Homogeneous churches: a symptom of an absent cross


Much has been written about the UK suffering a lack of identity and about how multi-culturalism fuels sectarianism and segregation in society. Christians have long spoken about church being a place where people of all tongues, tribes and nations worship together (Rev 5:9). But we must not make truly diverse churches the goal or an end in themselves. Multi-cultural, ethnically diverse and class inclusive churches will result as a product of the message of the cross. If our churches are homogeneous in a multi-cultural, multi-class area we need to ask, “are we really preaching and living Christ crucified for sin?” Timmis and Chester make this observation in Total Church:

The big question is why the church in the West is failing to reach the poor and marginalized in our society. If our churches do not reflect the reality Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 1, then we have to ask ourselves whether in the message we have proclaimed, the way we have proclaimed it, the church cultures we have created, the expectation we have of church members, in some or all of these ways we have not been true to the message of the cross. We have left room for boasting. Instead of nullifying status, intellect and wealth, we have valued these things too highly and so nullified the message of ‘Christ and him crucified’ (2:2). Conservative Christians are right to oppose any downgrade in the doctrine of substitutionary atonement. But we must examine ourselves to see whether we too are robbing the cross of its power. (p81)

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