We are not only ethnically diverse, but culturally diverse as well. All it takes to be ethnically diverse is one person of a different ethnicity than the group at-large. Furthermore, that individual is often used as “the poster child” for diversity solely for the purpose of attracting more of the same with no real intentions of sharing power or influence. This is also known as tokenism. We don’t endorse that model or espouse a culturally neutral view of the gospel Jesus preached. In other words, being colorblind is not our goal! We recognize there are sinful and unredeemed aspects of life and one’s culture is certainly no exception, but not all of it should be discarded when you make the decision to follow Jesus (Acts 15). That was never a requirement.
Paul writes, “there is no difference between Jew, Greek, male or female”, meaning that everyone has equal opportunity and access to God through Christ. But make no mistake about it, you are who you are for a reason. Your ethnicity or gender isn’t happenstance. God is intentional! Therefore, we are not the kind of church who just wants you to come assimilate to our cultural norms. We want to learn from you. We want to learn to communicate in your heart’s language. John, one of the biblical writers, had a vision of the people in Heaven and ethnicity and language was still a significant part of their identity (Rev. 7). Bottom line: If we don’t lose our cultural identity in Heaven, we The Refuge, refuse to lose it on our way there!
“A house that welcomes all nations will feel somewhat uncomfortable for everyone. It might even look tacky to some tastes. There may be a kente cloth hanging from the wall, feijoada in the fridge, a Japanese screen next to the clean lines of a Scandinavian sofa. Rock and roll might play in the living room, hip-hop in the family room, salsa in the kitchen, and a Beethoven concerto in the den. Walls may have been demolished to create more communal spaces, and additions may have been added to accommodate all the relatives. But it will be worth it. Because according to Revelation 7, it’s where we’re headed anyway.” - Kathy Tuan-MacLean, PhD