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It’ll Be More Colorful | Classics Series

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The following blog is an installment in our Classics Serieswhere we look back at posts from days gone by. This blog was originally posted in November of 2017

Diversity is not merely a value of a democratic society. In other words, it’s not a “political” ideology. We don’t have to live in the American 50s/ 60s or South African apartheid to understand that we are a nation broken by hatred, superiority, and festering racism. These aren’t new phenomena and unfortunately, come well-embedded in our sinful nature. But, Jesus’ cross death saves us from that, too, and reconciles us to the Father. Consequently, it became a model of what we can experience in real life.

As the book of Acts unfolds, the Church becomes more colorful. The “thread” of ethnicity starts out as (Jewish) homogenous, but by the time you get to the end of Acts, it is multi-ethnic. God’s plan all along is to save from “every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” (Revelation 7:9).

A church honestly reading the Scriptures sees this and then aligns her values, priorities, and strategies to become it. Sometimes, churches try too hard or force it, but sadly, more often than not, they haven’t tried hard enough. If we were a church in rural Wisconsin, it might be harder to achieve diversity because the towns themselves are predominantly homogenous. However, we live in a big city where the nations tend to migrate. But in our city of 77 distinct neighborhoods, there’s still a noticeable racial division. It’s what Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “The most divided hour in our nation’s week is Sunday at 11am.” But it doesn’t have to be that way. Unity, opportunity, liberty, and justice “for all” weren’t just MLK’s dream. He dared to speak up and labor for it. It’s been God’s idea all along.

While it’s not untrue that Chicago’s northside is predominantly white, it’s incomplete. So long as we live in a global city, we should be open as a church to reflecting the diversity of our city. As we intensely focus on our parish neighborhood, we ought to labor hard to be a multi-racial and multiethnic church. Let’s not be mesmerized, however, by diversity as a romantic ideal, but instead, be willing to repent of our classicism, racism, apathy, and ignorance working hard to disciple all peoples into mature Christ-followers.

7 Realities You May Have Forgotten or Didn't Know About Your Neighbor

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You might have forgotten or may not know, but there are some goings-on occurring in your neighbor's life that they may not even realize. And, by neighbor, I mean anyone who you come in contact with no matter how well you know them. These "things" (and more) are especially true of your non-Christian relationships. But apply these to those you see often. Here's a starter list of seven:

     7. They do many important and good things for this world (like you). Their jobs matter here in Chicago and around the world. And like you, they go through many of the same frustrations you do.

     6. Not that real abuse is ever right, but relational “reconciliation” to them looks like cutting out toxic people out of their lives. Self-preservation is more important than forgiveness.

     5. Raising their kids to believe in themselves and NOT God.

     4. Will watch an on-screen character be “redeemed” through self-actualization without any thought of their own need for redemption.

     3. They’ll go to a funeral this year to “celebrate” a life lived without much meaningful reflection on their own mortality. Yet, they are scared and dissatisfied.

     2. Many don’t own a Bible or know a real Christian who has shared God’s Gospel with them.

     1. They are unaware of or unbelieving in a real enemy called Satan and that without Christ’s intervention, he will deceive them into a hopeless, eternal doom called hell.

What else might you add?
What are you doing about it?

This is sobering stuff. It’s hardly “religion” in the squishy sense of the term. This is about a rescue operation, and ASCC family, you’re part of the rescue. Our weekly worship gathering is hardly a formality or a spiritual “box” checked off. We gather in order to scatter to our different neighborhoods and vocations as participants in Jesus’ rescue. This takes sobriety AND joy. 

~Pastor Will

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