The church isn’t dying (I spoke about that here), it’s the first world’s conservative evangelical version of Church that is dying.
Here in the U.S. we see churches being faced with the imposition of progression, such as Hillsong, strategically moving into the inner cities, and therefore diversifying their congregations, forcing questions on their oppressively exclusive doctrine on homosexuality, as POC are slowly yet steadily inching their way into positions of power and sway.
Deborah Lee says in her recent book Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism, “Today, new multiethnic initiatives, along with other attempts to bolster church membership, have formed against the backdrop of rapidly shifting generational and racial demographics within the evangelical world. On one hand the mass exodus of white millennials has leaders wringing their hands about declining membership.” Lee goes on to acknowledge that “young Christians have flipped from being mostly white to mostly nonwhite. In another twist, the “nones”—people with no religion—now represent the largest religious group among young Americans.”
Yes, young white millennials are leaving the Church and re-identifying as “the nones” but yet they are still holding onto spirituality and a socialistically driven version of Jesus. They are merely catching up with young people of color who’ve never been welcome in the church, and joining forces with each other to extinguish what they new in order to create and welcome “the other” (i.e. the new moral majority formerly known as the persecuted minority).The past in which far too many have internalized needs to be processed and reconsidered in order that we can alter and reframe this quickly changing narrative.
Yes, 2050 is the predicted date in which there will be collectively more people of color (POC) than there are whites making white persons the new minority. But, here’s the thing, 2050 is already here, don’t be fooled in to believe the past is still true. The baby boomers (our white parents) who marched with King and were progressives before we were yet born, the millennials integrating, and, of course, the POC immigrating into our country numerically, politically, and even culturally 2050 has already arrived. We don’t have to rise up, we only have to accept and internalize the fact that we’re already standing strong.
It doesn’t mean that we can now “rest,” it just means that we can now truly embrace living. Assert your humanity unapologetically, vote for Hillary or Bernie (as long as you vote!), watch television or online video starring and casting POC, but most importantly take on positions of leadership, because you can now, and this is what will open doors for others like yourself later (e.g. your children, neighbors children, and immigrating children).
Check back on Wednesday for my next post “Progressing the Church: Christianity Has Never Not Been Progressive”