out, they unfortunately do, one experience I relayed was in your neighboring state KY.

Quote
But, you can't just look at a group, see that everyone is of the same race, and then just assume that they don't allow other races or that the group must be racist... or even that they are neglecting evangelizing people of other races.
Very true, and a point that shouldn't be overlooked.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Mon Sep 29, 2008 - 13:02:47
DCR said
Quote
I don't know of any all-white church that wouldn't allow another race in the door.  And, it would be beyond disgusting if such a group did exist.
As I've pointed out, they unfortunately do, one experience I relayed was in your neighboring state KY.

I didn't mean to imply that they don't exist... just that I don't personally know of any.  And, it is disgusting if and where they do exist... though I would hope that such is a fading lot in this day and age.  Maybe that isn't the case in some places, as you said.

Somehow, the Klan and other racial supremacists do still exist in some corners of the world.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Mon Sep 29, 2008 - 13:52:30
I think where they exist is much more subtle than the KKK ever was, and I think the very same people probably don't think of themselves as being anything like them.  In fact, some I've known actually think they're doing people of other races a favor by sending them "where they will fit in better".  It reminds me of Pres. Bush's remark on racial issues in education, "...the subtle bigotry of low expectations," but in this case it's the "subtle bigotry of supposed discomfort."

I agree and have said before on GCM that I believe that such views are waning in our society and in the church.  But I'd sure like to see the church leading, not following, in such change.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Mon Sep 29, 2008 - 14:02:10
An interesting read is at the link.  It was said by Bill Banowsky (Mirror of a Movement) to be the most significant speech ever given at the ACU Lectureship.

Modern Challenges to Christian Morals (http://www.bible.acu.edu/crs/doc/mccm.htm)
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Mon Sep 29, 2008 - 14:39:54
I think where they exist is much more subtle than the KKK ever was, and I think the very same people probably don't think of themselves as being anything like them.  In fact, some I've known actually think they're doing people of other races a favor by sending them "where they will fit in better".  It reminds me of Pres. Bush's remark on racial issues in education, "...the subtle bigotry of low expectations," but in this case it's the "subtle bigotry of supposed discomfort."

I agree and have said before on GCM that I believe that such views are waning in our society and in the church.  But I'd sure like to see the church leading, not following, in such change.

My physical family has some "integration" in it, but I doubt my brother and his wife would be welcome in some geographical areas with an "interracial" marriage.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Mon Sep 29, 2008 - 18:24:52
1- A group, whether you're talking about a country club or a church, is racist if it does not allow people of another race or races to join. 

2- I don't know of any all-white church that wouldn't allow another race in the door.  And, it would be beyond disgusting if such a group did exist. 

3- But, you can't just look at a group, see that everyone is of the same race, and then just assume that they don't allow other races

4- That's why we cannot make sweeping judgments and criticisms and apply it to everyone

5- Some of this seems to amount to activism, and its purpose is to fulfill the contemporary notion of racial diversity/integration, affirmative action,

6- If a church is all white, how does it meet trying to introduce a percentage of black members? 

7- In order to bring multiple races into the congregation, it seems that we're now "targeting" specific groups just to make sure we're diverse enough. 

8- Galatians 3:28


1- I wasn't talking about a dictionary definition.  Just look at people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton: They get the slightest whiff of an all-white institution (college, country club, etc.) of any kind, and they will call a press conference and shout from the mountaintops to condemn it.  They always seem to rally lots of people into the cause, and Jesse in particular routinely extorts millions from companies on this basis.

2- Ever heard of the COC-Aryan Nations?  They've been around for a while.

3- Agreed.  But that was never my point here.

4- Yup.   ::nodding::  Did you not notice my disclaimer a few posts ago?

5- I have never believed in affirmative action, or any kind of quota.

6- I just proposed a solution for that.  Look again.

7- See #6

8- All the more reason not to have a  monolithic church.  Thank you for making my case for me   ::noworries::

Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Mon Sep 29, 2008 - 18:27:50
I'd sure like to see the church leading, not following, in such change.

