White Faces: It's What I See

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I plead with you to help. In my opinion it is a matter for which we must fight. If we do not, things will remain the same. Do not get me wrong, consistency is good, but not in this case.

White faces: it's what I see.

We are upon that time of year when reformed denominations meet for general assembly (or synod). It is a time of prayer, preaching, pondering, ruling, shared memories, and fellowship. While there are many blessings that result from these gatherings, there is something that largely goes unnoticed, and it grieves my heart.

White faces: it's what I see.

Word travels quickly. What happens at G.A. (or synod) spreads across the internet. Check Facebook or Twitter and you will be sure to find links to recent decisions. What you will also discover, as you keep up with current rulings, is selfies and group photos. It is the latter on which I desire to briefly focus.

White faces: it's what I see.

Some might accuse me of being the resident Reformation 21 black guy who always writes about issues related to ethnicity/race. Statistically that is untrue. Of the 42 (now 43) blog posts, only 9, though perhaps 11, are about ethnic and/or cultural issues. I could choose to write about sanctification, the role of good works in the life of a Christian, or justification, but those extremely important topics are already being discussed on this blog. Yes, there are many other topics about which I can write, and I do, but among many, I choose this one. How can I not? It bothers me because...

White faces: it's what I see.

Please do not tell me to go elsewhere. (I have seen that on blogs). Please do not tell me to join another denomination. (People have told me that, too). Please do note tell me I am writing to burden you with white guilt. I am not, nor am I writing to somehow explicitly or implicitly suggest that I have a problem with white people. If the roles of Jerry Maguire were reversed, I could easily and happily exclaim, "I love white people!" However, despite my love for my white brothers and sisters in Christ, what I do desire is change. When I look at the group photos from G.A. or synod, the majority of the faces are white. Despite some people suggesting, as it relates to ethnicity, they are colorblind, I am not. I see you. You see me.

White faces: it's what I see.

There is more to the Church than the color of one's skin. I am not naive. But when I see group photos from these gatherings along with the customary caption, "A Taste of Heaven," I cannot help but exclaim, "That is a lie!" What will heaven be like visually?

"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, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth'" (Rev. 5:9-10).

In heaven white faces will not be all I see, but I do not want to wait until then. Reformed churches have the best orthodoxy and orthopraxy. We have what both believers and unbelievers need. I am not Pentecostal. I am not General Baptist nor am I Methodist. While I believe people from these denominations (or categories) are brothers and sisters in the Lord, I am Presbyterian for a reason. I believe we have what most accurately reflects the truths embedded within scripture. Therefore, I want to see all peoples embrace what I have come to believe is accurate according to the scriptures. I believe this is possible, and I hope it will more greatly occur in my lifetime. 

What can we do about this? Put differently, what can we do about this for God's glory? How can we "make" our churches more accurately reflect the communities in which they are? 

I have one simple request.

Pray! Pray that God would burden our hearts to see this change take place. Pray that God would also begin to equip us to want to do something about it. Is that simple enough? I hope you will pray to that end, and if after a season of prayer, you want to talk to me about how to implement your desires toward this end, I would love to hear your ideas. I am not the expert on all things "ethnic," but if I cannot provide a biblical and reasonable way to help you, I can direct you to someone who can.
Posted June 9, 2014 @ 8:24 AM by Leon Brown


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