A High View of Culture and Risk


Is a high view of culture the same as discrimination? Can an understanding of homogeneity as an anthropological principle be a veiled excuse for racism?

It can and it has.

However, by insisting that those who are moving toward Jesus must evidence a “oneness in Christ”—meaning a willingness to cross cultural barriers to embrace Jesus and mix freely with those not of their own linguistic, class or racial background—we present unnecessary and artificial barriers for people to become followers of Jesus. While we expect such “oneness” to eventually prevail as an ultimate value as people mature, expecting it as a prerequisite for belief is neither biblically or missiologically warranted.

As C. Peter Wagner writes:

” ...just as a knife can be used as an instrument of mercy in a surgical operation or as an instrument of horror in a murder, the homogeneous unit principle can be used for good or for bad. Properly applied, it can be an effective force to reduce racism; wrongly applied, it can support racism. It must be admitted that the principle carries with it an element of risk.”

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