Christians and Segregation Part 5: The New Testament’s argument against Segregation within the Church

Last time, I dealt with the arguments raised by those who pretend that Christianity is compatible with segregation, and pointed out where those arguments are flawed. Today, we will end this series with a counter argument.

It might not make sense to suggest that such a thing is possible, after all New Testament does not discuss anything that would correspond to segregation outside of the Church, Paul and the apostles seemed uninterested in reforming or changing the civil societies outside the church, and focused on building the civil society within the Church instead. And yet, as a Christian segregation within the church is precisely the question we should be focused on.

The great goal God has for the Church, according to Romans 15 8-13 is that all the nations will come to know God, this would of course be difficult if there were no missionary efforts, and however one might cavil, missionary efforts are, by being cross cultural, anti-segregationist. This means most racist arguments (such as only one particular race can be saved, or that some ethnic groups are less than human) misses the entire point of the gospel, itself.

But, Kinists in particular, and other groups in other senses might very well argue that starting churches in a community is, of course, a cross cultural ministry, but it is a temporary matter until the church in a new culture is able to stand on its own two feet.

And yet, the first century church was faced with a question of segregation, and it was rejected. At Antioch, Jewish believers from Jerusalem came to Antioch, and by segregating themselves from the gentile believers, started a major controversy, and this included Peter, who began to follow their example. Paul, then rebuked Peter (Galatians 2:11-14); Paul is clear, Peter’s self-segregation from the gentiles was an act of hypocrisy,[1] and therefore a betrayal of the gospel itself (Galatians 2:15-21).

Therefore, as a follower of Christ, and student of Scripture it becomes clear: Christians who support segregation are hypocrites – or to use my terminology from elsewhere, inconsistent monsters.

            [1] The passage makes it clear that the agreement was not doctrinal as many modern “scholars” have suggested since the 19th century, otherwise, Paul’s language makes little sense; Peter is accused of playacting and hypocrisy not heresy. Additionally, this theory does not account for Peter’s eating with the gentiles previously. This is why the modern pseudoscholarly tendency to “read between the lines” in the work with the text by modern unbelieving scholarship is a faulty direction for the Church.

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