, 13 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
It's 2019, evangelicals are having the exact same "how do we make progress on race" discourse I addressed with Carl Ellis, Anthony Carter, etc. in 1998 in Miami. Nothing's changed. The best solution "multi-ethnic" churches?, which are really churches for interracial couples. #BHM
(In 1998, the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals had a bunch of us in Miami given lectures on the future of race and evangelicalism.)
More specifically, multi-ethnic churches are safe places for many black men who wouldn't marry black women (so they didn't have to face #ADOS black women who would resent them for it). But that's another discussion about the way black women have been maligned & sidelined. #BHM
I published a book containing Latinx, Asian, and African American perspectives offering nothing but solutions. We thought that would help. Nothing's changed. #BHM amazon.com/Aliens-Promise…
Twenty years of the exact same conversation and it literally feels like the Groundhog Day movie. Maybe I'm impatient. America had a black president before an evangelical seminary or college had a black president. Huh. #BHM
So this black history month, I'm skeptical that significant change will happen in my lifetime. In 1963, The National Black Evangelical Association was formed & groups like The Gospel Coalition, Christianity Today, CCCU, etc. are doing nothing with them? the-nbea.org/about/statemen…
Why is that? Here's my guess: Some power evangelical institutions really want "Oreo" versions of themselves that they can content control instead of a truly independent, indigenous #ADOS evangelicalism that reaches the core of the black community. I want to be wrong.
Some want blacks parroting a white evangelical socio-cultural ethos. For them, that's progress. That's a "gospel witness" or a "Reformed witness." After all, those are the Oreo brothers who rise to the top and stay there (until their blackness leaks out). Prove me wrong, please.
The end result over the past 20 years, is a revolving door of young black guys who are used as mascots to launch new programs and then dropped as soon as their blackness leaks out.
Exhibit A: the rise and fall of "Reformed Blacks of America" and the "Reformed African American Network." They were doomed at the outset. Their blackness eventually leaked out and it led to both dissolving.
So until white evangelicalism partners with The National Black Evangelical Association, etc. it's hard to believe that other agendas aren't the real agenda--like lining up a bunch of Oreos at your seminary or Oreos planting churches for your denomination for the optics, etc.
America is too demographically complex for "multi-ethnic" to be the universal church model. And often the best multi-ethnic versions fail the class and education diversity test. A racially diverse church of college grads who watch TED talks is homogeneity "by another name."
Where does this leave me? I'm not sure....I thought I knew but after 20 years of saying the same thing, and seeing the same nothing really change, it's hard say. Maybe I won't get see it. Moses didn't crossover the Jordan. #BHM
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