Absolutely.   ::amen!::
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Mon Sep 29, 2008 - 19:32:59
I doubt my brother and his wife would be welcome in some geographical areas with an "interracial" marriage.

Now that I think about it, I believe my family, on both sides, has more interracial marriages than otherwise. 

Funny, I've never thought about it until this very moment.   rofl
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Mon Sep 29, 2008 - 19:40:36
An interesting read is at the link. 
Modern Challenges to Christian Morals ([url]http://www.bible.acu.edu/crs/doc/mccm.htm[/url])


That link doesn't work.  I think this is the one you want.  http://www.bible.acu.edu/crs/ItemDetail.asp?Bookmark=1590
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Tue Sep 30, 2008 - 07:55:19
1- I wasn't talking about a dictionary definition.  Just look at people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton: They get the slightest whiff of an all-white institution (college, country club, etc.) of any kind, and they will call a press conference and shout from the mountaintops to condemn it.  They always seem to rally lots of people into the cause, and Jesse in particular routinely extorts millions from companies on this basis.

And, that's exactly the kind of concern I've been trying to address here.  Thank you for making my case for me.  ::wink::  Jackson and Sharpton would be presumptuous in doing that.  Are there racist institutions?  Sure.  But, what I fear happens is that there is effectively a witch hunt for possible racism.  If your group or church happens to be all of one race, then assumptions and accusations are made.  In effect, we have gone from one extreme to another.

2- Ever heard of the COC-Aryan Nations?  They've been around for a while.

No... can't say I have.  ::pondering::  With "COC," I assume you're not trying to make some kind of connection to the "Church of Christ" we discuss on this forum, are you?  I Googled and found references to the possible group you refer to.  But, I could see no connection to the RM, and I would think I would have at least heard of this if there was.  I have heard of "Aryan Nations," which may be what you're talking about.  But, again, as I told jmg3rd, I was not saying that racist groups don't exist... just that I don't personally know any churches (and, stevehut, I mainly have in mind any CofC I have ever known) who disallow other races.  If there were, they would be justifiably rebuked by others who were aware of it.  I was not even including extremist racist groups in the "churches" I was talking about.  I may not have made that statement precisely enough.

6- I just proposed a solution for that.  Look again.

A solution which involved bringing people from all over the area to a central place for one church assembly.  If a single church decides to do that, it may be feasible yet inconvenient for members who live further away... and, with current gas prices...

I can come up with some practical problems with this approach though.  In my business, we have a term called "scalability."  If a church becomes large enough, one location is not very "scalable."  If you added up all the CofC adherents in the Nashville area, the sum total would be in the tens of thousands.  To bring us all to one central location would require a stadium.  Plus, I don't think very large gatherings are always the most beneficial for individual members.  They get lost in the crowd.  The trend in larger churches now is to actually break things up into small groups.  I know of a church in my area that has a couple of services on Sunday morning (as do most of the larger churches... what do you think about having multiple service times, by the way?) and then have small groups in homes on Sunday nights instead of the traditional Sunday night service.  Other congregations do this as well.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Tue Sep 30, 2008 - 08:24:58
An interesting read is at the link. 
Modern Challenges to Christian Morals ([url]http://www.bible.acu.edu/crs/doc/mccm.htm[/url])


That link doesn't work.  I think this is the one you want.  [url]http://www.bible.acu.edu/crs/ItemDetail.asp?Bookmark=1590[/url]
Yes, it does.  Yours is a scan, mine goes to the exact same text, just as actual text, not jpg's.  ::tippinghat::
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Tue Sep 30, 2008 - 08:30:02
Why do I get the impression that stevehut's not really discussing race nearly as much as he's trying to discuss the mother church concept vs. multiple autonomous congregations?

If that's really where you're wanting to go with this, that would best be discussed in its own thread, so as not to mistakenly meld the two issues into one.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Sep 30, 2008 - 08:43:06
1- With "COC," I assume you're not trying to make some kind of connection to the "Church of Christ" we discuss on this forum, are you? 

