Another brilliant post by ASBO Jesus. This picture truly challenges me to go outside the box. The monoculture that we have within church disturbs my soul - as we seem to "advertise" to this monoculture. The thing we also need to realise is that this group is a dying breed. The church needs to reembrace its call to the poor and the marginalised, its call to be a body that reaches out to the whole world. As my friend lisa said, look at what the "mainstream" christian sites in america aim at propragate - they are white middle class family churches. Where are many* of the lost - they are from broken families, poor - from a multihued background (African Americans, Hispanics, Middle eastern, Cambodia, Vietnam etc, etc.) If christianity is to be the light to the whole world it has to get past the programme mentality and get passed aiming at the scrubbed up and clean. It has to go back to the heart of the gospel, where we aim to reach the downcast, the poor, the unworthy - the image of you and me when we take off our visades and realise how in need we are of God, how broken we truly are.
I have told you of my dreams of heaven, its rich in colour and diversity, rich in the voices and langauges of the world - all the peoples - ethiopians, sudanese, Jews, Palestinians, Orthodox, catholic, vineyard, baptist, southern baptist, breathren. Rich, poor, man and women all praising God, all thanking God for the grace that God has shown them. All partnering with God for his glory.
*In the original post I implied that the middle class were saved or didn't need God - I did not mean to say this. As I say in the rest of the post - Gods Grace is for all, and I am arguing that we need to look outside the group that we are used to. Outside the comfortable, to see where God is moving, challenge preconceptions, breakdown walls, and fully embrace the story of the gospels.