Posts in Stephen Um
Biblical Vision for God’s Ultimate Plan – Unity in Diversity

Now I can here a voice in my head right now. Some of you are saying, “Oh boy, you’re just pushing this racial diversity because this is what the culture wants. And you’re trying to relevant, and you’re trying to understand it, and you’re over-accommodating and you’re over-contextualizing, and you’re capitulating, and you’re assimilating, and you’re accommodating because this is what the world says and this is the way we got to be also, right?” I told you, I began with the Biblical design of racial diversity. I’m beginning with scripture. I’m not over-accommodating. And I told you that this sort of beautiful, racial diversity is not the uniformity that the culture says when it says we need to have a pluralistic, multicultural, colorblind society. That’s not what the Bible teaches.

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Biblical Vision for God’s Ultimate Plan – Inclination for Uniformity

Now there are experts, church experts out there, who evaluate what a multi-ethnic church is like. So one individual by the name of Manny Ortiz has said that you need to have two distinct ethic groups represented for a church to be considered multiethnic. And so they will say you need to have two dominant cultures, at least 35% representing one racial culture, in order for you to be considered multiethnic. Because if you have one dominant culture that’s 80%, 85%, 90% and you have a minority or subdominant culture represented by 10-15%, that’s not a multiethnic church. Why? Because the minority culture will automatically have to assimilate to the dominant culture and the dominant culture will always assume you need to understand our culture, that’s why we’re dominant, we’re in charge, even though they might not be thinking that explicitly.

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Biblical Vision for God’s Ultimate Plan – Intention for Diversity

I’m here primarily because of admiration for your pastor, my friendship to him, and all that’s going on here at Redeemer San Diego. This is a wonderful community. You’re blessed to be here at this church. I hope you know that.

So I’ve been here for the missions conference. We’ve been focusing on the deep implications of the gospel as it relates to missions and having a robust theological vision for missions. We also looked at gospel and cities – why cities matter to God, and to the culture, and to the church. We also looked at the search for a missional church. That is, we were trying to see how the gospel shapes the way the church is to be missional in terms of thinking how we engage the world; but primarily, how we are called to have the different elements of being a missional church. Even though you might not be somebody who is being sent out by God to do work in other global cities, we are called as Christians to think missiologically and to have a missional posture.

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