The Bible has much to say about ethnocentrism—which can be simply defined as judging other people and cultures from our own cultural perspective. While it is natural to evaluate other cultures through the lens of personal experience, the tendency to view our own culture as superior to others has laid the foundation for ethnic injustice around the world.
This injustice has manifested itself in ethnic cleansing, genocide, and systemic oppression. The bitter fruit of these ideas can be expected in a world plagued by sin, but divisions and positions of cultural or ethnic superiority have no place in a Church whose mission is to proclaim “the everlasting gospel… to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Rev 14:6, NKJV).
Believers tend to feel comfortable worshipping with people of their own cultural background. But doing so exclusively will rob the believer of the blessing of worshiping with people who believe the same truths, but might express and experience them in nuanced ways. In Detroit, a city that has historically been plagued by ethnic tension, Adventist congregations organized along these lines often exist nearly side-by-side without any interaction, thus missing a blessing of fellowship and collaboration for mission in shared neighborhoods.
In 2017, a grassroots effort to create dialogue, overcome differences, and work together, began within a small group of Adventist pastors in the Detroit Metro area. Recent racially charged events in the United States have highlighted the need for and created tighter bonds, deeper understanding, and mutual love and respect between this group. More than anything else, intentional study of God’s Word has been the catalyst for this growing unity and bonds of fellowship.
Desiring to share this blessing, Detroit area pastors from the Lake Region and Michigan Conferences are inviting you to consider the Biblical counsel regarding ethnocentric divides among communities of faith from a biblical, distinctly Adventist perspective, and to engage in the dialogue.
Don't miss out on the opportunity to be part of what the Lord is doing among His people! Make the decision now to accept His Invitation.