Foremost, I’m very pessimistic about the project of racial reconciliation and harmony in American Evangelical Churches. It’s not working in contemporary Christian circles. The division is too wide, and the wound is too deep. From a sociological perspective, American Christians feel more comfortable being with those who look like them and with those they share the same race, culture, experience, nationality, language, and lifestyle. Contemporary American Evangelicals are afraid of “difference” and do not want to be associated with anything or anyone who will disrupt their way of life and the way they understand how life should be. They want to maintain a monolithic story of the Christian faith in America, as well as promote a homogeneous Christianity, which could never be challenged or subject to transformation.
Nonetheless, from a biblical perspective, Christ has interfered in our lives and cultures in order to establish one people out of many people groups, and to create one human race out of many races and ethnicities for himself and to the glorious praise of the Triune God. Christ’s goal for his church and the people of God lies in his utmost desire for genuine unity and radical spiritual transformation within the Christian body. It is for this very reason that the words of Jesus, as recorded in John 17, continue to instill hope and tenacity in me so I can continue praying for what seems impossible and unreachable by human power and wisdom. I have to remind myself constantly that the wisdom of God is foolishness to us. While we must seek God for genuine Christian unity and harmony, and radical spiritual transformation for his church and our midst, we must never lose heart in trying to achieve those life-transforming objectives. Each one of us has a responsibility to work incessantly toward Christ’s utmost desire for his church and his people.