Tuesday, October 20, 2009

#82-Not Interracial Relationships....

Okay, some days I do wake up and feel that I need to be somewhat political....and today is one of those days....While this topic is certainly not accurate for all of Apostolics, it is still prevalent in many circles and I will address it now....Bon Apetit

For some reason, the civil rights movement didn't find the UPC until the 1990's....So much so that most church planting was reserved for rural and suburban culture, and urban environments were left untouched by the UPC up until very recently. It's incredible that in the suburbs of my area (Detroit) there is almost a UPC church per city (with a few patches untouched), but up until a few years ago there was only 2 UPC church in the entire city of Detroit.....Thank God for the church planters in my area who have decided to cut the denominational segregation out in recent years (I think there are now 5 UPC churches in Detroit which is still not enough, but it's progress)...

The point is we as Apostolics are worried about gays getting married when there are none in our church when we have a bigger elephant in the room: Subtle Racism....Of course we would never go as far to call ourselves racist (Because that's just backwards) and we may all point to the number of black friends we have to prove that we aren't racist, but the number of white to black ministers in the UPC is sickening....We have seen a recent upshot in recent years, but it's just sad that this is upshot is coming at the dawn of the new millennium when Martin Luther King made his speech back when Lyndon Johnson was president (or was it Nixon in his first year?).

But the point of this post is simply the fact that there are some (many?) who frown upon interracial relationships in the name of "how confusing it can be for the children growing up in two different cultures." In other words, "I like and welcome black people in my church as sons and daughters of God in equality, but I don't want them in my family."

Or to put it another way, if you were mixed, your childhood was really screwed up because both cultures ostracized you in your abnormal pigmentation. And yet, if you ask my friends of some kind of hybrid of two different races in church if they grew up torn and depressed because they simply didn't know what race they were growing up, they'll just laugh. It's not a big deal....but yet it's our denominations signpost to all other denominations that while we are not racist, we are more than a few decades behind the times, and are still not completely comfortable with truly seeing some of our brothers and sisters in Christ have the same rights within the kingdom as other brothers and sisters in Christ (not being able to date across racial boundaries)



  1. I'm not racist, I have a black president.

  2. Good God. Thanks for being brave enough to post this. This is so sad but so true in many places, and it has no place in the Body of Christ.

    I say, if you don't want little mocha children running around in the world or as a part of your family, fine. Be willing to own up to it and recognize the prejudices that you have. But don't dare justify that garbage out of "concern" or in the name of God.

  3. yuck. I realized this about my own church (a least a small percentage) recently. I was visiting home from teaching in Asia. My friends made the dumbest remarks and asked the most ridiculous questions. We were, of course, in Applebes, and I don't remember being more embarrassed in my life. Also, I remember during the recent election a guy from my church saying "I don't know about you guys, but I still want a white man as president." Not necessarily John McCain, but a 'white man.'
    It's disgusting. It's so disgusting!

  4. Reminds me of a recent news story. A Louisiana Justice of the peace refused to marry an inter-racial couple. He said, "I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way." Unfortunately, far too many people in the Pentecostal movement, and even the evangelical movement as a whole agree...Disgusting.


  5. Sadly, for a lot of people this is true. Im agreeing with Chantell on the matter, if you don't want em just admit it, don't try and SPIRITUALIZE yourself on the matter. This is a topic I am quite passionate about speaking out about. However, recism is not limited Apostolics, to some degree we are all, black, white and brown people are still overcoming predjudice and racism. There are also black people that feel the same way about mixed marriages. It will never be gone until we are in heaven. You can't change everyone but you can change yourself!!! While I agree with you on this topic, I don't agree that you made it an Apostolic Thing!!! Once again, you put us and yourself in a bad light. Its NOT an Apostolic matter, its a matter of humanity in general!

  6. This reminds me of a story of a certain young man who thought amellia earhart(sp) was a princess. I asked him what he thought of inter-racial relationship and in a room full of white and black people he said out loud that in was disgusting. As the offense in the room escalated quite quickly I asked him to explain why? His response: " you should never think of your sister that way!" I am not sure if quite understood the question/

  7. Joel,

    I absolutely agree. To prove I was not racist, I married a Mexican-Indian. That's not just one non-white race, but two! Of course, I settled for her. I was really looking for an Asian-African-Mexican French girl who was adopted by Jewish parents. ;)

    I have to tell you that I love your blog. I just finished reading every post on here (literally). I was busting up many times over. Truly funny.

    BTW, while I am a Californian now, I was raised and saved in Toledo, Ohio, not too far from you.


  8. Mary, Joel states that it's not just an apostolic thing but it is abnnormally prevalent in our movement. Look at the trio of black to white ministers, or even black to white churches and tell me you don't see it, honestly. Our movement is flawed, get over it.

  9. I must say that people in general need to realize that we are all FLESH. Not black, nor white. We are all human and we need to look at each other as Gods people and not at the color. We have the same color blood. The only thing that people should consider when they are looking for a spouse is if their cultures mix NOT their colors!!! There are white people who marry people who are white but from another country who have totally different cultures and needless to say, there can be many trials in their marriages. Of course God can help with their marriage but still it can be tense.

    As I speak, I know a couple getting ready to be married and they make a CUTE couple!!!

  10. Oh ya. Also I know of some preachers that are black, native etc. and they are excellent preachers and definately annointed.

    Gods church should only focus on HIS desires to reach the lost with the truth to whomever he choses as his instrument to do so.

  11. Anon- Get over what?!
    Tell me WHAT denomination doesn't have flaws?!
    NONE! Therefore that would be my point!!! Um and btw- one OTHER reason aside from predjudice, reason why there are less black, preachers saints etc... could be due to the fact that the U.S. is MAINLEY white, then Hispanic, then black...If ya go to Africa, its like MOSTLy black preachers and saints there, but that doesn't mean they are ALL racist!!!

