This is more than a little disturbing. We are told of a Christian who may not be welcome as a teacher at Calvin College because she does not, according the this Washington Post article, “attend a congregation with ties to the Christian Reformed Church.”
Fair enough. Calvin College’s name has to count for something, one would suppose. And yet…are we not all one in the Body of Christ? So it would appear that Calvin College does not truly believe so. And yet, as they say, on the other hand, doesn’t a church-related school have an obligation to be true to its view of the Gospel?
Tough call. But this cuts another way, thanks to the now-prevalent theology of race in America. Seems that your outward skin color, and your worldly identification also count at least as much as your belief that Christ Jesus died for your sins and was raised to glory. The Post story concerns a black woman who attends a predominantly black Baptist church, and who would like to stay employed by Calvin College. From the Post:
[Calvin College] Provost Claudia Beversluis said the issue is a difficult one that has prompted much discussion on how to retain the college’s Christian Reformed identity while becoming more diverse.”I wish there was a [Christian Reformed] congregation in Grand Rapids that was fully multicultural or even that there was one that was largely African American,” Beversluis said.
Before we dismiss the black woman’s concerns as being unchristian, think of how each of us select a church. Those who claim that their race, ethnicity, and culture play little or no part are fooling themselves. We all like to be surrounded by people who look and talk as we do. Or, stated a different way, when we are challenged by Christ’s Gospel, the last thing we should want is to be distracted by people whose ways are strange to us.
It would be easy to dismiss statements such as “fully multicultural” as so much modern noise. What was really meant was that a black is not expected to be comfortable attending a white church. Just as most whites would not be comfortable attending a black church.
This is the truth, and though it be ugly, it rings true.