Friday, May 1, 2015

Kainos Movement 2015 Conference | Main Session 3: Motley Crew: A Lion and Lambs Club with Pastor Gabriel Salguero

Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities Kainos Movement

Kainos Movement 2015 Conference Main Sessions: Session 3 with Pastor Gabriel Salguero

Previous Kainos Movement 2015 Conference posts:

The following posts will feature my notes from the strong collection of Kainos 2015 pastors, nonprofit leaders, and sociologists who prophetically spoke into our segregated American cultureOur prayer, hope, and striving is that Emmaus City will be a transcultural and multi-ethnic church in Worcester, of Worcester, and for Worcester. As we move forward, we have much to gain from these men and women who have gone before us and lead the way in Jesus' name.

Kainos 2015 Main Session 3: Motley Crew: A Lion and Lambs Club

Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities Kainos Movement

Pastor Gabriel Salguero

President of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition
 Founder of Nuestro Futuro
 Involved in Circle of Protection – consortium of faith groups seeking to preserve social programs that help the poor
 Writer for The Washington Post's "On Faith" and The Huffington Post's religion blogs

Even when just two people met, it is a cultural exchange. The good news of God redeeming and reconciling His multiethnic family in His Kingdom is that Jesus' truth helps us deal with cultural realities because He transcends cultures while His gospel also connects cultures.

We see the Kingdom in Isaiah 11:1-9. It is the peaceable realm where lions and lambs come together. It is where a child will lead: someone who can see things with fresh eyes, new ideas. The Kingdom view of God's reign in His churchHis multi-ethnic family – is fueled by creativity. God will lead us through His visionaries.

Heaven is where we all get along, but we are not the same. God loves the diverse beauty He has created and we see that diversity continue in His Kingdom. God is not color blind. He is glorified through His people's unity in diversity. 

Do we have this prophetic imagination in our churches? Do we have a view, not only of what we may be, but what we could be today as we seek His Kingdom first, and will be when the Kingdom comes: multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-class? This calling by God and for Godthis ekklesia of humanity – is God's call for God's people. But this vision is not easy. If it was easy, it would not be a God thing. It has to take the work of the Holy Spirit or we will only be a social club that is aesthetically pleasing.

When we fully realize God's view of His family and His Kingdom, the question is not "Can I gather and worship with you?" It is "Can I marry your sister and be your brother-in-law?" 

This vision is lofty, and then it becomes costly. "The lion has to become a vegetarian." Metanoia – repentance, a change of mind, heart, and direction – has to happen. And this is a change of mind and action, not only for ourselves, but for the greater good of the community. In this way, 'the sheep also have to become brave in the midst of lions.' The lions are used to looking at sheep as food. The lambs are used to running away from lions. And these are both historically justifiable positions and suspicions. But Jesus steps in to start new things in our stories.

Our sin is steeped in our epistemologies, assumptions, and experiences. We can be lions – those who overtake and devour with those we disagree with – and we can also be lambs – those who run away at the first sign of danger or a roar. But when we bring our presuppositions and assumptions as a true narrative for our life, we have already begun oppression of others and ourselves because we are not living in the light of the gospel. Because sometimes, we are both the lions and the lambs. 

So how do we change people's diets?

 How do we change the structure of the community?

Our cultures aren't the biggest obstacles. Often, it is our socioeconomic and political dynamics. Lions attack whoever they see as weak. Lambs accuse whoever they see as an oppressor.
So what do we do?

(1) Hear humbly, differently, and intently, and keep listening – Remember the beginning of Jesus' greatest commandment – Shema: "Hear, O Israel ... "

(2) See yourself and others clearly – People have been formed, deformed, conformed, reformed ... but they need to be transformed by the power of God, the gospel

(3) Live life together – Commit to staying at the table when things go wrong
We are not called to tolerate people. We are called to celebrate them. Don't fight to win the argument and lose the community. Don't be blind to your differences. See them and choose to see and love others in the power of Jesus. "Once I was blind, but now I see." If you are not uncomfortable at some point in a gathered worship setting, you are not a multicultural church.
As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, "The church is only the church when it exists for others." People don't come to be with the church without a history. But courage is not the antidote to fear. Love is. "Perfect love casts away fear."
"The Christian Gospel is a two-way road. On the one hand, it seeks to change the souls of men, and thereby unite them with God; on the other hand, it seek to change the environmental conditions of men so that soul will have a chance after it is changed. Segregation is totally unchristian, and that it is against everything the Christian religion stands for. There is another element that must be present in our struggle that then makes our resistance and nonviolence truly meaningful. That element is reconciliation. Our ultimate end must be the creation of the beloved community. The end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opposers into friends. The type of love that I stress here is ... agape which is understanding goodwill for all men. It is an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return. It is the love of God working in the lives of men. This is the love that may well be the salvation of our civilization."MLK, Jr.
And remember, "God is Latino. What father would name his son 'Jesus' and give him to a Maria and Jose?"

– Sully

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