The changing state of US ethnicity
2 November 2012 Last updated at 20:25 ET
The US has undergone many different immigration trends since the 15th Century, with various ethnic groups rising and falling over time.
This video looks at how the US population has defined itself within government census data, where US immigrants have originated from in the past, and how these patterns could change in the future.
Produced by David Gordon
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What does this mean for Christianity?
What does this mean for Christianity?
Emergent Christianity acknowledges, and widely accepts the fact, that to live in today's postmodern world is to embrace multi-cultural pluralism openly, publicly, and willingly. To realize that the many different people groups coming across America's borders are coming for opportunities their homeland could not (or, would not) provide - whether food, water and shelter; a practical education and livable wage; the benefits of freedom and liberty from fear, abuse, harm and destruction; the active protection to worship as one believes without fear of reprisal; and for many, many other reasons innumerable. Here, in America, the Constitution of the United States binds one-and-all to these many civil liberties and more, and it is to the church of Jesus Christ to likewise shoulder the burden to welcome and accept all who come.
Consequently, the gospel of Jesus was never intended to only the predominant people group of any nation, but to all people groups, tribes, and nations of every country. As such, Emergent Christianity welcomes the opportunity to listen and participate with all religions and faiths in whatever manner possible so that every man, woman or child, might have the additional opportunity to hear about Jesus. This may mean that traditional practices and messages of the Christian faith be altered from a Western flavor to one more Eastern, Asian, or Islamic. Hence, orthodox practices must become more accommodating - if not outrightly transformed - in dress and worship style, language and expression, practices and heritage.
This would also include the theology of the church... not in content but in translation. For example, rather than speaking in a doctrinal language requiring theological precision and historical acumen as we are use to in our Western traditions, perhaps we might adjust telling the gospel through the many story forms provided by Narrative Theology that can easily transform the biblical language into readily adaptable cultural narratives. That is, by fashioning salvific stories created within the cultural language, idioms, and worship styles of that minority's heritage so that the gospel of Jesus might become truly missional rather than culturally conversional.... By this is meant that the missionizing group must be willing to resist the cultural urge to transform another culture into its own style of worship and way of thinking. But rather allow minorities to adapt the gospel into their own predominant language and practices. To understand that successful evangelism does not mean Americanizing or Westernizing new converts to Jesus. But allows new converts their own assimilative practices of apprehending Jesus in their own ways and observances that is meaningful to them. That to missionize a minority people group is to actively promote the transformational state of non-native assimilation. And in the bargin discover a depth of Christian fellowship few experience between dissimilar peoples and cultures.
Furthermore, America's history has been no less awash in cultural movement than what has been experienced by other nations across all the continents of the world. If anything, history has shown how people groups have created societal upheaval and mobile disbursement when incoming refugees have fled for help, assistance, and protection. And it has been to a nation's test of strength and honor to proffer aide and assistance in whatever way that it can to those fleeing death and harm. By actively promoting the humanitarian equality of displaced populations is to strengthen a nation rather than divide it. To share the wealth of stability, protection, community, equality, and service, to those desperately in need of life, liberty and justice, is to that nation's honor and call. Yes, it will be messy. Yes, it will create displacement and stretch resources. And yes, wisdom will be required against a political will that may secede from the task at hand. But if a government and its church communities rise to the gospel challenges of compassionate welcome, aide and cultural respect, it will create a three-corded union unbreakable and strong.
And so must the believer in Christ be as welcoming and gracious to those aliens and strangers amongst us wishing to adopt our homeland as if they were our own kinsmen. And we were their own adoptive relatives. For the human race is but one tribe of many people. Let us learn to revel in our differences and be united as one people before the God of all nations seeking to aide and assist as we can. Jesus once said, "Go out into all the world and make disciples."We now have the added blessing that the "world" has come into the church's own backyard and must recognize that the "task is no less the same as it ever was." "That the mission of the church is the same as it ever was." "And that the message of salvation is still the same as it ever was." But that our community values and attitudes can, and must, changed towards welcoming all in, be they nomads or unwanted, spurned or unloved, refugee or stranger. Let the followers of Jesus be about the tasks of sharing the love of Christ to all the world without regard to color of skin or practice of belief.
Jesus' love and atonement was colorless and without discrimination. He accepted each person as they were and not as they must become in order to be received. It is a message worthy of the whole world and not to just some of the world. It is a message of God's love testified in the communal sharing of dissimilar lives one with the other in the divine cords of fellowship measured by the winnowing threshes of peace and goodwill. And not by the chaff of callousness, bigotry, willful blindness, hardness of heart, or indifference. The church is called to be as the good Samaritan binding up the wounds of others different from ourselves that this burden may then be shared by prayers of charity and grace. Amen.
November 4, 2012
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Pluralism, Tolerance and Accommodation:
In You, the Kingdom of God Has Come