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published01/18/18 01:57:00PM

Is the Most Segregated Hour of Christian America Still Eleven O’clock on Sunday Morning?

Is the Most Segregated Hour of Christian America Still Eleven O’clock on Sunday Morning?

Church hopping is a lot like seeing other people when you’re dating someone else. But, at the same time, nothing like that. Because I’m mainly doing this as a means of supporting friends that speak, preach, lecture or pastor locally. So, naturally, I’ve always done a bunch of “church-hopping”.

Here’s the thing though, as I’ve been going to various East coast cities I’ve been disconcertingly noticing one consistency:

These congregations, they’re all vastly homogeneous.

Still, in 2018. 55 years after Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous, “I Have a Dream Speech…” And, 54 years after he infamously said, “It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o’clock on Sunday morning.”

Christian America has become ironically inseparable from a theology of division and racial segregation. 

Don’t believe, me? Here’s what the research is saying…

Is the most segregated hour of Christian America still eleven o’clock on Sunday morning?

Sadly, the only things that give a reason for this improvement have been the mass amounts of people leaving Sunday morning programs and no longer affiliating as Christians or, a secularized democratic push for racial inclusion (e.g. taking in refugees; DACA, and various other immigration laws, etc.).

What… why, though?

Is it cultural more than it is racial? Are certain pastors actually bigots? Is it that, they truly don’t want people of color in their pews? Does Institutionalized bigotry have anything to do with this…?

Yes. No. Maybe… and, then some.

As I very and ever so briefly unpacked the mechanics of consumeristic Christianity in my last post; I also want to unpack the unknowingly racist effects it takes on us; then creating homogenous congregations.

Let’s talk about Pizza, Papa Johns, and our consumeristic culture…

Source: Patheos

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published01/14/18 04:05:00PM

Christian Church Destroyed In China

TRE GOINS-PHILLIPS | JAN 13, 2018 | 3:04 PM

Golden Lampstand Church

TRE GOINS-PHILLIPS | JAN 13, 2018 | 3:04 PM

Chinese authorities used dynamite this week to destroy a well-known Christian megachurch in the northern part of the communist country.

The decision to demolish the Golden Lampstand Church in the Shanxi Province came amid the Communist Party's long-established fear that Christianity, seen by authorities as a Western way of life, is a threat to the government’s power, The New York Times reported.

Why Was the Church Destroyed?

The state-run newspaper Global Times described the church's destruction as part of “a city-wide campaign to remove illegal buildings,” quoting an anonymous government official who said the house of worship was “secretly built” and disguised as a “warehouse.”

But clearly, the church wasn’t much of a secret, because in 2009, members of the congregation said police confiscated Bibles and imprisoned several of the church's leaders. Nevertheless, the church was leveled Tuesday, according to ChinaAid, an American watchdog group that monitors religious freedom in China.

The group's founder and president, Bob Fu, said China's “repeated persecution” toward the megachurch shows the government has “no respect for religious freedom or human rights”:

“ChinaAid calls on the international community to openly condemn the bombing of this church building and urge the Chinese government to fairly compensate the Christians who paid for it and immediately cease these alarming demolitions of churches.”

Is Christianity Illegal in China?

While Christians are severely persecuted in China, it's important to note that — on paper — Christianity is not illegal in the Asian nation. While China's official stance is atheistic, Christianity is one of five approved religions in the country.

The other approved faiths are Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, and Catholicism, though the Catholic Church in China is forced to operate independent of the Vatican. The Chinese government, however, maintains its tight grip on Christianity via a nonreligious, nationalistic body — the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) — established to regulate the church.
And that very much restricts the freedom Christians have in China. A central tenet of the Christian faith is spreading the gospel, or evangelism, but the “Three-Self” aspect of the TSPM totally restricts that.

Each congregation in China is to be self-governed, self-funded, and self-propagated, according to The Gospel Coalition. Furthermore, since the government is paranoid of established groups, due to the power they could wield, movements and denominations are also forbidden.

So in order to spread the Christian message effectively, believers have been forced to establish so-called “underground churches,” which are created outside the purview of the TSPM, because those within the government database are subject to constant censorship and supervision.

Is This an Isolated Incident?

According to the Times, under Chinese President Xi Jinping's leadership, the government has frequently destroyed churches or removed their crosses and steeples. Xi has indicated he prefers a tight control over Chinese society.

In April 2016, the Chinese president gave a speech on religious policy. During the address, he urged the Communist Party to “resolutely guard against overseas infiltrations via religious means,” warning any religion in the country must “Sinicize,” or become Chinese, The Associated Press reported.

Xi also made clear any faith-based group must submit to the leadership and whims of the Communist Party, adding, “in no way should religions interfere with government administration, judiciary and education.”


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