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On the February 7 edition of the Christian Broadcasting Network’s The 700 Club, host Pat Robertson said that people who have received too much plastic surgery “got the eyes like they’re Oriental” while he put his fingers up to the side of his face. Read this and watch here.patrobertsonI know. I know. Pat Robertson is not exactly the paragon of the Christian leader, and sometimes I do think it is the secular world which keeps him successful because the media will always need a Ned Flanders caricature in order to ridicule the church. But his racist tendancies are not as unique nor isolated as we might hope for. Racism towards Asians percolates under the skin of many of the leading evangelicals today – Robertson just had the stupidity to express it.All this feeds in me a growing desire to not so much address the racism in white Christian leaders (a pointless exercise), but, rather, to simply move away from them. To cut the apron strings, the paternalistic, patronizing, restricting strings. We no longer have any need to learn from the white world with kiddy enthusiasm, to believe that all they teach is gospel, all they touch is gold. That how they preach, we should preach, that how they do church, we should do church, that how they interpret Scripture, we must interpret Scripture. Like Tiger Woods must have once said to his father, (thanks for all you’ve taught me, dad, but I’ll take it from here), so we too need to move on. We are a smart, diligent, creative, pioneering people who love our God and Bible, and we do not need to take their white cookie-cutter trays handed down to us anymore.

I am moved by men like Oscar Muriu who mightily declared at Urbana that “to drink from the cup of Western theology is to drink from a poisoned chalice.”

I am moved by bloggers like David Park who says the AA church must become tired of simply sitting on limp-wristed hands as we wait for hand-me-downs, and instead arise like “young lions.”

u2003I am moved by Asian American leaders like Soong-Chan Rah, who, in one of the best sermons I have ever heard, declared that we are living in a time of the western white captivity of the church. And what Rah means by that is that “the church looks more like white and western culture than the gospel of Jesus Christ. It looks more like what we would see in a typical gathering of whites and westerners anywhere else than like the tenants and values of Scripture.”

The secular Asian American community today fights tooth-and-nail to breakdown stereotypes and to form a distinct and unique and wonderful Asian American identity. It is a hard battle. What the Asian American church does, on the other hand, is follow closely yet passively behind, reaping the benefits of what the non-church AA community has so diligently, passionately, and sacrificially fought for.How amazing would it be if the AA church pioneers the way forward, letting the non-churched AA community reap the benefits of our efforts. But how can we when the church is filled with passive, passionless, spineless, “nice” Asian American men?


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