Here we go again… its time for another segment of “And You Wonder Why People Aren’t Christians.”
Our story today comes from the land that put racial tolerance and acceptance on the map, Mississippi. (/sarcasm)
You can read the story here, but in a nutshell the First Baptist Church in Crystal Springs, Mississippi informed an engaged couple that they could no longer get married in the church. Did I mention that the church is predominately white and that the couple was African-American? Did I also mention that they church informed them just a couple of days prior to their actual wedding date?
Church officials were quoted to have said that they “welcome any race into their congregation.” Umm… no I do not think you do.
Once again race and Christianity has reared its ugly head. It is hard to believe that in 21st century race still a factor in whether or not one is seen as a worthy human. As I have said many times before if Christ did not discriminate in whether or not people were allowed to come and hear the gospel message, then why are some followers of Christ doing this?
Aside from the racial issue that is staring us right in the face, there are some other issues to this story. First, the church must have granted permission for the couple to have their wedding at the church prior to this event; the couple had sent out the invitations and everything. I think it would be a bit presumptuous of them to just think that a church they are not a member of would allow them to use the facility without asking. Next, the minister stated that it was “a small minority” that was against the wedding being held at the church. A small minority? Sadly, this small minority must have a lot of power and pull because they basically overruled the church’s previous decision.
This is all to common in churches; many people dislike the notion of centralized power in Washington, D.C. but are powerless to anything about it in their own churches. The way churches are today, it only takes one wrong move and people split and the money is gone. I am not saying that the church should have allowed this distorting of the gospel to take place, but the though of ‘making waves’ scares people.
If I were the minister in that congregation I would have still had the wedding at the church no matter what the church’s a small minority believed. Also, that would have been the last act as a minister in that congregation. No two week notice, no reception, no farewells, gone.
The gospel can not be trampled like that and expect me to stick around. There would be no amount of meetings or discernment that I believe would change some people’s minds. Christ never turned people away and here we are claiming to be his followers and look at what we are doing.
I think another series or title of this post could be “And You Wonder Why The Church Is Shrinking”… case and point… people in Mississippi are still living in a world where their God is a god who discriminates. If we are all made in the image of God, then why are we trying to make our church look like us?
How can the gospel of love be turned into the gospel of difference is not acceptable?