New data published by the Pew Research Center reveals that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the most racially-diverse religious group in the United States. The data from the 2014 Religious Landscape Study compares twenty-eight groups—twenty-two Christian denominations (including Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Orthodox Christians), Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, the Nones (“Nothing in Particular”), Agnostics and Atheists. The data excludes the Baha’i and Sikh faith groups.
In light of these findings and this PEW Research study is it really necessary to maintain a hierarchy called Regional Conferences and a Regional Union. Why do we continue to do things the same old way? The Confederate flag has come down in the entrance to the State Capitol of South Carolina, has prejudice and separatism been changes in our lives as SDA Christians?
Thank you Kim Green for pointing out in fairness what I did not say. Our friend and fellow blogger owusugyamficliff got it wrong in reacting to my suggestion. Some might call it a “moral wrong” to just keep on doing it the way “we have always done it” you should:
Think of the tithe money that could be saved by integrating our resources rather than being racially divided, why not?
Think of the diversity that is now missing, and that you yearn for, in churches that are integrated.
Think of the positive witness and example that could be given to a larger society that can’t understand why we have “regional” (aka-black) work.
We don’t need a study commission or Brother Doug’s buy in to determine that our church needs to come together on this issue. Or do we?
The research is about racial diversity…meanwhile, you are talking about racial division. Don’t you think you are getting it all wrong by linking it to regional conferences? We are diversified today…not segregated as in the early 20th century. I think let’s get the right words.
Diversification does not thrash out “community”. We are united in faith, however, ethnicity plays a major role in building community. These are outside salvivic dialogues and I think we must give people the opportunity to actualise their ethnic communism. I’m an African pastoring a white church. I am okay with my church. however, anytime I get connected to the Ghanaian communities in the USA, I begin to sense my African spiritual connection. I think we must get it right when talking about segregation and diversification…united by diversity…that’s all that i see happening in the existence of the regional conferences today.
I am happy for you. However, your “connection” isn’t what is most important when you have a country like the US with such ingrained racial tension and prejudice. As a citizen of this country I feel that these racially divided Adventist conferences/unions should not exist. If you are not from this culture this might be impossible for you to understand.
When there is provision made for a major ethnic/racial segment to worship without the united brotherhood, the diversity is destroyed. So what PEW reported is a false diversity taken from raw numbers without accounting for the regional conferences, etc.
Please also realize that truly it is an ethnic divide as most Africans, including Ghanaians, prefer the more sedate formal worship of the Union churches than the animating encouraging worship of their Afro-American brethren. So, while all are united in the FB of Adventism, it has, can and will be expressed best through the cultural idioms which may seem alien to those outside the culture.
Are you not making me feel incompetent by this statement? And right here you can see the importance of understanding oneself within his or her cultural connection. This is why we keep on repeating that only blacks can minister to themselves better (vice versa to whites). The two cultures are not the same… the psychological, emotional, and spiritual needs are not the same. Maybe let us try to understand the blacks for once: They need themselves to grow! They can’t continue to nod and nod under white leadership.
I think the reality is that you are not from this culture as you just given examples of in your comment. Sorry, you can’t have it both ways, Cliff…being the “insider” and “outsider” all at the same time…
You have certainly given your unbiased opinion here.
However, I think you need to understand that I advocate that there should be NO dominate ethnic culture “leading”. It could be done with great benefit…but politics I am sure interfere.
Well you are right! However, my expertise is in African theology. I study about black culture and liberation. I come here every year. I’m writing from Chicago just now. Trust me the first impression a foreigner gets about US is racial segregation. Whites don’t want to co-habitate with blacks… I saw it in Washington DC, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago, etc… Whites push back when blacks are getting closer… I get my share as well. Forgive me but I’m not raising racial issues here. Neither am I asserting negativity on every white person. Some blacks are even terrible.
Dear, the reality is transpired into the church as well. We are in. We feel it! Why not let us create comfort zones where each person will feel comfortable whiles focussing on what unites us: MISSION. You know in the church not all of us are saints! So whether the Jerusalem church or Gentile churches, this diversity was made clear in Acts 15. Go this way, we go that way…this in my opinion is right! Uniformity is not always in UNITY. Some uniformities can be a threat to unity.
You made some good points.
How do we find Unity in the Diversity of various World cultures, local cultures in our cities, in our churches as various groups enjoy worshiping in different ways. Diversity in many Gender Issues. Diversity in Who is attracted Who Issues – Hetero, GLBTIO. Can a Female with a Male Brain become a Male Pastor?
All these Diversity Issues many times Dis-Allow members to sit in the same pew with other members. To enjoy a diversity of ways to worship in song, in music, in order of service.
On a larger scale, WHO it is that is Elected to Offices in Conference, Union, Division, The GC.