HOW Can Asian American churches better reflect the Gospel?
Ray Causly | MAY 9, 2019 | 2 MIN READ | 4 MIN WATCH
Note from SOLA: This video was recorded during The SOLA Conference 2019. Below is a transcript of the video. It has been lightly edited for readability.
The Asian American church should be aware of some potential downfalls that move us away from a Gospel orientation.
A lot of the reasons why Asian churches began in America was to maintain culture or to preserve culture. Coming from an immigrant context, you have a situation where you don't know the language, you don’t know the culture, you don’t know the people. So you have to find a place where you feel belonging and where you actually have an identity.
A lot of times the church was that thing. So the idea of having a Gospel orientation wasn't the primary drive of the Asian church. It was gaining cultural context and preserving that because we don't want to lose some of that. So I think the Asian American church needs to be very careful with that.
Coming from a Pan Asian American context there are a lot of similarities among all Asians in some way, shape, or form 1. Immigrant experience. 2. The latchkey kid experience 3. A lot of Confucian ideologies that permeate Asian context, like the honor-shame kind of context.
Typically Asian Americans will just congregate to one another. They’ll be at a party and if there's no Asians and there's whites, blacks, Latinos, they seem to find one another. That’s just a part of being what it is to be naturally connected. Now I would say be careful of that because that’s comfortable.
We need to have a passion for the commission. One of the things we see in scripture is God was all about removing comfort and culture as the primary [things] that drive unity. We see it first in 1 Corinthians with the whole context of the Lord's Supper. You have the poor and the rich that were isolating one another in 1 Corinthians 11.
What’s so profound about that? What was the issue? The issue was the fact that you have the poor and the rich that were totally segregated, and as a result it did not reflect the commission or, should I say, the Gospel. It was so profound for God that you had people in that church falling over dead and getting sick because they were not walking in step with the Gospel because the two divergent entities weren’t coming together and demonstrating the power of the Gospel in their unity.
We have to realize that as predominantly Asian-American churches, that we're not perpetuating what is supernatural by simply congregating together. That's natural. There’s nothing redemptive in people coming together based on commonality. We all do that -- black, white, because you're a trucker, and I'm a rapper or whatever. We all come together under those auspices.
So what am I saying? We have to become passionate about the Gospel and when we do that, the world will look in and they'll see a Gospel-revealing community.
“What? A Black dude and an Asian dude co-leading as pastors?”
You can only explain that by the Gospel. When you have poor and rich under the same umbrella, you can only explain that by the Gospel. Then the glory of Christ is displayed and then God gets the glory due his name.
Ray Causly, also known as Rayza (his rap alias in his younger years), is co-lead Pastor at Living Way Community Church. Ray has been in multi-ethnic pastoral ministry for over 20 years. He's a Black man, married for 20 years to his wife Ruth, (a White woman) living in the City of Compton (Latino and Black community) with four teenagers, pastoring a predominantly Korean congregation! He loves to listen to Scripture while working out, write rap lyrics, read fantasy books, watch cartoons alone, watch movies with his wife, surf with his son (he’s the only black surfer he knows), and run track and play board games with his daughters, Most of all, Ray loves Jesus; the Lord, Savior, and Treasure of his life.