Spiritually Segregated (Part 2)

Many people take the position of comfort when it comes to their spirituality, which is fine to an extent but it still doesn’t address the realities of our spiritual segregation. We find comfort in traditions, but we also can become complacent as well.

Now I can understand traditions as it refers to individual religions or beliefs such as Buddhism or Islam. I’m not speaking about those differences, although I believe a person should take the opportunity to learn about other religious beliefs with respect towards them. There’s no need to be disrespectful towards another because of who or how they worship. I’m speaking for the individual religious beliefs themselves.

For example, Christianity in the United States for the most part is segregated. Most divisions/denominations has ordained Jim Crow as a member in good standings without even considering the implications his presences invites. His long sorted history of successes is only in the separation of the body of Christ.

I know someone is getting upset right now for that statement, but just take a theological moratorium for a minute and journey with me in thought.

As I began this conversation in part 1 I mentioned a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that remains true to this day in many of our places of worship. That is that 11 o’clock is the most segregated hour in America. Please prove to me that this fact isn’t true. You understand the context for which he was delivering it and the context for which I’m illustrating it. Those who may seek a way out of embracing it is missing the point.

I agree that not all churches will have proportionate diversity reflected in its membership, but when the numbers are woefully disproportionate in terms of its diversity it should be addressed and acted upon.

So while some begin to find frustration or aggravation in my persistence I again ask you to keep in mind that I’m not questioning the church or even religion, spirituality or your belief system. I’m questioning how effective is it when it is segregated.

*I have more, but wanted to allow time for this thought to digest before continuing. Feel free to share your thoughts thus far. I’m not here to attack anyone, but share the challenge I presented to myself when considering these three questions.*

1) Why isn’t there more diversity in our churches, synagogues, mosques or temples?
2) Should churches, synagogues, mosques or temples incorporate cultural diversity programs and sensitivities training into their ministries?
3) What are YOU doing to be more inclusive in your journey of Faith?
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4 thoughts on “Spiritually Segregated (Part 2)

  1. This is an excellent blog post.
    I have been reading so many different books lately, from many different authors to get a variety of views on why Christians are so fractured.
    A lot can be explained by two books in particular, “American Fascists” by Chris Hedges and “The Family” by Jeff Sharlet.
    They both explain how at around the beginning of the 1900’s, a few people took Christianity (I believe they thought they were right) and totally read things between the lines that are NOT part of the Bible. What they saw was a Bible of prosperity, not spiritual prosperity but material. Mainly wealth and power. They got together with different wealthy patrons and built their society which was nearly secret. They advocate war, as they want to convert every person on the planet to their brand of Christianity. You really all should read both of these books. They’re so detailed, I could not begin to give a good summary.
    Anyway, these people and their group kept growing and growing. It has invaded the Military and Governments, State, Local and Federal. It will amaze you how far reaching it has gotten. Ronald Reagan was the first to kind of legitimize these people. But if you read their version of the Gospels, you will not recognize it. When Bush Jr. got into office he started the ‘Faith Based Office’. He took the money that was allocated to help the poor and working poor and gave it to the Mega-Churches, ones like John Hagee and Rod Parsley, Pat Robertson, Falwell, etc. He gave them a lot of money and power. The money that was given to these churches were supposed to be distributed to the poor and needy as it originally was. But if you are not a member of their flock, you can forget about any kind of help. Most of the money stays in the Churches coffers. What they do with it is a mystery.
    Our Constitution has the clause of Separation of Church and State. I don’t think Bush should have done this. He did it to get the religious rights vote. If you are paying attention, who do they usually vote for?
    There is so much more to the story. I highly recommend that you read at least one of these two books. It will open your eyes. They have evolved into more and more extremist beliefs. To me, they give Christianity a bad name. What they do is definitely NOT Christian.
    I have bought another book regarding all of this but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. It is called, “Crazy For God” by Francis Schaeffer. His father was the original big time evangelical. He palled around with Billy Grahm and others, people who were true to the Gospels. He started a sort of Christian Commune in Switzerland. But on his death bed, he repented of some of the things he did. He was never anti-Gay. He was appalled by the Evangelicals using LGBT people and abusing them and denying them their Civil Rights. He was anti-abortion but not the type you see today. Francis, the son who wrote the book, is still a religious man. But he sees what is really happening, how the crazy is giving Christ a bad name. I’m sure this book will be even more educating and a fantastic read.

    1. Thanks Mary.

      I’ve long argued against segregation and discrimination, especially in the church. Often I stood alone publicly when defending the one who was being persecuted by Christians and within the church itself. I didn’t fuss or cuss, but reminded them of what they’re suppose to be doing if they are to be true to being who they say they are.

      Religion & Race has been used by politicians to gain power and destroy their opposition, but it has also destroyed the community, churches and the character of those who subscribe to this sort of strategy. There’s so much more I can say, but I’ll end for now. But invite you to keep reading, because I’m not done yet.

  2. There’s a lot of reasons, but unfortunately many churches are set up to be sanctuaries for people that are similar in race, class etc.
    The only truly open church I have ever seen is church in Prison.

    Churches can reflect neighborhood. If you go to a Baptist church in Bristol, TN you’re likely to find a predominately, or totally white congregation. Same church in Compton, CA…all black.
    One of the reasons (several reasons) I no longer attend regular services at 1st Presbyterian is it’s a church infested with snobs and socialites. It’s a ‘rich people church’.
    I warned them many times that such was the community view of our church. Naturally, no one listened. They usually turned a deaf ear when I hammered them about driving the Mercedes to church.

    Heh, I even suggested they park in the back. 🙂

    Mega-Churches such as that of Rick Warren often have a more balanced cross section of the community because people will travel further to go to one. But, the entire congregation is a bunch of whackos, so their diversity gives way to their lagging collective IQ.

    This can be a difficult problem to overcome for churches that really want a diverse congregation. Many people can become uncomfortable in churches where they feel they stand out for whatever reason.

    I’d like to see more churches run like Prison churches. The only thing the congregants have in common is the need for hope.

    1. 😀 Captain Kona I already know we could just hang out and just get along. Man, many predominantly Black wealthy churches have the same issues with some members feeling that they’re better than those who may not have the fancy cars and 6 figure income.

      Prison churches are probably somewhat more diverse with the exception of gender than any other church. You bring up a very good point and probably one of the best solutions to the problem. I wonder if anyone has studied the differences in Prison churches and other churches in terms of how they tend to work better towards accomplishing the mission of the church. Besides being in prison and all men or all women, what makes it work so well.

      Good Points. 😀

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