Methodist views interracial dating

"There are plenty of skirmishes." Can't we just be Christians? That's one of the first questions interracial churches must address.De Young says he encountered many blacks who said they wanted a racial timeout on Sunday."They would say, 'I need a place of refuge,'" he says."They said, 'I need to come to a place on Sunday morning where I don't experience racism.' " Whites also complained of their own version of racial fatigue, other scholars say.De Young, the "United by Faith" co-author, says the first-century Christian church grew so rapidly precisely because it was so inclusive.He says the church inspired wonder because its leaders were able to form a community that cut across the rigid class and ethnic divisions that characterized the ancient Roman world.The nervous parishioners were African-American, and the church's newcomers were white.

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Americans may be poised to nominate a black man to run for president, but it's segregation as usual in U. De Young's numbers are backed by other scholars who've done similar research.They say they live with the constant anxiety of knowing that an innocuous comment or gesture can easily mushroom into a crisis that threatens their support."It's not all 'Kumbaya' and 'We are the World,' " says Sheppard, the pastor of the Northern California church, who was raised by his father, a Baptist preacher, in the black church.They argue that churches should be interracial whenever possible because their success could ultimately reduce racial friction in America.

American churches haven't traditionally done a good job at being racially inclusive, scholars say.

Large denominations like the Methodists, Baptists and Presbyterians split over race in the 19th century when their members clashed over the issue of slavery, Michael Emerson, a scholar on interracial churches, recounted in his book, "Divided by Faith." But interracial church advocates say the church was never meant to be segregated.

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