I Agree! (with Bill Clinton?)

boy_shockedI know, I know. It took my breath away too. Please don’t take away my “conservative, card-carrying, pro-life, pro-Israel” credentials. Obviously it works well for a good headline, but there is a strand of truth that needs to be soberly considered. Recently former President Clinton said in a speech

… [to] an Arab-American audience of 1,000 people that the U.S. is no longer just a black-white country, nor a country that is dominated by Christians and a powerful Jewish minority.

In a speech to the group on Saturday, Clinton said that given the growing numbers of Muslims, Hindus and other religious groups here, Americans should be mindful of the nation’s changing demographics, which led to the election of Barack Obama as president.

Clinton said by 2050 the U.S. will no longer have a majority of people with European heritage and that in an interdependent world “this is a very positive thing.”

As born-again Christians, we do not agree all the time with President Clinton (e.g. abortion), but he reiterates something that is known in political circles and for which political parties are attempting to position themselves in the coming years: primarily, how to receive the vote of an increasing “non-Christian” heritage and a decreasing voting bloc that has its roots in a Judeo-Christian ethic.

As Bible-believing Christians our greatest concern is how are we going to reach these families with the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the tiny town of 1,110 people where we live in “rural, eastern Pennsylvania” we have met families from Mexico, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and Iran. The response cannot be: “We must preserve American culture.” To do so would be to further insulate and isolate ourselves and thus marginalize the preaching of the Gospel. It is not the church’s job to preserve American culture. It is the church’s job to stand up and be counted within culture when that culture is legitimizing homosexual relationships, murdering innocent children day after day and embracing other unbiblical practices. The primary goal of any church is to preach the Gospel and to disciple those who respond by faith in Jesus Christ.

I’d like to concentrate on two statements from the above news article:

  1. “…the growing numbers of Muslims, Hindus and other religious groups here, Americans should be mindful of the nation’s changing demographics….”
    We (i.e. Bethel Baptist Church) need to be mindful of the changing demographic here in the Quakertown, Perkasie, Sellersville and surrounding communities. We need to be intentional and purposeful in reaching out to those of backgrounds different than our own.
  2. “…by 2050 the U.S. will no longer have a majority of people with European heritage…”
    President Clinton is not the only person to suggest that by 2050 those of European heritage will be in the minority. This does not threaten me, nor should you feel threatened. My identity is as a Christian, not someone with a French sounding name. Our identity is not based upon our ethnic heritage; it is based upon the one common thread that we have with one another in our local church – Jesus Christ.

Do I like change? No. Do these comments make me uneasy? No. The confidence and hope I have is that the Gospel is the power of God. To be a part of a church that is representative of a changing demographic is not worrisome–it’s exciting to know that a day is coming when people from various backgrounds, ethnicities, languages and cultures will worship–in this local assembly–one person: Jesus Christ. Kind of sounds like . . . heaven. Don’t you think?

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