Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Living as a Minority: the Future for all Americans

Sometimes I wonder why no one argues with me in the comments on these blogs. I figure that most of the few who read these must think either a) there is nothing much to disagree with here or b) that what is here is so hopelessly wrong/irrelevant that there's no point.

But the point of talking about looking at life from a minority status is not only relevant for evangelicals in the PC(USA), it is also the future for all Americans, no matter what pidgeon-hole the census puts you in. Within 20 years, there will be no majority culture in the USA; our country will, for the first time in its history, become a marketplace of minority cultures.

And the people who are most unready for this transition are the keepers of Anglo culture-- the mainline and other traditional churches. We are being challenged at the very base of who we believe we are: are we white/gay/black/hispanic Christians, or Christians who happen to be white/gay/black/hispanic? And the whole history of the church in this country condemns us to living out the same hyphenated existence, with Christ on the wrong side (the second-priority side) of the hyphen.

The test of whether Christ is on the right side is what we are willing to give up of our cultural heritage to live for Jesus Christ. Because of Christendom's poisonous compromises, most white Christians still make the same deadly assumptions so many missionaries did in the last centuries: surrender to Christ means that others become like us. It is this toxic majoritarian mindset that is killing us. To become like Jesus means that I, too, just like everybody else He calls, must leave home.

So, what would YOU be willing to give up to follow Jesus Christ with your brothers and sisters who don't look/speak/act like you? Is there any identity that is more important to you than your identity in Christ? Can you let that identity go?

That is the question that is before us-- shall we become once again "the third race" of our apostolic beginnings, neither Jew nor Greek, yet both Jew and Greek-- ONE in Christ Jesus?

1 comment:

  1. I don't think the United States will have a "minority majority" anytime soon - probably never. All nations assimilate newcomers; we do it much better than most. Intermarriage by the third generation is the norm for most immigrants. Jury-rigged "minority groups" like "hispanic" or the even more implausible "Asian" will deconstruct within a generation. We may not call the majority "white" or "Anglo," but most people will belong to it without much differentiation. I prefer "American" as an ethnic group.