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We know from historical records that there were at least 5 different sets of walls that were erected to keep the races away from each other African, Asian, Latin, Greek, and Jews. But it is estimated that there may have been as many as 18 different ethnic quarters within the city, with each group literally separated from each other by a wall. Yet in Acts 11 Luke reports with great enthusiasm that this has all changed. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has cut through these racial-cultural walls, and for the first time in the history of the world it is proven that the God of the Bible is not a tribal God.

The energy of Heaven has been set loose in a powerful way that all could see. For the first time people were crossing over racial-cultural walls to hear about Jesus and forming a bond and fellowship around the goods news of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The good news of the Resurrection was bringing people into common fellowship under Jesus Christ, and this in turn also became the authentication of the good news.

Now the question became — what to name this phenomenon? Nobody in biblical times would have known how to describe such a thing as an intercultural community of faith now we have dozens of names for it! What should the early church call this thing that was bringing people from all different sectors of the city across the interior barriers into a common fellowship in Jesus Christ?

Multicultural Ministry-UU Church of Annapolis

They had to invent a name, and what was the name they coined in Acts 11? The word Christian was invented to describe the multicultural church that first developed in Antioch.

Longing to see a movement of God that brings fullness of life to every dimension of society.

To ensure that the authenticity of the ministry of reconciliation at the church of Antioch was not missed, Luke gives a detailed description of the leadership team of this church. We do not have an account like this for any other church in the Bible so it is important for a variety of reasons:. First we have Barnabas, who was from Cyprus Asia. Next is Simeon called Niger. This is both the Greek and Latin word for black, meaning he was from somewhere in Africa.

Fourth is Manaen, who came from the backroom power politics of Rome. Last is Saul, a European-trained Jew. And then there was the ringleader and architect of the group, Barnabus from Cyprus Acts The first city church we know anything about had 5 pastors from 3 continents on the pastoral leadership team. Luke wants us to pay close attention to this remarkable achievement.

The most important church in the New Testament became the model for intercultural churches. A team of 5 pastors, teachers, and prophets from 3 continents shared leadership and power, ultimately under the authority of Christ. As the mother church of every subsequent congregation in the New Testament, we see that racial unity was both a means for growing the church and the basis for its witness to a watching world.

Intercultural ministry was the only model that these early faith communities had for what it meant to be the Church. I would value any further insights or observations or resources. I found this extremely interesting Daniel as you summed up each chapter from Acts 6 through And an example for us as believers in the church in You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.

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