Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The belief that God speaks English, is western in his understanding of the world and is 'well off' is very deep seated in the British Christian world

Andy writes at The Coffee Bible Club - "God is not English speaking, Western and Affluent.... "The belief that God speaks English, is western in his understanding of the world and is 'well off' (in the sense of comfort and ease afforded by endless riches) is very deep seated in the British Christian world. It is also seems fairly deeply rooted in the rest of the Caucasian English speaking world. We must tread very carefully on this ground, for it is perilously fragile and hovers above the slope of imperialism and racism."

This is a hot current issue for us to handle. At Together for the Gospel it was Thabiti Anyabwile's talk that was most striking. I suspect many were tempted to skip the talk by the "non-rockstar speaker" and yet he gave us the most refreshing insight. Bearing the Image: Identity, the Work of Christ, and the Church, speaking against the unbiblical notion of race. Racism. Classism. These abound and we barely even notice.

I loved T4G and New Word Alive but you can't help but notice that both were dominated by affluent white people. By their very nature these conferences favour those who have affluence (both may have schemes to subsidise those who can't afford to pay a fortune for a conference but I'm not aware of that), those who have a University education (hour long, rigorous, intellectual talks...). We may have overcome the minor variations in how we "do" church by gathering charismatics and non-charismatics together in these conferences but there are bigger issues at stake.

Go read Andy's post. Go listen to Thabiti.