I remember feeling proud of my African heritage, I even felt most races to be inferior to my own race. The white man was the devil. Had perpertrated all types of evil while the black man, before slavery that is, had brought knowledge, peace and the beauty of blackness to the entire eastern hemisphere.
Its funny where life takes you. I give you a short background that leads up to this quote by Dr. Greg Boyd:
As we learn to think, feel and act under God's rule, we learn how to get ourAs I read this quote my mind ran back over all the reasons for slavery, wars, segregation, Jim Crow and Civil Wars. I find a common thread through them all. They all have to do with ethnocentricity, which is a direct result of having a Kingdom of the World mentality versus the Kingdom of God. What makes one superior to the other is my own value and worth in something I really have no control over.
worth, significance, and security from Christ alone. We learn how to be freed
from our addiction to futilely trying to acquire worth, significance, and
security for ourselves. We learn how to walk in freedom from violence,
self-centeredness, materialism, nationalism, racism
and all other false ways of getting life
You see we say "my birthright makes me superior to you, and since I am superior my view of God and culture are correct". However, Jesus says this "because I created all cultures distinct and unique and placed infinite value and the Imago Dei in each of them EVERY culture has value to bring to the table". Not only that as Christians we understand the central point, of all history is Jesus the Christ and He is the substance of all things, and as Paul says in Colossians "all things were created by Him and for Him". Thus the only thing that is superior is the Gospel and the only race that counts is Christian and God in His goodness has allowed for us to keep our distinct cultures as long as they do not intrude upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You see as Dr. Boyd so eloquently put it this is a Kingdom Issue.
So when somone says this is the right way to worship God and it is influenced heavily by one's culture and not the Gospel what they do in essence is reduce God to an idol! They take the infinite God and mold an image of Him, but clothe Him in theological jargon. Our value doesn't come from God, regardless of how well our seminaries and theological books tell us, our value comes from our cultural view of God and we say "you must come through our paticular culture if you want to have a REAL relationship with God". This is exactly what those who refuse to filter culture through the cross say.
I close with this, those who refuse to accept diversity and even pursue say to God "we don't care that you created these other cultures because ours is correct". Many will shake their head at such a statement while simultaneously only inviting their paticular culture and way of doing church to the table. Others must submit to this culture or find themselves as univited guest to the theological banquet. Others may think they are getting a voice there because they use a little slang or may have a different complexion to their skin; however, they sound like, talk like, and read the same books that the superior culture tells them to read. To read anything else is to read inferior works, to think differently about Jesus and the Church is woefully inadequate and to say we too have a right view of God is to invite a theological rebuke.
The reason why diversity does not exist is because the Kingdom of God has been redefined and replaced with the Kingdom of Men, yes the bible is used, and yes many would disagree but at the end of the day when we tell others our view of God and the Church is correct while yours is wrong by filtering the Church through ones on culture we only perpetuate a problem that plagues the Body of Christ!