2- If a church becomes large enough, one location is not very "scalable."  If you added up all the CofC adherents in the Nashville area, the sum total would be in the tens of thousands.  To bring us all to one central location would require a stadium. 

3- Plus, I don't think very large gatherings are always the most beneficial for individual members.  They get lost in the crowd.  The trend in larger churches now is to actually break things up into small groups. 

4- I know of a church in my area that has a couple of services on Sunday morning (as do most of the larger churches... what do you think about having multiple service times, by the way?)

1- Not trying to imply anything here, other than overtly racist churches do exist. 

2- I would have no problem with having multiple congregations in a large city like Nashville.  But as I have said previously, around here, you can't drive more than a few blocks without tripping over another COC meeting place.  Combine all seven groups, and you might have about 300-400 on Sunday morning.  (The paper memberships are more than double that, but the attendance is dismal.  Definitely not a uniquely COC phenomenon.)

3- Yup.   ::nodding::  Small groups are definitely the way to go.  But the isolation that you've described here, is not unique to large churches; I have been involved in several very small churches (50 or less) where most of the members have no contact between Sunday services.  Small congregation doesn't always equate to intimacy.

4- Many churches do that, and I think it's a capital idea.  Although at my church, the small groups sometimes meet on other nights during the week.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Sep 30, 2008 - 08:44:04
Mother church??   ???
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Jimbob on Tue Sep 30, 2008 - 08:51:14
It's terminology McKean & Co. used to use for the concept of establishing a single Mother Church in a major metropolitan city that the surrounding smaller churches then are subservient to (Boston Church of Christ then later the LA Church of Christ, etc.) rather than many autonomous congregations in a metro.

It's always been the MO to have a single congregation per city.  It's easier to control a pyramid.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Sep 30, 2008 - 09:09:04
JMG, I didn't suggest a single church per city.

And the LA Church is not "subservient" to Boston.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Tue Sep 30, 2008 - 09:12:24
JMG, I didn't suggest a single church per city.

I created a thread in the Theology section relating to the single church per city concept.  Check it out.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: mistergus on Thu Oct 02, 2008 - 21:18:39
I mean where I am there are white cOC's and black cOC's. Not that its really are problem, just sayin'.

You have a few black families scattered through white cOC's but that is not what I mean by intergration.

Why the seperation if Jesus does not see a reason to seperate? The church is suppose to be representin.'

This situation exists among all denominations, not just the Lord's church.

So why do you single out CoC's for this thread, when this is the case everywhere you look?  Doing a little CoC bashing, are we?

This is a silly post...

Robert G
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Imabear on Thu Oct 02, 2008 - 21:33:59
I mean where I am there are white cOC's and black cOC's. Not that its really are problem, just sayin'.

You have a few black families scattered through white cOC's but that is not what I mean by intergration.

Why the seperation if Jesus does not see a reason to seperate? The church is suppose to be representin.'

This situation exists among all denominations, not just the Lord's church.

So why do you single out CoC's for this thread, when this is the case everywhere you look?  Doing a little CoC bashing, are we?

This is a silly post...

Robert G
True, but instead of pointing fingers at other denominations, shouldn't we look at our own group, our own assembly?  Ourselves?
What can we do to encourage healthy interaction between the races? 
How can we foster change? How can we bring healing and reconciliation? 
I should be looking at my part in it.  Not be concerned about what other groups are doing.  Be a leader, not a follower.
Okay, to be honest, I'm not CoC, and I agree it isn't just a CoC problem... I have no power to change the CoC.
I have a voice (be it a very small one) in my own circle of influence.  I should be using it.  That's where my responsibility lies.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Fri Oct 03, 2008 - 01:23:15
True, but instead of pointing fingers at other denominations, shouldn't we look at our own group, our own assembly?  Ourselves?

