Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Do You Have a Good Negritude?

Today, I was introduced to a new word by the TrueTwit Validation Service.  It was one of the words I had to type to validate that I was a human.

Negritude (an ideological position that holds Black culture to be independent and valid on its own terms; an affirmation of the African cultural heritage)

It was coincidental for me.  I happen to be in the middle of publishing a book with the title The Blended Church: The Emergence of Multicultural Christianity.  The author, Dehner Maurer, states there is one place in the United States that racism is more prevalent than any other - the church.

Here is a little sneak peek from the foreword by Dr. Myles Munroe.

"Martin Luther King, Jr. expressed his dream 'that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood,' and that his 'four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.'

Almost 50 years have passed since Dr. King spoke those words in the midst of a struggle to build bridges between races, and an honest examination will reveal that the yearning he expressed is still not fulfilled in our culture, especially in the church.  Tremendous advances have been made in race relations, to the extent that America’s first Black president occupies the Oval Office.  Minorities have moved past the doors of schools and executive offices of corporations.  The ethnic complexion of suburban neighborhoods has changed, but the congregations at a typical Sunday church service remain basically the same.  In addition to identifying churches as Baptist, Methodist and otherwise, we still describe them as 'white' or 'black.'

 In a first century world characterized by bitter racial, cultural, national and social hatred, the Christian church was a model of reconciliation and harmony.   Speaking of Christ and the church, the apostle Paul wrote: “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility . . . His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility” (Eph. 2:14-16 NIV).

In this book Dehner Maurer presents a thorough and revealing analysis of the church’s failure to fulfill its divinely appointed purpose regarding racial harmony and prescribes practical and biblical principles to meet the problem.  He shows that true reconciliation goes beyond token integration and statements of equality to a spirit of unity and purpose.  Such a spirit begins in one-on-one relationships in which we view the other person as someone whom God loves dearly and for whom Christ died. Maurer enforces the principles he espouses with both biblical and contemporary illustrations, primarily from his own church situation.

People in pews and pulpits of all churches and races will profit from reading this book and implementing its teachings."
Your thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, Todd, sad but true. As a son of the South, I have often heard and seen the evidence of 'the week's most segregated hour.' I missed my predictions, prompted by 1974 high school football emersion. The movie, "Remember the Titans" was a story I lived. I thought then that by now, Sunday morning would be different. Thankfully, God has quickened His church to adopt from Ethiopia, Liberia and more. Maybe in a half-generation that family endorsement will finish what Friday night huddles started 35 years ago.


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