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Cross Cultural Congregations
by Edmond Ng 
03/11/07
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To justify the superiority of a race or ethnicity over another based on segregation of different races according to the Noah's curse as written in Genesis 9:24-27 is to deny that God has created mankind equal, each human being in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27). This scriptural reference of what is believed to be the different races descending from Noah has been often miscontextualized to mean the superiority and inferiority of the different ethnic groups. This is why congregations that separate people racially or ethnically will always find it difficult to provide the people a place to embrace, preserve, and nurture in the body of Christ. Racial segregation invites connotation by non-believers the misconception of Christianity as a religion that separates people based on biological characteristics to subjugate them into obedience, much like colonialism or imperialism, which is deemed by many as a form of slavery, or propaganda of a preferred culture.

While the uniracial 'Homogeneous Church Growth Approach' introduced by McGavran and Wagner may for pragmatic reasons be more effective in reaching people groups of similar racial and cultural backgrounds, it can however give rise to racial separation that exemplifies the socially constructed phenomenon in many societies, and especially in the West. Multiracial congregational approach, on the other hand, shows a greater balance and perspective in understanding God as expressed in different cultures within multicultural and multiracial mix, where Christianity can then be better testified to the world, the clear witness of the unity we have in Christ.

In understanding the fact that God has created each of us equal regardless of race or ethnicity, we must determine to seek God's help to grant us the ability to look beyond the prejudices we have of people from other cultures, blurring the differences, to nurture intercultural and ‘interracial’ skills so as to reach out and bring them to the Kingdom of God.


For the complete e-book of this article, please read Introduction to Christian Missions.

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