Yup.    ::nodding::
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Dennis on Fri Oct 03, 2008 - 08:22:11
I mean where I am there are white cOC's and black cOC's. Not that its really are problem, just sayin'.

You have a few black families scattered through white cOC's but that is not what I mean by intergration.

Why the seperation if Jesus does not see a reason to seperate? The church is suppose to be representin.'

This situation exists among all denominations, not just the Lord's church.

So why do you single out CoC's for this thread, when this is the case everywhere you look?  Doing a little CoC bashing, are we?

This is a silly post...

Robert G
So we get a pass because others are doing it?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: mistergus on Fri Oct 03, 2008 - 14:32:32
I mean where I am there are white cOC's and black cOC's. Not that its really are problem, just sayin'.

You have a few black families scattered through white cOC's but that is not what I mean by intergration.

Why the seperation if Jesus does not see a reason to seperate? The church is suppose to be representin.'

This situation exists among all denominations, not just the Lord's church.

So why do you single out CoC's for this thread, when this is the case everywhere you look?  Doing a little CoC bashing, are we?

This is a silly post...

Robert G
So we get a pass because others are doing it?

So we get singled out while others are doing it?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Dennis on Fri Oct 03, 2008 - 16:16:07
I mean where I am there are white cOC's and black cOC's. Not that its really are problem, just sayin'.

You have a few black families scattered through white cOC's but that is not what I mean by intergration.

Why the seperation if Jesus does not see a reason to seperate? The church is suppose to be representin.'

This situation exists among all denominations, not just the Lord's church.

So why do you single out CoC's for this thread, when this is the case everywhere you look?  Doing a little CoC bashing, are we?

This is a silly post...

Robert G
So we get a pass because others are doing it?

So we get singled out while others are doing it?
Paul  said essentially we should look at our own problems before trying to solve everyone else's.  You disagree with Paul?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sat Oct 04, 2008 - 00:08:23
So we get singled out while others are doing it?

Why should it matter?   ???

If it's the right thing to do, then it's the right thing to do! 
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sat Oct 04, 2008 - 11:08:26
Another interesting angle here:

Yesterday, I drove into Hollywood to meet my sister for her birthday.  We went out to breakfast at a new downtown diner, and went shopping afterwards.

While there, we spoke about this issue.  (Strange, because she's not a believer.)  I was reminded of my aunt, who lives in South-Central LA, not too far from where we ate.  It's a gloriously integrated neighborhood, with blacks, asians, latinos, and white folks living on the same block, block after block for miles around.  On the main streets, they have taco stands, burger joints, Jewish delis, etc. side by side in a peaceful setting.

If you drive past a park in the neighborhood, you'll see kids of all races playing basketball and soccer, and the little ones in the sandbox getting along just fine.  Looks like a good situation.

But take a second look at Jefferson Blvd. or Crenshaw, and the churches are a different story.  There's a church with the name "african" in the name, another called "la luz de salvacion," or something like that, and another with asian writing (Chinese?) with no English translation.

Melting pot neighborhood.  My aunt has been there since the 1970's, and it has always been this way (except there a few less whites in the area now.)  Everyone gets along just fine.

Except in church. 

No one would have to drive or walk very far to worship in a mixed setting.  Everyone already knows everyone, so they wouldn't end up in a room full of strangers.  They simply choose not to. So there goes the lame excuse "we worship where we live."

Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Sat Oct 04, 2008 - 12:58:28
Another interesting angle here:

Yesterday, I drove into Hollywood to meet my sister for her birthday.  We went out to breakfast at a new downtown diner, and went shopping afterwards.

While there, we spoke about this issue.  (Strange, because she's not a believer.)  I was reminded of my aunt, who lives in

South-Central LA, not too far from where we ate.  It's a gloriously integrated neighborhood, with blacks, asians, latinos, and white folks living on the same block, block after block for miles around.  On the main streets, they have taco stands, burger joints, Jewish delis, etc. side by side in a peaceful setting.

If you drive past a park in the neighborhood, you'll see kids of all races playing basketball and soccer, and the little ones in the sandbox getting along just fine.  Looks like a good situation.

