God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings . . . Acts 17:24-26 NKJV
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that “the most segregated hour in this nation” is Sunday at 11:00 am.” This was an indictment of Christians and churches that practice racial segregation, even when it comes to the worship of almighty God. We must face the fact that in America, the church is still the most segregated major institution. Dr. King also warned us that, “we must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” Proverbs further warns us that we need a vision (Prov. 29:18)—a vision of brotherhood; a vision for racial diversity and multi-culturalism. I call this paradigm: “culturation.”
“Culturation” is a word I .invented to serve as a cross between two other words: “acculturation and assimilation.” Acculturation means that one adapts to traits of another culture. Assimilation suggests that one adopts the ways of another culture; but on the other hand, “culturation” is unconditional acceptance of one’s culture that’s different from another’s culture. “Culturation” encompasses our beliefs, behaving, customs, thinking, working, and the collective mind-set in order to express unconditional love to all notwithstanding race, or color. This is what God expects of all of us—unconditional acceptance just as He’s unconditionally accepted us in Christ. Regardless of one’s race or ethnicity, we were all born, equally, in sin and shaped in iniquity of one blood, i.e., Adam’s fallen blood (Rom. 5:14; 1 Cor. 15:22) and have been redeemed by one blood, i.e., Jesus’ precious blood (1 Peter 1:18, 19).
Our local church vision includes a pillar of “culturation” based on the inception of the New Testament church as recorded in Acts chapter two. On the Day of Pentecost, the church was birthed as a cross-cultural inter-racial body of believers, which Jesus confirmed to Apostle John as he saw in the vision of heaven. Jesus Christ showed John that heaven will consists of people who have been redeemed to God by Jesus’ blood out of every tribe and tongue, and people and nation (Rev. 5:7-9; 14:6-7). The true church’s prayer should be that God’s kingdom come here on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:10)—no separation or segregation of the races; just people of one blood!
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