Ethics: Neighbor Will Not Attend Church Over Racism

What would you do Wednesday!

Today’s situation deals with a white Baptist Christian who invites his unbelieving black neighbor to church.

You, a white Christian, have been neighbors with a black unbeliever for the past year when he moved into the neighborhood. The two of you have built a pretty good relationship. You have borrowed tools and other items from each other. You’ve been there for each other during car problems, yard work, house sitting, etc.

The level of trust has been established in many everyday areas except spiritual in issues.

You have tried to talk with him about Jesus, your church family and church activities, etc. Your neighbor has never shown much interest in talking about spiritual issues.

Finally, your neighbor admits that he was considering attending church with you – until he read a news story about a predominantly white Baptist church refusing to allow a black couple to marry in their church building.

Your neighbor said he will never set foot in a Baptist church because of this racist story.

What would you do?

  • Continue to witness to him and invite him in the future.
  • Explain there is no black or white in Christ and invite him again.
  • Find a predominantly black church and offer to attend with him.
  • Tell him good luck and that he’s on his way to hell.
  • Or….

tagged as , , in Christianity,Church Issues,Culture

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chris Roberts October 31, 2012 at 9:29 am

First, encourage him to recognize that not all people can be painted with the same brush. Also point out the way many Baptists – including that church itself – responded to the wedding incident.

Second, if reluctance continues, it could well be worthwhile for a number of reasons to invite him to – and attend with him – a predominately black church.

2 rhology October 31, 2012 at 9:32 am

Express my own condemnation of that wickedness in the strongest possible terms and then remind him that not all churches are like that; only some. And gently remind him that he’s committing the same error in his overgeneralised prejudice.

3 John Wylie October 31, 2012 at 9:45 am

I think your first three would all be viable options. I really like number 3.

4 jennyelaine October 31, 2012 at 10:14 am

Tell him how sorry you are that there are professing Christians that act like that….as he continues to need to hear that it is NOT Christ-ian to show those attitudes at all.

Then I would ask the Lord for God’s ‘eyes’…as our human nature has a big tendency to act or react humanly, instead of “Holy Spirit-ly” . So in this and in about any instance that has to do with how to handle relating with other people I go to God’s and the NT’s #1 ethic – the New Commandment, which says to love them…and love’s 1st component is patience….so, I’d have patience with this fellow, and continue to show the love of Christ….this above everything will show him that (true) Christians are not like that Baptist church. It will show Him that Christ truly does make a difference and really does make us new people.

5 Steve Martin October 31, 2012 at 11:43 pm

I would tell him that I would never set foot in that church (that particular church), and that the vast majority of Baptists are not racist in the least.

I would tell him that in Christ “there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free.”

We are all one in Christ Jesus.

6 sima November 4, 2012 at 6:33 pm

As an African-American reading this scenario, Option #3 popped in my head before I even saw it. It may have taken a lot for the neighbor to even consider going to church with you. I would ask your neighbor if he has any “history” that may be contributing to his feelings about attending church.


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