Do ethnic churches still serve a purpose in this day and age?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Soulman, Dec 11, 2004.

  1. Soulman

    Soulman
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    I was in Texas a few years ago on business and found an Independant Fundamental Baptist Church. This was a bus running soul winning Church. Funny thing I notices was that everyone was white. Up the street a little ways was another Independant Fundamental Baptist Church. This was a bus running soul winning Church. Funny thing I notices was that everyone was black.

    I am from New England and our Churches are melting pots' until you get into very large cities like Boston etc.

    There is no color in Christ. Why still segregation in the house of God? Does it serve a purpose?

    I believe coming together shows the world that we have love for one another.
     
  2. gb93433

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    That was SBC mentality just a few years ago when I was in the south. Even when I was in seminary we were told that is the best way to get more people. However I believe it continues to promote segregation even though it's not the law now.
     
  3. mioque

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    "Do ethnic churches still serve a purpose in this day and age?"
    "
    Did they ever?
     
  4. Plain Old Bill

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    In the way you are referring to it I don't think so.Today ethnic includes Laotion,Cambodian,Korean,Vietnamese, Latin, and many other groups. In some of these groups the answer would be a resounding yes. They can worship in thier own language and within thier own social and cultural setting. Many of these people have not yet fully integrated into american society and culture.
    I am only knowledgable firsthand about the korean churches.I don't think we can keep up with many of them spiritually.These folks go out and purchase prayer retreat property then go out on 3 and 7 day prayer retreats and spend that time in prayer.They are personal soul winners talking to every other korean they come into contact about Jesus. To the best of my knowledge the korean Baptist churches are on fire.
     
  5. Squire Robertsson

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    Out here on the West Coast (I'll speak for this area only as I have seen the numbers with my own eyes), the largest grouping of fundamentalists are the immigrent Council of Evangelical Christian-Baptist International churchs. The only problem is for the moment these brethren are in the first generation of leadership so every thing is done in Russian. They represent the underground\unregistered churchs of the former Soviet Union.
     
  6. Greg Linscott

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    Is Vladimir Okhotin with that group, Squire?
     
  7. Phillip

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    I am white and my adopted daughter (white) married an African-American man, so I think I can be very open while discussing this without prejudice.

    In the south, yes, there is more segragation; not necessarily from churches that are white, don''t want African-Americans (totally untrue); but it appears that African-Americans like to hang in their groups and whites like to hang in their groups. We now have a lot of Mexicans and they hang in their groups.

    You have to remember, that the cases where an African-American wanted to enter a white university and was stopped were for purposes of pushing the laws of segregation aside. In reality, when I was young (in the 60's) our grade-school was segregated. We had our own school and the African-Americans in town had their own school. Neither one was really happy with the segregation laws when it occured while I was in Junior High. They had to leave their school and were packed into our classes. They were probably less happy than the whites.

    It is NOTHING to see African-Americans sitting in church with whites, or vice-versa. We all get along just fine. There ARE churches; however, where African-Americans want to go -- probably been there 100 years, like many of the white churches. And, they just never really mix. Not that they would have a problem, People in the south still just hang in cliques.

    If I were to walk into an African-American church here in town, they would welcome me with open arms and be just as nice as they could be. Same, the other way around. But, just like the Mexicans, the people tend to hang in the groups that were started years ago; and often these churches are old and just continue to attract the same crowds.

    Back in the days of slavery. Sure the SBC broke away from the NBC due to the issue (and others), but the SBC I know today is NOT prejudice in any shape, form or fashion. Now, are there prejudice people out there? Sure, but we try to change that.

    This wasn't right, but I do know that when the SBC members did have slaves, they were expected to treat them right, keep them well feed and comfortable and they usually attended church with the plantation owners. Usually, sitting with each other in the balcony. Was this right? No, but there were some good people back in the day that tried to do what was right even though they believed in a very wrong belief of having human slaves.

    Today, we do NOT support seperation or segration, but it does occur just as the women in a church tend to like their "hen parties" and the men will have a Saturday morning breakfast.

    If, indeed, GB heard someone saying that it was the way to do things, I for one, disagree with it, but I don't feel it is the norm among SBC and is probably even stronger among some of the independent Baptist Churches in the south that have always been "all white".

    I do know that there are other parts of the South where these feelings may be stronger, but this is what is typical in our part of the South and pretty much throughout Texas. If you move due east of here, you may see a little more of it due to the hard feelings of relatives who died during the civil war. Although we had some major decisive battles close to us, we were NOT in the heart of the South vs. North conflict.

    Soooo, I simply take my metal detector and go looking for musket balls. But, my collection of real Indian arrowheads is even bigger. :D
     
  8. Squire Robertsson

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    Loosely, yes.
     
  9. menageriekeeper

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    Yes there is a certain amount of racism going on in our churches. Not in all of them, of course and it is getting better as time goes on.

    However, it hasn't been ten years since I was a member of a very small baptist church that was basically dying. We had a wonderful VBS program however that almost drew in more children than we could handle. A very good percentage of those children were black.

    Our neighborhood was changning, it was no longer a white neighborhood, but was now a pretty good mix of white and black. The preacher who hadn't been there very long suggested after one particularly good VBS, that we begin to mix our church with the black people who were so readily available.

    It was put to a vote, if I recall right. In the end, while the younger members believed it was a wonderful idea, we were outvoted by the older members, who had always run the church(the reason it was dying) and outnumbered us younguns.

    It was racism pure and simple.

    Now the church I attend presently doesn't care if you're purple(so long as you tithe ;) ), but we don't get a lot of other races unless it is VBS or Upward Basketball. At those times we get everyone. Here it is more that everyone hangs with thier own group. That includes church too.
     
