Roundtable: Racial Reconciliation

Oct 05, 2016

After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude
from every nation, tribe, people, and language,
which no one could number, standing before
the throne and before the Lamb.

— Revelation 7:9

News reports and headlines indicate ongoing — and perhaps increased — racial tensions in America. A Gallup poll conducted in March 2016 revealed that "more than a third (35%) of Americans now say they are worried "a great deal" about race relations in the U.S. — which is higher than at any time since Gallup first asked the question in 2001."

In terms of how — or if — churches have anything to contribute to the healing of these tensions, a Barna Group survey showed that "evangelicals are the most hopeful with a staggering 94 percent who believe Christian churches play an important role in racial reconciliation."

Against this backdrop, Pastor Gregg Matte sat down with our campus pastors to have a conversation about race relations and reconciliation, the role of the church — and their own life experiences. The campus pastors included Malcolm Marshall (Sienna), Jason Swiggart (Cypress) and Juan Alaniz (Español). Lee Hsia from our Downtown Campus was in Indonesia for an evangelism conference at the time. His remarks will be included in a separate segment to be posted later.

Below are four moments from their conversation, with more to be added soon.

Do we have to be perfect?

Malcolm Marshall addresses the question, "Is growth allowed in racial reconciliation, or do we have to be perfect and get it right from the start?"

Race, Ethnicity & Blood

Juan Alaniz addresses the importance of hearing everybody's story to understand who they are and where they are coming from.


Malcolm Marshall talks about matters of identity not just between the different races, but within them, as well — including his own experience.


Juan Alaniz and Malcolm Marshall talk about stereotypes they have faced during their lives — in the past and even today.


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