diversity is more than sprinkling a bit of black and brown here or there

Mark does it again with this new satire piece at the Jesus Manifesto. While funny, it is true and very sad.  This part in specific touch very close to home –

These young men, though all around the age of 30 and white, are
diverse in other ways. “We value diversity. In fact, we’re
theologically diverse. We’re all from different denominational
backgrounds within evangelicalism,” says Lewis, who is a pastor of
“Aquatic Community” in San Francisco.

Aaron Johnston, pastor of the Journey Community in Ann Arbor,
Michigan, believes that even greater diversity lays ahead: “We’ve made
it a point to say that we’re open to women and people of color. In
fact, there is a Latino guy who is interested in joining us, I think.”

In the discourse about diversity many, most, almost all of the current new expressions of church/christianity (call it emerging, emergent, new monastics, missional, neo-submerging-with-an-anglican-and-reforming-flavor; you get the point) have lots to say, but their expression and work toward it is minimal, to say the least. Some of these groups sprinkle a bit of color here and there and keep pointing to the same yellow and brown sister and brother in order to avoid criticism, while they avoid doing the hard work that takes for real diversity.

I have personally broached this subject with some of so called and self-proclaimed leaders/spoke persons of these movements as of How many Blacks, Asians, Latinos/Latinas are part of your group/movement/gathering? Most of the time their answer is a list of 6-10 names which come accompanied of a self-congratulatory grin, as if they can prove to be champions for diversity because they know a handful of people. Now if I were to ask how many white middle class folks are part of their gig, the answer would be totally different. They would not be able to give me a little list of token people.

This is a very important issue to me as a latino father to 2 beautiful bi-cultural kids. While for some this just an accessory part of their conversation for me and many others, this is a reality we still struggle with and among our white privileged sisters and brothers. I’ll be processing more of this subject in posts to come.

Now enjoy this funny satirical piece.

group of white men around the age of 30 challenge “everything” : Jesus Manifesto

A group of white men around the age of 30 launched a new network yesterday that sets out to challenge “everything.”

Jarrod Lewis, one of the coordinators for the network believes that people are looking for “something different.” Says Lewis: “A few years ago, I started looking around and noticed that there are a lot of Churches, but not a lot of people actually living in the way of Jesus…I mean REALLY living the stuff, you know?”

And so, Lewis began blogging on his site “Breaking Lewis” about the need for radical change. Armed with Apple laptop, he would go to his local Starbucks, order a machiato macchiato and proceed to challenge the status quo. Over coming months, his readership grew into the hundreds, and be began to connect with folks who shared his concerns–and hopes–for the church.

Read more…

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