By Corey Moore
Salvationist Corey Moore, who attended the 13th Biennial Multicultural Ministries Conference with his wife, Pili Martinez Moore, shares his testimony.
Usually, when we first hear something different, we tend not to like it without reason—just because it’s different.
At the keynote session of the Multicultural Ministries Conference, Mark de Ymaz told a story that illustrates this point. He recalled a 13-hour drive that he took with his daughter, when they played DJ with an iPod. He confessed that he didn’t like some of the songs she selected when he first heard them. After hearing them a few times, though, he started to rock along with them.
In the church today, resistance is often the first reaction to the suggestion of a multi-ethnic, multicultural church. But Jesus’ ministry was all about preaching the gospel to all people of all nations—check out Matt. 28:16-20, also known as the Great Commission.
My mind was buzzing. I felt that God was opening my mind to a truth I knew, but had taken for granted.
The next day, in a session on the Multicultural Generation, Robyn Afrik posed the question: “Who do you think is the multicultural generation?”
The answer that popped into my head shocked me a bit: “I am the multicultural generation.” Here’s why: I am Jamaican, married to a Chilean, worshipping at a church in a white neighborhood, and I live in a Vietnamese neighborhood. This realization was powerful, as I see the face of my own family model some of the changes evident in society today.
Another statement challenged me: “The church for the most part is racist and we all have a bit of racism in us.” My reaction was “NO!” But again I was confronted by truths, ever present but not always apparent, in examples of subtle racism. One time, Afrik said, he drove up to a convenience store, but as he prepared to stop he noticed a group of young black men in the parking lot, seemingly loitering. He thought, “Do I really want to get out of the car right now?” Most of us have witnessed such stereotypes.
The good news is that racism is not biblical, and in Gen. 1:26-27, God’s intention is clear. Thank the Lord that racism is manmade; it came to be on the other side of the fall and is the movement of sin rolling downhill.
Where we get our identity is key to ministry. God has to continually deconstruct and rebuild us daily, lest we fall victim to the pressures of this world. By dying daily to self, we can live for Christ. It is all about God’s identity. We are blessed to have the Word of God to work in and through us daily.