But take a second look at Jefferson Blvd. or Crenshaw, and the churches are a different story.  There's a church with the name "african" in the name, another called "la luz de salvacion," or something like that, and another with asian writing (Chinese?) with no English translation.

Melting pot neighborhood.  My aunt has been there since the 1970's, and it has always been this way (except there a few less whites in the area now.)  Everyone gets along just fine.

Except in church. 

No one would have to drive or walk very far to worship in a mixed setting.  Everyone already knows everyone, so they wouldn't end up in a room full of strangers.  They simply choose not to. So there goes the lame excuse "we worship where we live."



I can't worship where I live.  The closest church is 7 miles away, all others are 15+ miles away.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sat Oct 04, 2008 - 13:01:21
I can't worship where I live.  The closest church is 7 miles away, all others are 15+ miles away.

Ah, but you make the trip willingly, yes? 
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Sat Oct 04, 2008 - 13:04:23
I can't worship where I live.  The closest church is 7 miles away, all others are 15+ miles away.

Ah, but you make the trip willingly, yes? 

Just moved, so I haven't found any groups to assemble with as of yet.  And there are no "integrated" churches as the population is upwards of 96% saltine.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sat Oct 04, 2008 - 13:31:43
Just moved, so I haven't found any groups to assemble with as of yet. 

Which was a choice, yes?

I drive six miles to worship, and on a good day I can make the trip in 6 minutes.

(Or are we Jewish now, and can only walk so far on the Sabbath?)
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Imabear on Sat Oct 04, 2008 - 15:47:07
We worship with those who share our beliefs.
Different congregations have different teachings, different ideals.  
Sure we should all be followers of Christ, but we all have different concepts of what that means.

We worship with those who accustomed to the same worship style... Style of music.  
That might be what we have become accustomed to, or what we enjoy, or what enhances our connectedness to God and each other.   ::playingguitar::

I typed this 2.5 hours ago.  Clicked "Post" and went out. I just arrived back home to find that it hadn't gone through. :)
Steve,
I drive directly past a few different churches on my way to the one I attend.  Some of them are not my style. Some of them them don't share my beliefs.  All of them are predominantly Caucasian. 
Gary,
You are lucky that you can drive to church so quickly.  Around here we have these narrow windy roads that go up and down hills, and make abrupt turns for no apparent reason.  There's even a covered bridge on the way.  It takes 25-30 minutes, sometimes longer...  Sometimes a farmer is driving his dairy cows down the road to a different pasture.  We sit there and wait... somewhat patiently.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sat Oct 04, 2008 - 16:16:26
1- Different congregations have different teachings, different ideals.  

2- we all have different concepts of what that means.

3- We worship with those who accustomed to the same worship style...

4- It takes 25-30 minutes, sometimes longer... 

1- Translation: division.  And it can be overcome, if we make the decision to do so.

2- Translation: division.  And it can be overcome, if we make the decision to do so.

3- Which can be overcome, if make the decision to do so.

4- Is that really a problem?  I have gone much farther, which I did gladly for Christ.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Sat Oct 04, 2008 - 16:22:54
1- Different congregations have different teachings, different ideals. 

2- we all have different concepts of what that means.

3- We worship with those who accustomed to the same worship style...

4- It takes 25-30 minutes, sometimes longer... 

1- Translation: division.  And it can be overcome, if we make the decision to do so.

2- Translation: division.  And it can be overcome, if we make the decision to do so.

3- Which can be overcome, if make the decision to do so.

4- Is that really a problem?  I have gone much farther, which I did gladly for Christ.

Why doesn't your church initiate dialog about reconciliation and merge with the local CofC's and Baptists?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sat Oct 04, 2008 - 16:51:24
Why doesn't your church initiate dialog about reconciliation and merge with the local CofC's and Baptists?

