A recent post by Daniel Camacho asks tough questions and raises necessary questions about multicultural churches. Proving that it is not enough to worship together or even to relate to persons of different cultures on a regular basis, Camacho points to research and recent publications that highlight that the supremacy of whiteness in leadership, structure and worship experience remains. For persons of other cultures, there remains a need to make socially colored white people comfortable in the worship service and in many ways to quiet their spiritual expressions and to set aside their religious experiences.
It makes no difference who is in the pews or even in the pulpit if there is not a multicultural expression of faith and its formation. All persons, all voices, all styles of worship must be heard, honored and respected or we are not saying much when we call ourselves a multicultural church. Instead, we must not assume that a diverse cultural representation suggests a mutual understanding and respect for our differences. Rather, we must have sacred conversations about race and racial identity formation. And yes, white privileges will need to be acknowledged, addressed, accepted and then no longer honored.
We should be allowed to worship God freely and fairly, never feeling as if our relationship must be subjected to that of another. If we are to worship multiculturally, then we must make space for the personal relationship of all persons to develop and grow. If not, then we are merely listening in to your conversation with God, the third wheel in a worship service created for two– your culture and our God.