The Common Good
July 2010

It’s About Access

by Richard Hong | July 2010

As a Presbyterian (PCUSA) pastor, I once had a fascinating conversation with another person who worked for the PCUSA.

Regarding “Is the Emerging Church for Whites Only?” (by Soong-Chan Rah and Jason Mach, May 2010): As a Presbyterian (PCUSA) pastor, I once had a fascinating conversation with another person who worked for the PCUSA. The essence was that anti- or post-institutional movements tended to be mostly white because it was whites who held the institutional power (so it would naturally be whites fleeing from it), while minority groups were still working at gaining access. It seems logical to me that the emerging church movement is mostly white because it is emerging from the mostly white world of evangelical megachurches.

The person I spoke with said: “Blacks worked their whole lives to get in the door in Louisville [our denominational headquarters], and as soon as they get in, the whites decide that Louisville is useless.”

I’m not against the emerging church movement; in fact, I’m quite enamored of the writings of many of its leaders. But I think its embrace by some corners of the Christian world is unconsciously motivated by a desire to hold on to power.

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