Sunday, August 7, 2005

Race

Went to a black church tonight. It was cool. Not only is it always interesting seeing how different folks worship God, it's also heartening to see how (relatively) quickly the American church is overcoming its segregationist past. Not that we don't have a really long way to go, but fifty years ago, not long at all by historical standards, a white congregation visiting a black congregation in the South would have been out of the question. So I'm encouraged. And I praised God in a different way than I usually do.

I hope that whatever churches (or bodies or communities or whatever) I am involved with in the future will try hard to bridge cultures and heal some of the wounds our ancestors created. If I'm at all involved in leadership it will. And I think one of the major ways to be sure that historically ignored people-groups are welcomed and considered is to have that group reflected in leadership. Nobody is going to be able to make Hispanic people feel welcome better than someone of that heritage in a leadership position. So I pray God will lead me to the people he wants me to build a church with, regardless of cultural barriers.

2 comments:

Friar Tuck said...

What do you think about the dominance of male clergy in leadership.

Travis Greene said...

I think it's a relic of a culture that's pretty much gone. Like the fact that many (if not most) churches are still segregated, it's the only place we still do things like we did in the Civil War. When Paul writes about women being silent in church, he's telling them not to abuse their freedom so as to offend people still stuck in a very male-dominated culture. Besides, churches that don't allow women in leadership positions don't make them wear veils and refrain from speaking entirely. That would at least be consistent. In Greek culture, (and Hebrew for that matter) it would have been totally offensive to have women telling men what to do. In our culture, it's pretty offensive (to many outside, as well as in the church) to have only men in leadership. In short, I have no problem whatsoever with women in church leadership.