So Totally Relidge: the pope resigns & racially segregated churches

Stephen Colbert for Pope? This week, Kristen and I discuss the Pope’s resignation and the racially segregated churches. How do you feel about the Pope’s resignation and what sort of Pope are you hoping will follow Pope Benedict XVI? Do racially segregated churches prevent us from achieving spiritual unity? How can we come together? Should spiritual values supersede cultural differences?

  • Adele Chapman

    Great discussion, ladies. I don’t really attend church much but a couple times a year I go to my mum’s church and find it is actually really diverse. I’d still say it is majority white Australians but their lead pastor is black and the associate pastor is Asian, there are many people from African countries, lots of Spanish speakers and lots from Cambodia, some indigenous Australians and many from surrounding island nations. They’ve even had refugee people coming with guards from a detention centre.
    I’m sure there are still divisions and cultural differences that are unaddressed but it’s encouraging to see. :)

  • Mary Rose Maguire

    I just read your post about your husband entering into the Church. I returned to the Church in 2008 after being away 25 years. My husband’s response: “I’ll never become Catholic.” I told him that was okay but I needed to return. Since then, he’s been actually encouraging and even asks me to bless him with holy water on occasion. Your post truly encouraged me. As much as I want to push, I know I can’t. Years ago I almost had him attending Easter Mass with me but I realized it was all wrong. I asked for forgiveness and went without him. I’ll also keep quiet and start praying harder. The Holy Spirit is, as you already discovered, in charge. It is all in God’s timing, not ours. I pray you and your family have a very blessed Easter this year. I know it will be the best ever for you!

  • hoc_est

    Hi Esther,

    You`re a saint, wherever you will go.
    Perhaps white smoke for a black pope.

  • priest’s wife

    you two are so pretty. that is all.

  • Anonymous

    The United Methodist Conference in Mississippi is making a conscious effort to change the segregation of churches. We have a lot more appointments across what would typically be a racial divide. We are at a traditionally very white church and have an African American associate pastor. It’s still the deep south, and baby steps are baby steps, but we are on the right road, at least. Also, our last bishop was our first female bishop and our new bishop is our first black bishop.

  • Ty Alexander Huynh

    Nice report, gals. I was also surprised the pope resigned, but it is a necessary thing considering the massive failure in leadership there, as well as the church in general, for how they treat their leadership. No one should be protected, not even the pope, for their wrongs. Leaders who do not stand for righteousness need to be removed until they’ve been permanently reformed. The church cannot afford to accept any unrighteousness AT ALL in how she runs. What’s done is done now, so moving forward, we need to pray for the victims and the people who did wrong, so that everyone can get on track and have the healing they all need to live in Christ.

    On segregation, my area is well diversified so there generally aren’t many segregated churches here. However, just because a church appears segregated doesn’t mean it is bad. The community may just be that way. We can’t expect a church to be diversified if the community only has a few classes of people in it.

    What we should be focusing on is how churches treat people. There should be no judgement or shunning for anything, including race, culture, appearance, or their past or current lives. Everyone should be accepted with the same love you give your closest friends and family.

    Leading people to a path of righteousness is secondary and needs to be done with patience and gentleness, and often in God’s timing, not ours. Too many Christians are far too eager to share their beliefs and press them upon people. Often, the brightest lights are not the best way to have people accept them. They’ll turn away from bright flashes, but will accept the soft, warm glows of a candlelight.

    The way a church conducts services are important to get right. Leadership should never be put on a pedestal, but they should be respected. Leadership has a responsibility to understand how God wants them to act, which is with humility and kindness. Apostle Paul was a great leader and sometimes needed to be reminded to be humble, so he did often talk about that and chose to set himself below his peers.

    How a church worships is important too. It should not be a show, but more a “sing-along” where everyone is expected to participate. One cannot show his respect or love for God if they do not participate in joyful worship. Worship leaders also need to show humility and not draw focus to themselves or their chorus or musicians during worship. The focus needs to be on God and giving Him praise.

    That focus also needs to be given to young children as well. Church daycares should teach and worship as well. Nothing is more important for a family than to teach God’s values and ways as early as possible. Of course, young children need the “Disney” kind of fun in that, so they enjoy participating and learning, but that kind of fun should not be emphasized in general services. The church is not meant to put on a show for people. People should not go to church for that either.

    A church’s traditions may be important, but they should never be placed above what God wants or teaches. It is far more important that the correct doctrine and correct focus is promoted in the church than to adhere to man-made traditions. Too often people place their cultural values or “patriotism” far too high. They need a good balance of what God wants the church to be and what they may want to hold on to.

    Changing things may be hard for the church, but it is necessary and the only way to do it right is to learn how to listen to God correctly. Without that, the church will simply continue as she has for many centuries – divided and chasing the wrong paths.