Friday, December 9, 2011

Interracial Couple Banned From Kentucky Church

This story is almost unbelievable to me. And very sad. From HuffPo:

In a move to "promote greater unity" among its body and the Pike County community it serves, a small Kentucky church voted to ban interracial couples from membership and from participating in certain worship activities, reports.

Though reminiscent of some Jim Crow-era mandate, the Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church actually made the decision earlier this month, following a visit from 24-year-old Stella Harville, daughter of the church's secretary and clerk, and her 29-year-old fiance, Ticha Chikuni, a native of Zimbabwe.

According to Harville's father, Dean Harville, Stella brought Chikuni to the church in June where they performed a song for the congregation.
Following the visit, former pastor Melvin Thompson told Harville that his daughter and her fiance could not sing at the church again. Thompson later proposed that the church go on record saying that while all people were welcome to attend public worship services there, the church did not condone interracial marriage.

His proposal, which was accepted by a 9-6 vote last week, also suggested that married interracial couples be prohibited from becoming members and used in worship activities, except for funerals.

"It's not the spirit of the community in any way, shape or form," said Randy Johnson, president of the Pike County Ministerial Association, according to
While Pike County and the surrounding community come to grips with the church's decision, researchers at Ohio State University and Cornell University say black-white marriages in the United States are soaring, increasing threefold, from 3 percent in 1980 to 10.7 percent in 2008.


Jesus-in-the-city said...

So sad! But not surprising... Times Square Church just had a missions trip earlier this year to Alabama pray for racial unity in America's churches. We all know that in much of the country, Sunday morning is the time when racial segregation in America Is most rampant.

It's not a popular opinion but myself and my husband believe very strongly that any type of racial delineation of a church is wrong, whether it be that a church just happens to be predominantly one race or whether it be blatant, like the AME church that my mother goes to. When we attend, my husband is the only white person there and it is a HUGE church just twenty minutes outside of DC, so you can't say it's a predominantly black or white area.

The church needs to stand apart from the world and as Paul said in Galatians 3:28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. Race isn't mentioned here, but it's understood, as it is in the revelation scripture that says the church will be worshipping Jesus as one when He returns (I can't find it at the moment but I will find it and post it here).

I know people make a lot of excuses to support reasons why this is ok. My mother says it's cultural and some people feel more comfortable worshipping with people who are like them, but no one can be more "like you" than a brother or sister in Christ. If we're called to love our neighbor as ourselves, neighbor meaning our extreme opposite, and Jesus says this is the most important commandment aside from loving God with all of ourselves, then any other excuse is just that... An excuse.

Another great scripture to support this is Matthew 12:25-29 But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan, the prince of demons.”
Jesus knew their thoughts and replied, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart. And if Satan is casting out Satan, he is divided and fighting against himself. His own kingdom will not survive. And if I am empowered by Satan, what about your own exorcists? They cast out demons, too, so they will condemn you for what you have said. But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you. For who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like Satan and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.
“Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me. (Matthew 12:24-30 NLT)

A church divided among itself will not get anywhere and if we are not actively standing for and turning against the things that Jesus did, then we are working against Him.

At the end of the day, I don't think this situation is a lot different, other than thesepeople are just more open about it, but I believe many American Christians can stand to take a look at themselves and their own hearts to see what roots of judgement, fear and hard heartedness are in there regarding people of other races, myself included.

A pastor friend of ours said it best when he said he wasn't black or what, but red, because he was washed in the blood of Jesus! Amen! If more Christians believed and lived like this we'd be much better ambassadors for Christ. Hopefully now that this is public we can pray for this church repent and receive the true power of the Holy Spirit. Thanks for this, Alisha! Sorry for the rant!

Naomi said...

Well, I guess we'd be ban from that church! HAHA! I always look at it as though we've spit in Satan's face by getting married and breaking down those racial barriers- after all, love sees no color. <3

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