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Churches, Denominations and the Cultural Divide

Protestant denominations are generally divided over creedal lines (since the disagreement over practical issues?sprinkling versus immersion?is improvable and disagreement over theological issues is very often a matter of degree: ie; how involved is the Holy Spirit in worship might reflect more in worship style than a Bible to Bible Cage-Match).

What strikes me as interesting is that within denominational boundaries there are also ethnic boundaries. Now, of course there?s exceptions in urban areas where churches tend to be very diverse, but outside of those areas I?ve personally noticed a trend of Koreans gathering with Koreans, Hispanics with Hispanics, Blacks with Blacks and Whites with Whites. Now that is fine in that it takes into consideration the cultural need of these ethnic groups; for instance the Hispanic churches may be into greeting each other with a brotherly kiss and the Korean churches may prefer some other greeting. But this isn?t the boundary that surprises me.

Rather, these churches (within a denominational header) will have guest speakers that tend to come from the same ethnic background unless the speaker is a missionary from overseas. I find that interesting since the Holy Spirit is surely working in different ethnic cultures and in those groups there might be a diversity of experiences that could prove beneficial to other believers (for instance a predominantly white church in a neighborhood currently skewing Hispanic could greatly benefit from a Hispanic-American preacher who could teach on the culture and even share his experiences here on the home front.

Interestingly enough, the Catholic Church (I?m finding out) has been integrating diversity in some of their local churches by sending someone from a different ethnic background to be a guest priest?also proving necessary since an apparent decline of American catholic seminarians but a jump in other areas; ie, Africa, India, etc.

So how about yourself: how often does your church have someone from a different ethnic background (than that of your church) preach or teach? How many of the major speakers in your conferences or major meetings is of a different ethnic background? Do you see any pros or cons to further integration?

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