  10. Greg Linscott

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    I don't know, Soulman- here in central Maine, it's pretty lily white! I suppose I help make our church "melting pot"-ish, being 1/2 Filipino! [​IMG] Kinda' funny, but the most ethinic diversity in our community is centered in the medical community. We have several doctors who are from foreign backgrounds- and I don't mean they're just from New Hampshire, either!

    Explanation- If you've never been to Maine, if you and 2-3 generations back weren't born here in state, you're offially designated as being "from away." The classic line explaining why children born in state to someone "from away" aren't true natives-

    "If my cat has her kittens in the woodstove, it doesn't make 'em biscuits!" :D
     
  11. Squire Robertsson

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    It's because their family doesn't have pie for breakfast.
     
  12. Greg Linscott

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    Pie and baked beans...

    ayuh.
     
  13. Brother Tim

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    We have a Korean Baptist Church here in town. Presumably because of a language issue. I really want to visit them when they have a potluck. I love Korean cooking.

    I figure if Baptists need to come togeather on an issue, do it over food.
     
  14. Pastor KevinR

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    Our IFB church averages about sixty at the main service. Approx 70% are racially Indian, whether they're from Guyana, Trinidad, or Surinam, etc (but not India). About another 25% are Black, from Guyana, Jamaica, and Haiti. Then, we have a family from Bolivia, and one White man; me. :D and my wife is my chocolate princess from Jamaica. "yeah. mon!"
     
  15. SaggyWoman

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    Is there racism in churches? Yes.

    Is there only white people in my church? No. We have blacks, mixed races (black/white, black/Filipino, hispanic/black, hispanic/white, and who knows what other combinations.)

    Do all people in my church agree with mixed marriages? No, but they will hopefully get over it or move on elsewhere.

    Is it wrong to be a congretation of whites? Or Blacks? Or hispanics? Or Laotians? Or Japanese? No.

    Is it wrong to be exclusive in attitude? yes.
     
  16. delly

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    In our church we have tried to attract blacks and they will come a few times, sit on the back row and be out the door before anyone can greet them and ask them to come back. Then they never show up again. I've talked with the black people I work with about this and they say that the style of worship is so different from theirs that they just don't like being in an all white church. I have been in black churches and I feel the same way. I just don't like the style of their worship service.
    I have been in mixed churches where the worship service is basically like our and the blacks and hispanics accept it and are faithful members. Our church has mixed services with a black church on occasion, but neither church seems to attract different races. It has nothing to do with segregation. It's just the difference in worhsip styles, especially the music and the preaching.

    In reading this board, I deduce that we all go to the churches where we are most comfortable with the services and where we fit in the best.

    Yes, there is still racism in the South just like there is in all parts of the country, but most of us are not racists and are attempting to draw other races to our churches. You can' make folks come if they don't want to.

    I have many wonderful black friends and we have frank discussions on these subjects. They like their churches just the way they are. They would welcome other races but never, ever try to change anything about the service. LOL
     
  17. DHK

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    The answer is yes and no.
    We are a small church but very ethnic: Korean, Philippino, East Indian, Aboriginal, Spanish, German, French, "American" (they are a separate race in themselves [​IMG] ), and of course those who are truly Canadian.

    There are immigrants coming into our country on a regular basis. There is a German church down the street for us. The community in which our church is located in, has been an area where the German people originally settled, and first built a church. They still hold half of their services in Germany, and have good attendance. The church is a Baptist church. One principle to remember is that a person best understands a message in his mother or native tongue. In another direction, down another street is a Chinese church, again evangelical. Many of the older people have a very difficult time with English. This church is quite large and has a good attendance. They also have their own Christian school. There is an East Indian Church not too far from where I live, where the services are held in Punjabi, a language they all know and understand, better than English. Punjabi is almost a universal language for most of Pakistan, and most of northern India. Millions speak it. In most of these "ethnic" churches, the older people don't understand much English, and are glad to find a church where they can receive the Word of God in their own language. About a ten minute drive from here is a Spanish church, ministring to the Spanish community of the city. There is a Korean church in the city.

    However, what is important in a church?
    Is language the most important thing?
    What do you look for in a church?
    Is friendliness the most important thing?

    Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

    This directive was given to Titus by Paul. It is the most important characteristic of any church. Look for a church that has sound doctring, even if the language is a bit different, or it is not as friendly as you would like it to be. You can do something about that yourself, once you join it. Sound doctrine is the most important characteristic of a church. Get ahold of the statement of faith, and if possible the constitution, and see what it believes. Make sure you join a church of sound doctrine. We have people that could join churhes of their own ethnicity, but would rather not. They recognize sound doctrine.
    One man came from the Philippines, but had to come before the rest of his family. His wife told him that when he comes, don't go to any church but a fundamental Baptist Church. So here he is. And now he is a member of our church, along with his family. Doctrine was more important than ethnic origin.
    DHK
     
  18. fireweed59

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    We would,as some have already pointed out, do well to avoid "aha," conclusion. That is, making a conclusion of "racism" (I use quotation marks because in recent times this very strong and meaningful word is tossed around for every little thing like looking the "wrong way" at an interacial couple) based on seeing that a congregation is of all one ethnic group.

    We need to acknowledge that people segregate themselves naturally, voluntarily, and with no malice toward other groups per se. Of course, forced segregation implies that there is something wrong, but segregation by choice is as natural as the God-caused division at the tower of babel. Its not a big deal.

    By the way, there is one human race but many ethnic groups within that race.
     

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