In John 4, we find Jesus crossing all kinds of barriers, and he concentrated on breaking two in particular: theological and racial.
Make no mistake -- Both are vitally interrelated. To speak about racial issues is not just a part of the Gospel, but it is the Gospel itself.
These days people automatically view racial issues as a political issue, a liberal issue, or some kind of social justice issue. But in John 4, when Jesus met with the Samaritan woman, Christ showed us the essence of the Gospel by crossing all barriers.
Crossing the Barrier with the Gospel
Before we answer the question of how we get the Gospel to other people, we need to answer the question of what gets in the way of the Gospel getting to us first. In other words, before I try to get the Gospel to people of other races, I try to share what got in the way in the Gospel getting to my heart first.
I went to seminary in the East Coast with the notion that the grass is somehow greener on the other side. I wanted to find out what real America was like. Translation: I wanted to find out what majority white America was like.
I found that the grass is literally not greener on the other side.
But in a seminary class, one of the professors shared something offhand, but it struck such a chord in my heart. He said that the church of Jesus Christ should be the last place in which you should feel like you have to be any more of this or that to be totally loved or secure in the Gospel.
Sirens went off in my head. Fire erupted in my heart. I was convicted.
I asked myself: How am I going to be able to authentically and enduringly and genuinely love and serve people in their own skin if I don’t feel like I have been authentically and deeply loved in my own?
From that point I went through a reorientation of what God has called me to be. I am unapologetically and unashamedly a son of God and a Christian who happens to be Asian American. I believe that Asian Americans Christians, if we can recognize and repent of our own reverse and passive forms of racism, could not only lend our voice but we can also help lead the church toward racial unity and reconciliation.
Harold is the senior and founding pastor of Christ Central of Southern California and serves on the Board for Christ Central Network (CCN). He received his Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and his Master of Theology (Th.M.) from Princeton Theological Seminary. He was ordained in the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) in 2001 and is now a member of the Korean American Presbyterian Church (KAPC). Harold is a happily married husband to SunHi, and devoted father to his two daughters, Taylor and Elizabeth.