Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Christian Ghetto

One of the worst ways we American Evangelicals have missed the stimulating message of Jesus is the creation of the Christian ghetto. We have developed our own subculture, complete with dress codes, artistic expressions, appropriate (and maybe more importantly, inappropriate) etiquette, political processes, educational institutions and more. For Evangelicals, the only legitimate reason one might venture outside the ghetto is evangelism. Outside the ghetto is too dangerous for us weak-moraled Christians and our children, unless you're going out to "save the lost."

Are there things in the world at large, outside the ghetto, that are valuable to God for reasons other than evangelism? Can those who follow Jesus be friends with those who don't, and value those relationships for what they are, for what they can be, without "using" them only for new souls in the kingdom?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I certainly agree that the church has it's short comings. These include many of the items you highlight such as pretentious dress code and language. Most of all, the problem is often the haughty attitude and lack of love and genuine concern displayed by many of us in the church.

In reading your thoughts on the Christian Ghetto, it seems to be speaking directly of the church as it is currently manifested in the US. I have struggled with "Ghetto" being an accurate descriptor of the bride of Christ. Struggled even more so that one of its active members and defenders would "prefer" this term.

Do we need to help stimulate a greater realism and maturity in how we reach out to the world - YES. Balancing being in the world, but not of the world is never easy and clearly does not look the same for everyone.