If we really believe that every tribe, nation, and tongue is eventually going to be singing the praises of Jesus as one unified body, then despising your own cultural background is next to useless. I know a lot of people who were raised in a various churches: from Chinese Southern Baptist churches to Unitarian gatherings to African American Methodist church homes, as well as some Catholics mixed in, and you want to know what? Church wounds come from churches of all kinds. Being a member of the church you attend or have to hole up in for a while until you actually embrace what it means to be in Christ can sometimes suck. People are broken. Church people hurt people, and honestly? We all kind of suck.
But I don’t think we suck any more than the people on the outside. And God makes us all exactly who he wants us to be, giving us the gifts he wants us to have, the ways of being we are all designed with by nature, and a specific assortment of crap that gets under our skin. I get pissed with some people that are my brothers and sisters in Christ, and the only way to look past that and be friends with other people is recognize that it’s not about your earthly drama, but about Jesus. He draws all people to himself. He wants to know and be known by everybody. Not everyone will be saved, but people of all sorts will get and accept the invitation. Even if some of those people piss me off (and vice versa, I’m sure).
I’ve spent a lot of time and blank pages cranking and moaning about how the white church people I was at one point stuck with. For a while, it was useful for me to compare and contrast (through whining, which is the bad part) what I appreciated about them and the things they did that I did not want to become part of my identity. I’ve spent many years trying to understand who I am, what I’m here for, who is God, and a bunch more crap as I continued growing. At this point in my life, it’s pretty much whatever.
I know that God made me the way I am for a reason. I know that he put me in the family, country, situation, and giftings he has given me for a reason. Sometimes the people in my social groups bother me, but the diversity in the body of Christ lets me rest. No group of people is fully complete without the rest of God’s people. The failings of one group can be supplemented by another.
Ultimately, all worship unto Christ is legitimate worship. It’s not about how you worship, but who you worship. The body of Christ isn’t about who does it best, and frankly, nobody cares. Complaining about the frivolous details of musical preference or church composition makes you seem like a fool because you care more about being right than you do worshiping Jesus. He’s not asking for our perfection (nonexistent), but that we worship with willing hearts, ready to accept what he has for us.
Like a broken marriage, the church is without unity. It’s easier to give all that we have to God if we can be humble enough to just worship the same Jesus.