Do you think subcultural church planting could be viewed as an ecclesiological form of reverse discrimination?
In the civil rights movement, reverse discrimination is a common term used to describe policies or acts that discriminate a dominant or majority group in favour of a group historically discriminated against, with the aim of redressing imbalances. However, reverse discrimination has been subject to much criticism on the basis that “discrimination is discrimination” and reversing it still leaves many barriers in place.
In my experience with subcultural cell groups it takes considerable affirmative action and reverse discrimination to preserve the subcultural identity of such groups within a multicultural context. You can’t just invite anyone, you have to discriminate if you wish to preserve that identity. And who knows what you do with the second generation, who may have different interests to their parents.
Over time I came to see that approach as very problematic. It encourages too much “Jesus and” thinking when what we should be aiming for is “Jesus only” thinking. Where is the freedom in Christ?
If we were to be totally indiscriminate, churches in multicultural contexts would tend to become multicultural churches. I have come to see that the answer to discrimination against minority subcultures within mainstream churches is not reverse discrimination, it’s Jesus inspired indiscrimination.