photo credit by phil of posterchildforgrace.blogspot.com
I just recently discovered Andrew Lim and this nice piece he wrote from down under.
Is your church more Chinese than Christian?
From the article, 7 key identifiers for when Ethnicity supersedes Christianity
1. When the church becomes an excuse for a social club for a particular ethnic group
2. When ethnic/cultural unity is more important than gospel unity.
3. When ethnic-cultural values override Biblical virtues and Biblical truth.
Formally put: “In the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, Jesus has given us a culture-transcending and a culture-transforming dynamic which confronts ethical categories of all societies and ethnic groups. The Gospel calls into question all social mores and moral codes.” Informally put: God’s virtues trump our values.
4. When church is restrictive and exclusive.
5. When church becomes insular and inward focused.
6. When church becomes homogeneous, rather than heterogeneous.
“People like to become Christians without having to cross racial, linguistic, or class barriers…It takes no great acumen to see that when marked differences of colour, stature, income, cleanliness, and education are present, men understand the gospel better when expounded by their own kind of people. They prefer to join churches whose members look, talk, and act like themselves.” (Understanding (1980), p. 227)
This states in brief what has become known as the Homogeneous Unit Principle (HUP). Although it sounds obvious to anyone involved in evangelism, it has had significant consequences for the church. It has influenced the development of many churches with a heart for mission. As churches move more towards making mission a priority, the more they will have to deal with cultural issues that interfere with or distort the gospel, and so the more the HUP appeals. The problem with this approach is that homogeneous evangelism tends to create a homogeneous church.
7. One Final Story St Andrew’s Cathedral and Asian Bible Church. You have to ask Andrew about what this means.
this isn’t anything new or profound. we need to be reminded that we’re all in danger of doing these things whether we’re ethnic based or not.