Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Biker on Colored Churches

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



While being interviewed for pastor of a predominantly African-American church, I was asked, "As a white man, how do you think you will feel being pastor of a mostly black church?"

Response: "Awful! God doesn't like black churches!"

Having caught the attention of my sisters/brothers, I added after an appropriately awkward dramatic pause, "God doesn't like white, yellow, brown, red, green, purple, or orange churches either. Our God of the rainbow likes all of His created colors and expects us to overcome the different shades of separation/segregation through Jesus and worship, witness, and work together as one united family of faith for Him."

Then I quoted a hillbilly preacher who got it/Him: "If you one with Jesus, you one with all kinds of His children; and if you ain't, you ain't!"

I've always believed something is wrong with churches that aren't multi-colored/classed/cultured.

Jesus did not come to enable divisions.

He came to inspire us to overcome 'em through and for Him.

Read John 3:16-17 closely.



I'm often asked what I'd like to be called.

Response: "I'm called many things; so feel free to label me as you'd like."

Exception: "If we're going to a fancy-schmanzy restaurant, call me Dr. Kopp; 'cause it usually means getting a better table."

Parenthetically, I've always felt "Reverend" and "Pastor" are too pretentious; 'cause I'm not that reverent and only know one Pastor/Person who deserves reverence. I'd prefer people refer to me as undershepherd to the Good Shepherd; but that's too thoughtful/cumbersome for most folks. So, uh, having no, uh, real palatable preference for popular consumption, I don't waste much time or thought on the subject. Again, I'm called many things.


Anyway, one part of my, uh, identity is biker; hoping to come off more like Wyatt than Billy if you know what I mean.

Nothing really/ultimately/eternally against Billy; but I'm trying/praying to go through life/ministry more reflectively than reflexively.

Moretheless, I like to hang out with bikers because, for the most part, they remind me more of Matthew 5:37 and 1 Corinthians 1:10ff. than most posing pulpiteers/pewsitters that have crossed my path over the years.

I've never had to guess what a 1%er, fender bunny, or even AMAer has in mind.

Moretheless, bikers don't expect/demand cookie-cutter reflections of themselves; again, doing a much better job of enfleshing higher ideals like Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 than most, uh, "normal" churchgoers.

Maybe that's why bikers are considered sooooooo "off" by more conventional pseudo-believers.

Yeah, there are bad bikers; but, and I may be wrong, I'd wager in a Christian kinda way that there are more posers on church rolls than poker runs.

It just takes so much more honesty about one's self to mount a mule than add a name to a church membership roll.

Be that as it may be and I wouldn't have said it if I didn't think it would be so hard to disprove, I'm not into biker churches either; for the same reasons highlighted in the first section of this KD.

And I don't bless bikes!

I invoke God's blessings on bikers!


That second commandment is so easy to break.

O.K., I admit my relationship with Return (my mule) seems over the top on occasion; but...



Some KD readers are sooooooo old like moi that they/we remember those church growth movements that encouraged building churches around homogeneous demographics because it's natural for people to want to hang around with people like themselves.

Yeah, it's natural.

Not Christian.




And that should be the rub for folks who aren't posing Christianity.

Jesus said, "Come to Me, all of you..."

Of course, authentic Christianity is increasingly rare in America.



Today, it goes like this: "I know that's what Jesus and the Bible say; but I think..."


In short, Jesus never said, "Have it your way!"

He said, "Come, follow Me, and I will make you..."

The invitation was inclusive; and remains so with those who get it/Him.



Blessings and Love!


Dan G said...

Bet you did not get hired at that black church, did you?

Jesse Jackson is fond of castigating white liberals by saying "the most segregated day in America is Sunday." Now, we know from sociology that birds of a feather flock together. Do I feel compelled (at $4.20/gallon) to drive 30 miles one-way to heal my undeserved guilt and attend an all black church or to attend a church in my neighborhood that reflects who lives here (white folks)?

No. I am focused on worshipping Jesus.

The door is open at my church to every race and color. The EPCA church down the street is 90% Asian because "the word is out" that a cool Asian congregation is happening there. The PCUSA church a few miles away is populated by lots of very well-healed white folks . . . but few other races. As far as I can see it, the PCUSA and the EPCA congregations could intermingle -- but choose not to do so based on artificial denominational barriers. Frankly, they would probably all like each other anyway.

Point is, in San Diego anyway, the old-school liberal canard about racial divisions just does not work. Christian votes with their feet and stay close to home when choosing a church on Sunday. Its about geography and the price of transportation -- not the color of the pew sitters.

Be blessed,

Dan G

Dr. Robert R. Kopp said...

Good word, friend.

Jim said...

Most excellent! Almost makes we want to ride, but then, authentic biker-Christians ought to be cool with me showing up in my Kia.


Dr. Robert R. Kopp said...

Always room for a convert, brother!

John said...


Related to blessing bikers but not bikes was a quote I had heard from Dr. Meneilly during the most heated time of the civil rights movement sometime in the sixties. It went something like, "You may disparage what man has made, but never disparage what God has made. He made the black man, and He made the white man." I did not like a lot of the crazy stands he took but I liked that one.

My father thought Dr. Bob felt compelled to prick the consciences of those living easy lives in Johnson County three out of four Sundays a month and then preach strong evangelical and biblical sermons once a month. Mark Allen and Lou went there years ago on Mother's Day and he preached a pro-choice (a/k/a pro-abortion) sermon. They were so offended. Either right before you came to Second or right after someone got him to preach one Sunday at Second--crazy that someone thought that wise. Anyway, he stood up and said he was going to give the greatest sermon ever given, and recited the sermon on the mount from memory with class and emotion. I had memorized it in high school and he did it right!

Incidentally, Bob Langworthy passed away about two months ago. Reminds me of the saying that old lawyers never pass away (he worked into his 90's), they just forget their briefs.


Dr. Robert R. Kopp said...

You are a cherished witness, brother!

Ella Jane said...

Bob, so like Jesus! So out of the box and loving us all!
Ella Jane

Dr. Robert R. Kopp said...

Praise the Lord!