We actually have had an ongoing dialogue with the COC's in the area, over the years.  (And our sister churches have done so in their respective areas, all over USA.)  Those efforts have borne little fruit (apart from a few individuals who chose to come over), because -- hey, as we've seen here is GCM -- they can't even agree on much among themselves, much less outsiders like us.

In any event, people don't get saved or converted as groups.  They get saved/converted as individuals.  Therefore' we've discovered that individual evangelism is much more effective.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Sat Oct 04, 2008 - 18:11:18
Why doesn't your church initiate dialog about reconciliation and merge with the local CofC's and Baptists?

We actually have had an ongoing dialogue with the COC's in the area, over the years.  (And our sister churches have done so in their respective areas, all over USA.)  Those efforts have borne little fruit (apart from a few individuals who chose to come over), because -- hey, as we've seen here is GCM -- they can't even agree on much among themselves, much less outsiders like us.

In any event, people don't get saved or converted as groups.  They get saved/converted as individuals.  Therefore' we've discovered that individual evangelism is much more effective.

So no dialog with any non-CofC churches?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Sat Oct 04, 2008 - 21:38:12
Just moved, so I haven't found any groups to assemble with as of yet. 

Which was a choice, yes?

What is your point?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Imabear on Sat Oct 04, 2008 - 22:49:23


4- It takes 25-30 minutes, sometimes longer... 



4- Is that really a problem?  I have gone much farther, which I did gladly for Christ.
Steve, All along I thought you were saying that people should go to the closest church to where they live.  I drive past other churches to go where I attend.  For me driving that distance is not a problem, except the cost of fuel....  I'll probably change to closer church once my daughter has flown the coop.

I forgot to list a couple of reasons that I worship where I do.
1) My daughter has friends there. Having good Christian friends is important... especially to teens.
2) My daughter is able to use her God given talents in ways that she might not be able to in other congregations.

Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sat Oct 04, 2008 - 23:52:18
All along I thought you were saying that people should go to the closest church to where they live. 

 ???   ?

No, I don't think I have ever had that thought in my life... ::noworries::
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sun Oct 05, 2008 - 10:45:42
What is your point?
[/quote]

Brother Gary seems disappointed at the lack of church choices near his new location.  But the choice to relocate, was his own.

When I moved and bought my house six years ago, I chose the church first.  My service to God is more important than my own convenience.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sun Oct 05, 2008 - 10:50:17
So why do you single out CoC's for this thread,

Perhaps because COC folks hang out in here?    ::nodding::
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Sun Oct 05, 2008 - 10:51:44
What is your point?


Brother Gary seems disappointed at the lack of church choices near his new location.  But the choice to relocate, was his own.

When I moved and bought my house six years ago, I chose the church first.  My service to God is more important than my own convenience.

Not disappointed.  Telling you not everyone lives where there are 15 churches in the same block all divided.  My service to God isn't dependent on a location of an assembly hall (church building).

Another question:

Has your congregation began dialog with any non-CofC churches like Baptists to integrate with?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sun Oct 05, 2008 - 11:27:50
Has your congregation began dialog with any non-CofC churches like Baptists to integrate with?

 ???   ?

Ummm...No, I can't say that we have.  That would require us to sacrifice a great deal of what we consider to be our sound doctrine.  And they would have to compromise some sacred principles as well.  It would be a very bad deal, all around.

Again, as I've said before, people get saved as individuals, not as groups.  And in any event, individual evangelism has already brought us a very integrated fellowship.  Not looking to get what we already have.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Sun Oct 05, 2008 - 12:35:42
Just moved, so I haven't found any groups to assemble with as of yet. 

Which was a choice, yes?

What is your point?

Brother Gary seems disappointed at the lack of church choices near his new location.  But the choice to relocate, was his own.

When I moved and bought my house six years ago, I chose the church first.  My service to God is more important than my own convenience.
Do you want a cookie? You are implying that Gary places a lower priority on service to God than you do based on where he chose to live. That's just asinine. It's also presumptuous.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Sun Oct 05, 2008 - 15:19:39
Has your congregation began dialog with any non-CofC churches like Baptists to integrate with?

