This is one of the strangest racism in the church stories I’ve ever encountered.
When I first saw the headline, I assumed it was some small “traditional” country church that was predominantly white and wanted to keep things the way the were.
After all, we’ve seen that sort of thing before.
But this situation is almost the exact opposite.
It’s a suburban contemporary church that, according to the former church member interviewed below, has a racially diverse congregation.
But the big curveball I didn’t see coming?
The pastor who sent out the email asking for “only white people” to serve as greeters wasn’t a stuck in his ways old white guy. It was a black woman.
Apparently, they wanted to “bring [their] racial demographic pendulum back to the mid-line.” Whatever that means.
The church has since apologized, which is good, but, at least for me, this still remains a really strange story.
The only sense I can make of this story, based on what little information is provided in the video below and the accompanying written story, is that this may have been a misguided attempt at diversification. Yes, the former member interviewed said that it was the diversity at the church that drew her to it originally, but later on she also says she believes the call for “only white people” greeters was because the church, in her words, was “too black.”
But that’s just a guess.
And before we judge this church too harshly, let’s be honest with ourselves.
How many of our churches already have a de facto “whites only” greeter policy in place because there is too little diversity in our church to have it any other way?
So, while I think we should hold our brothers and sisters accountable for this sort of thing, most of us probably need to take the plank out of our own eyes first.
At the end of the day, this story seems to me to be yet another testament to how far we still have to go in the church when it comes to the issues of race and diversity.
Even if this church reached (in a healthy way) the racial diversity it seeks, it would still be an aberration in the broader life of the church.
For even though racially diverse churches do dot the ecclesiastical landscape of America, 50 years after he first made his famous observation, the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. still hold true.
Sunday morning is still the most segregated hour in America.
wistv.com – Columbia, South Carolina |