Monday, September 3, 2012
The Mystery of the Seven Churches
I've always believed that the way Christianity is expressed should reflect the people practicing it. Like the seven churches discussed in the book of Revelation (1:20), each church had a different character and a different angel over it and different strengths and weaknesses with Christ as the head, but they were all "the Church"... and it's no different today.
The above Huffington Post article by Dr. Randy S. Woodley is a deplorable example of what happens when we don't adhere to the teachings of Christ when sharing the Gospel. He tells of atrocities committed on Native Americans by so-called "Christian" missionaries and pastors, who were more interested in promoting their culture than the teachings of Jesus. As an African American with Native American ancestry, I am the product of two cultures that have suffer these atrocities by people who never intended to be "living epistles read of men" and I know that if our faith... the Christian faith... is going to continue, the atrocities must stop. The world is fed up with it and more importantly, I believe God is too. It is His responsibility to separate the wheat from the tares (Matt. 13:24-30), and practicing a eurocentric Christianity does not ensure that you are the wheat.
Whether we practice a more eurocentric Christianity (and even that's not all the same) or an ethnocentric Christianity (Christianity as interpreted by different cultures), what's most important is that we respect the Christ that's in each of us as believers, and give each other the room to grow in our faith... and learn from one another. If we are to truly be a body "fitly joined together, joint supplying joint", instead of the the self mutilating body we've become, we are going to have to live out Jesus' commandment... to love God with all our being, and to love our neighbor, each other, as our selves.