 ???   ?

1.  Ummm...No, I can't say that we have.  That would require us to sacrifice a great deal of what we consider to be our sound doctrine.  And they would have to compromise some sacred principles as well.  It would be a very bad deal, all around.

I will answer what I've bulleted with an answer from you.

1- Translation: division.  And it can be overcome, if we make the decision to do so.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sun Oct 05, 2008 - 16:10:54
You are implying that Gary places a lower priority on service to God than you do based on where he chose to live. That's just asinine. It's also presumptuous.

Only Gary knows what's inside Gary's head, and his reasons for his choices..

As for me, I simply took a pragmatic approach.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sun Oct 05, 2008 - 16:14:26
I will answer what I've bulleted with an answer from you.

I thought we were talking about ethnic division here.  My church has been multi-ethnic from day one, over 30 years ago.

Unity must be based upon a shared doctrine and values, not just externals.  Hence, we're not looking to merge with Baptists or Methodists.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Sun Oct 05, 2008 - 16:44:13
You are implying that Gary places a lower priority on service to God than you do based on where he chose to live. That's just asinine. It's also presumptuous.

Only Gary knows what's inside Gary's head, and his reasons for his choices..

As for me, I simply took a pragmatic approach.
You are implying that Gary places a lower priority on service to God than you do based on where he chose to live. That's just asinine. It's also presumptuous.

Only Gary knows what's inside Gary's head, and his reasons for his choices..

As for me, I simply took a pragmatic approach.
Correct! So, don't imply that he is less spiritually minded than you. I don't recall Gary giving his life story, so you don't know why he moved to his present location either.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sun Oct 05, 2008 - 17:29:33
Correct! So, don't imply that he is less spiritually minded than you. I don't recall Gary giving his life story, so you don't know why he moved to his present location either.

Correct!  Which is exactly why I said   

Only Gary knows what's inside Gary's head, and his reasons for his choices..

Chocolate chip, please.   ::yummy::
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Sun Oct 05, 2008 - 17:32:58
I will answer what I've bulleted with an answer from you.

I thought we were talking about ethnic division here.  My church has been multi-ethnic from day one, over 30 years ago.

Unity must be based upon a shared doctrine and values, not just externals.  Hence, we're not looking to merge with Baptists or Methodists.

So you are united with other Christians who have different ethnicities, but NOT united with other Christians who differ with you on some points of doctrine.  Hence, your congregation is not very integrated at all.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Sun Oct 05, 2008 - 17:51:16
Why stop at "Ethnic Division?"

Do not some contend that the restoration movement (RM) itself started as a wholesale Christian integration movement?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Imabear on Sun Oct 05, 2008 - 17:58:54
Why stop at "Ethnic Division?"

Do not some contend that the restoration movement (RM) itself started as a wholesale Christian integration movement?
I like the idea of integration of the sects and think you all should become anabaptists.. because I know I'm right.  ::smile:: j/k
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Sun Oct 05, 2008 - 18:06:36
Correct! So, don't imply that he is less spiritually minded than you. I don't recall Gary giving his life story, so you don't know why he moved to his present location either.

Correct!  Which is exactly why I said   

Only Gary knows what's inside Gary's head, and his reasons for his choices..

Chocolate chip, please.   ::yummy::
This post sums up your attitude throughout this thread. Apparently, you feel as if you are somehow superior because you chose an integrated church to work with and then you found a home.  Well good for you. But, the fact that you feel an urge to continually remind everyone about it is telling, isn't it?
Gary moved and then found a church. That is every bit as good spiritually as what you have done. Don't assume that your motives are superior; they're not.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sun Oct 05, 2008 - 18:53:06
So you are united with other Christians who have different ethnicities, but NOT united with other Christians who differ with you on some points of doctrine. 

Guilty as charged.  I will not ask someone to join my church, who does not believe as the rest of us do.  Doesn't mean that either one of us is right or wrong, simply that we are following two very different paths.

