First-Class Citizens: Pursuing Multi-Ethnic Cultural Engagement

By Dan Hong

There have been many times where my friends and I would ask hypothetical questions about life.  How many kids would you like to have when you get married?  Would you want to live in the city or the suburbs?  What kind of business would you like to own?  These theoretical questions are important for self-reflection, since they help you understand more about yourself.  By doing so, it allows for purpose and meaning with respect to your responses.  It makes you think.  The choices that you make reflect who you are.  

One of the hypothetical questions that make you really think is, would you ever adopt?  Honestly, I always find it hard to answer this question, since I know what the “right answer” would be: yes. But, my heart says otherwise.  The questions that go through my mind are, “Would I love the child that I adopt equally as my own children,” or “If I was adopted, doesn’t it make sense for me to be treated as a stranger instead of their own?”  This shows how selfish and insecure my heart is.

In Ephesians 1:13-14, Scripture tells us how God views adoption.  God adopted us into His family by sacrificing His own Son on the cross, where the blood that He shed has not only covered our sins but our blood. This is how we have been adopted into God’s family.  When we are adopted into His family, we are not treated as second-class citizens, but as first-class citizens.  He loves us exactly as He loves Jesus Christ.  There is nothing that we did to deserve to this, but all because of the substitutionary atonement of Christ.

When you imagine the people that will be with you in heaven, who do you visualize around you?  Who are you worshipping and fellowshipping with in heaven?  Growing up, I would visualize heaven to be a bunch of Korean people, since I grew up in a Korean church.  Whenever I saw Koreans, I assumed they were Christians.  This is not because I proactively chose to think this way, but because of the environment that I grew up in.  The type of people that we encounter in our churches and in our social groups shapes the way we treat the different types of people in our daily lives.  We create our own version of heaven and the people that will be there.  Jesus did not say in His great commission, “Go therefore, and make disciples of only Asian people.”  He said to make disciples of all nations.  Jesus shed the same blood on the cross for white people as He did for black people.  It is the same blood that brings us into His family through adoption. It is the same blood that makes us brothers and sisters in Christ.

As God calls us to live out our heavenly-citizenship on Earth (1 Peter 2:9, Philippians 3:20, Colossians 3:15-17), let us live it out through the means of pursuing multiethnic cultural engagements with our fellow brothers and sisters.  Even when we evangelize, let us not just go to the people that look like us but also to the people that look different from us.  Besides our skin color and ethnic background, the biggest difference from Christ and us is that He is holy and we are not.  That is a legitimate reason for Him to not dwell and be with us.  He doesn’t just dwell with us, but He also died for us.  It is through His work, death, and resurrection from the cross, that we are adopted into His family.  This is the type of love that triumphs the difference of our skin color and ethnic backgrounds. This love enables us to pursue multiethnic cultural engagement.


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