  12. I've heard the greatest answer to this put this way:
    "Many say color doesn't or shouldn't matter. But in my book, color should matter. If your child is interested in someone you need to ask what color they are, and they better be RED! Christ's blood needs to be alllll over them!!!!"
    I totally agree. I don't care what color or ethnicity a guy is as long as he is drenched in Christ's blood.

    1. Amen Sister!!!! Remember Isaiah 35:8 says a highway shall be there...etc
      Therefore on that highway there will be no Racism!!!

  13. Unfortunately, within even the past year I've heard someone in leadership make a statement similar to the one mentioned in this post. They said "I don't care if my daughter marries a black man, but I would prefer that they didn't have children because there is a confusion in their identity."

    Really? At this day in age with so much more tolerence, is a child really going to have no identity if they are mixed race?

  14. The past world concept of interracial marriage has not been a positive one. Parents raising children who are of two separate races often would have to deal with negative stigmas. The idea of Apostolics being "racist" is not a completely accurate one. Certain people, perhaps. But not all. Certain people are arrogant twits trying to stuff the gospel down people's throats. That does not mean every singer Apostolic is like that.
    Addressing the comment with regards to Apostolic ministers not evenly proportioned according to colour: God calls people. Man does not. And if colour does not matter, why is it even brought up?
    I do not feel this is an accurate statement painting Apostolics as all being racist.

    God bless

  15. Thank you for your above comments....I really appreciate everyone's willingness not to insult each other (except for anonymous who told Mary to "get over it" which would be deleted but Mary addresses it so it needed context)...If all discussions were more like this, I would be open in the future to allowing such discussions in all blog posts. The problem is when we start insulting each other and calling each other, "liberal," "conservative," "close-minded," or simply questioning each others salvation....

    I want to add two things:
    -First people have said this statement is an over generalization of Apostolics when this does not represent all Apostolics. And I completely agree. That is why I typed out this line within the post itself (First paragraph): "While this topic is certainly not accurate for all of Apostolics, it is still prevalent in many circles and I will address it now." I don't write such lines for nothing.....

    -Second, Rachel your point about God calling men, not color...I completely agree. But I don't think God is racist and would only call white men from the deep south to represent all men of UPC heritage (to which there is also a great disproportion in my area of pastors who are from the South despite living in Michigan). 10% of the nation is african-american...and I think close to 20% is hispanic (though I am not positive of the last number).

    If we were a racially accepting denomination, I would hope that in some form our churches and populations and pastors would at least resemble somewhat closely this demographic spread, since of course God does not only call middle-class suburban white people to salvation and further to ministry. The point is that while I am no statistician, I would argue that the demographics within the UPC in no way closely resemble the American demographic. God is not bound to one demographic, and our appeals to break out of the suburban/rural demographic while increasing, have been meager at best. African-American ministers who grew up in urban centers will most likely able to reach their culture far better than white ministers who grew up in a far different culture and may not be able to relate.

    Last point, Rachel, I never said Apostolics as ALL being racist. Please don't paint this post as something it is not. This post was not about how racist Apostolics are, but rather how in general interracial marriage is frowned upon for reasons of pure folklore.

  16. This was an interesting topic. One that I have A LOT to say about and plan on even writing some stuff on. I work with African refugee children and they are basically my passion in life!!!

  17. As a hybrid myself, I wouldn't say the experience has had a negative effect on my life but I do sometimes feel pressured to act more white when I'm with them. I'm brown on the inside and white on the outside. Basically an Americanized Latina. Funny thing is, whites never bother me about my race. It's my own "people" that don't exactly consider me one of them that's the most hurtful. With that said, being married to a fellow Americanized Latino, I believe it's culture not race that matters. That's why the Apostolic culture is so important!

  18. I am open enough to realize that people who have been raised in a certain environment may have trouble accepting interracial marriage. However, don't use scripture to try and justify your cultural backwardness. Being
    "unequally yoked" has nothing to do with interracial marriage and to insinuate that is both ignorant and demeaning.

  19. Bro. Suey, great point. There is nothing like proving God did not mean for interracial marriages than taking a verse completely out of it's context and making it being an address about race and even marriage...

  20. Culture does make a really big difference. The people from the south are like WAAAAY different in a lot of stuff!!! Don't think I could marry ANYONE from over their NO MATTER the color!!! =)(J/K! to anyone from the south...well kinda!)

  21. Dear Joel,
    I am a young black minister that has recently inquired about recieving his UPCI license. I am now of the opinion that it is not for me at this time. Instead of being treated as a man of God, I get over accomadated to. Case in point- in the general sense of the ministry, it is frowned upon for minsters to have facial hair. (I personally disagree, but not the point) It was pointed out to me that me, being a black man, could get away with spoting a gotee simply because I was black. Hmm...

  22. I would just like to say I am extremely offend by this. But once again, not shocked. I am not a bunhead but some of my extended family is. I grew up around it my whole life and I still can't wrap my head around the way they believe or think. I am fortunate enough to be marrying the man I want to raise kids with and he HAPPENS to be from Africa. He's the best thing to ever happen to me. He's a better part of me. And for Our kids, they're going to be outgoing and NOT close minded and yes will Be LUCKY enough to have BOTH cultures in their life and to be PROUD they are apart of both. Oh and not not mention, beautiful. This is the 21st century. My kids will grow up as mixed and will be PROUD of who they are. If this side of my family is not for this marriage or building this family, I have no problem with keeping you out. My kids will not only know my language but 3 different others as well. Because an open mind is good mind. They will not grow up ingorant when it comes to mine and my fiance' s race.