Race and Grace: A Clarifying Comment

Many thanks to Justin for giving us some principles to use in dealing with issues of race in the church.  I want to go farther with one of his principles, pushing for the kind of clarifty Justin advocates..  He writes: 10. Do not teach that there is a universal biblical mandate for all churches to be multiracial.

If this means that different churches should reflect the ethnicity of their communities, and that as a matter of fact not all churches are in multiethnic communities, and therefore will presumably be homogeneous in their makeup, I am in full agreement.  However, I do think it is important to say that every Christian church should be multiethnic in principle.  That is to say, the doors of every church are open to people of every race. 

If I belong to the Itamul tribe in Papua New Guinea, for example, I do not need to feel guilty about not having any Dutchmen in my congregation.  However, if a Dutchman moves into my community, this gives me the opportunity I have always been hoping to have in welcoming someone from another tribe into fellowship.  While my church has never been multiracial in practice, it has always been multiracial in principle.