I suggest that you do some research into church history, and the distinctives of the various denominations.  The doctrinal differences between the denom's are huge.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sun Oct 05, 2008 - 18:57:01
1- Apparently, you feel as if you are somehow superior because you chose an integrated church to work with

Nope.  I simply followed my convictions.  And I urged everyone in here to do the same.  Please observe, I didn't ask anyone else to share my beliefs or join my church.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: OkiMar on Sun Oct 05, 2008 - 19:05:14
1- Apparently, you feel as if you are somehow superior because you chose an integrated church to work with

Nope.  I simply followed my convictions.  And I urged everyone in here to do the same.  Please observe, I didn't ask anyone else to share my beliefs or join my church.

No, you just said that all single race churches are sinful. To your credit, however, you recanted.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Johnb on Sun Oct 05, 2008 - 19:59:36
I did not know the integrtion for integration's sake was a requirement of an assembly. ???
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Sun Oct 05, 2008 - 20:13:40
I did not know the integrtion for integration's sake was a requirement of an assembly. ???

Me either.

My church has never made a particular effort to recruit a particular mix of races.  But we ended up with it anyway, which (I believe) is a sign of effective evangelism.

Anyone can do this.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Johnb on Mon Oct 06, 2008 - 09:50:30
I have a black grandson, black nephew and a mexican grand son-in-law that go to chuch with us does that count?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Mon Oct 06, 2008 - 10:25:44
I have a black grandson, black nephew and a mexican grand son-in-law that go to chuch with us does that count?

 ::noworries::  My family is more mixed up than that.  But alas, most of them are not Christians.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: DCR on Mon Oct 06, 2008 - 11:32:54
In my family, admitting you have a little Irish mixed in with the English is considered mixed.  ::eek::

I'm not even aware of other European ancestory in my own line (like French, German, Italian, etc.).  Pretty much all Anglo... except for some Native American (Cherokee?) back several generations.  So, that's my claim to mixed marriages in my family history.  ::tippinghat::
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Mon Oct 06, 2008 - 11:34:38
Perhaps someday, churches can be more than superficially integrated with different colors of the rainbow and different cultures, and have Christians united under Christ instead of banners like Baptist, CofC, I CofC, Methodist, etc.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: spurly on Mon Oct 06, 2008 - 11:37:45
At the return of Christ his church will be completely integrated.  So I guess the answer to the question in the title of this thread is yes.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Mon Oct 06, 2008 - 12:14:07
Christians united under Christ instead of banners like Baptist, CofC, I CofC, Methodist, etc.

I share that vision as well.
Title: Re: Will the cOC ever be intergrated?
Post by: stevehut on Tue Oct 07, 2008 - 08:34:45
CNN has an article on diversity on their site...

[url]http://edition.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/08/04/segregated.sundays/index.html[/url]


Who was it that said that other races weren't welcome in one-race churches?

Looks like overt racism to me.  It's not even subtle.   ::disco::   They don't even pretend otherwise.  I find it interesting, that no one else has commented about this.

This time around, it's not the white folks doing the excluding.  They were perfectly willing to worship within a "black cultural setting," and even yet the black members felt threatened.  Let's not be naive about this, people.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Wed Aug 26, 2009 - 14:31:23
I seem to have this talent for killing off  ::destroyingcomputer::  some very interesting conversations.

Anyone else have thoughts on this subject?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: marc on Wed Aug 26, 2009 - 20:44:14
A couple of weeks ago, I worshipped in a church in St. Louis (North City Church of Christ) that was the result of a merger between a black CofC and a white Christian Church in an inner city setting.  It seemed to be working well.
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: Bon Voyage on Wed Aug 26, 2009 - 21:04:23
Will they ever be interrogated?
Title: Re: Will the CoC ever be integrated?
Post by: stevehut on Thu Jul 22, 2010 - 14:15:25
a church in St. Louis (North City Church of Christ) that was the result of a merger between a black CofC and a white Christian Church

Marc, do you have an update as to how they're doing now?