7 Reasons an Ethnocentric Gospel Can Be Downright Demonic

by | Aug 28, 2017 | Church & Ministry

To start this article, I will say up front that God is not colorblind, and neither should we be.

God created humankind as a beautiful mosaic of colors, personalities and various cultures (replete with divergent modes of dress, food, currency, ways of living and perceptual values).

However, not everything in every culture is healthy, godly or compatible with Christian values.

(For example: The tradition in some parts of India of burning a wife alive when her husband dies, polygamy in some African tribes, some unhealthy food traditions that cause premature death, cannibalism among some in Papua New Guinea, tribal warfare and any ethnic view of race supremacy to name a few.) However, since Christ broke down the wall of hostilities that divide humanity—the gospel focuses on the miracle of the “one new man” the church becomes in Christ (see Eph. 2:13-16). In spite of this, much of the church mimics the world and is often as divided as secular society when it comes to ethnic divisions and posturing (I don’t use the word “race,” since there is only one human race, according to Scripture in Acts 17:26).

Not only that, many Christian leaders have couched the gospel into an ethnocentric faith that caters to those who fit their cultural criteria instead of preaching a universal gospel that appeals to people from all backgrounds. (One time a prominent Christian leader in New York City actually told me that ethnic groups should not mingle in events. Of course, I pushed back respectfully against this statement.) Now, in the context of this article, by “ethnocentric,” I am not referring to preaching the gospel in a certain language or with a particular cultural nuance in order to reach a particular community. After all, we have to contextualize the gospel to connect to all different people groups as Paul did (see 1 Cor. 9:19-23). What I am referring to is when the gospel is distorted to reflect the political, material, social and ideological desires of an ethnic group above the fundamental principles of Scripture (even if a policy advocated is good, it should never transcend the essence and primary purpose of the cross of Christ and His kingdom).

I have seen some Christian movements and associations garner churches and crowds around a policy issue (that may be good) but supplants the gospel of Christ—causing an “us against them” mentality that polarizes, rather than reconciles ethnic people groups. We see this from both the radical right and progressive left; for example, in the past several years some fringe Black Lives Matter marchers shouted “death to the cops,” and most recently we witnessed neo-Nazi white supremacist groups coming out of the woodwork to protest the removal of Confederate monuments. (I’m sure there were those in both movements who identified themselves as Christians. Also, I doubt most Black Lives Matter protesters agreed with those few rallies that shouted such vitriol, and I guess there can be some foolish white Christians advocating the preservation of their Southern history regarding the monuments who found themselves marching with neo-Nazis. How they can be so ignorant and/or foolish is something I cannot explain.”

Also, to further complicate the problem, there are some policy issues that are so central to the Christian faith we can sometimes seamlessly integrate them with the gospel for cultural application without compromising the whole counsel of God and His kingdom. (Policy issues like fighting racism, slavery, unfair immigration, abortion, sanctity of life, traditional marriage, sex trafficking and empowering the poor.) However, we can also become unbalanced and unwise when we solely focus on one important policy issue in our church if it ever marginalizes the redemptive message of the cross. Although, not every person espousing an unbiblical view is personally “demonized”—ideologies and/or teachings that divide the body of Christ usually emanate from the evil one (believers are called to tear down these ideological strongholds by thinking and preaching biblically, according to 2 Cor. 10:3-5).

The following are seven reasons I believe an ethnocentric gospel is demonic:

1. It is man-centered, not Christ-centered.

When a church focuses merely on and or for its own primary ethnic group when they have the capacity to reach other ethnics in their community—then they limit the reach of the cross of Christ.

2. It majors on skin color, not blood.

Scientifically, I can get a blood transfusion from any human irrespective of their ethnicity. The reason for this is because God made humankind from one set of parents and one blood (Acts 17:26). When we major on skin color in our preaching, we abrogate the scientific and biblical facts of our ancestry.

3. It majors on what divides us.

The power of the cross is to unite us in spite of our natural distinctive/ the goal of the evil one is to separate us because of our differences. God has given the church the ministry of reconciliation not division (2 Cor. 5:17-20).

4. It falls into the hands of identity politics.

Political parties and leaders from both the left and right often promote ethnic divisions so they can cater to their base and garner more votes. By putting one group against another, they maintain more control over their so-called base. This is called “identity politics” (something mainstream media utilizes to its economic advantage all the time). Christians are always called to promote biblical values above loyalty to a particular political party. Christians are also called to have discernment so they do not succumb to the groupthink perpetuated by mainstream media.

5. It lifts up one ethnic group above others.

Since all people are descendants of Adam and Eve, we are all brothers and sisters irrespective of skin color and culture. When we lift up one ethnic group above another we fall into the ideological lie of Charles Darwin, who denied the biblical narrative of creation and taught that some races were more evolved then others through natural selection (Darwinism was the ideological foundation of white supremacists like Margaret Sanger and Adolf Hitler).

6. It does not reflect our heavenly family.

The biblical book of Revelation 7 shows that God’s family is comprised of every nation, tribe, language, kindred and tongue who worship before His throne. Jesus taught us to pray for His kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven (Luke 11:2-4); hence, the church should seek ethnic reconciliation, not ethnic division. Furthermore, Jesus prayed for His church to be one so that the world would believe He was sent from the Father (see John 17:20-23). Ethnic supremacy denies this great desire and plan of God in Christ and is thus demonic.

7. It caters merely to fleshly ambition and desire

When a church focuses on issues that are only skin-deep—to the exclusion of the full gospel—it puts the desires of the flesh above the things of God. It also caters to the hopelessness of those without a transcendent sense of purpose as a child of God, thus they have nothing else to cling to for their identity other than their ethnicity. This can cause great polarity in society because it has the potential to lift one’s ethnicity above all others because ethnic centrality gives them a greater sense of value, meaning and belonging.

In closing, my prayer is that the body of Christ will shine as the heavenly city on a hill as a model of reconciliation for all ethnic peoples, cultures and nations.


Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


COGIC Bishop Derrick Hutchins Sr. Dies at 65

COGIC Bishop Derrick Hutchins Sr. Dies at 65

Read Time: 1 Minute 59 Seconds Bishop J. Drew Sheard and the General Board of the Eastern Florida Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ announced Tuesday the death of one of its most beloved leaders, Bishop Derrick Hutchins Sr. Hutchins was 65....

Don’t Criticize Charismatics

Don’t Criticize Charismatics

They are saying the charismatic movement is divisive. Whenever people get involved in the "new emphasis," there are disruptions in the status quo. Red flags go up. Lines are drawn. I would ask: What else could be expected? Any force as great as this is bound to make...

Jonathan Cahn Reveals the Mystery of the Molten Beast

Jonathan Cahn Reveals the Mystery of the Molten Beast

Read Time: 6 Minutes, 42 Seconds Is it possible that ancient entities known as "the gods" have returned to our world? Could these gods actually be the unseen movers and catalysts of what's happening in America and the world today? Could they lie behind the current...

Shining the Light of Jesus in Hollywood’s Darkness

Shining the Light of Jesus in Hollywood’s Darkness

Read Time: 3 Minutes 37 Seconds Most made-for-TV Christmas movies are like eggnog and sugar cookies—way too sweet, yet extremely addictive for a lot of viewers. But these Hallmark-style movies—the ones with predictable love stories that always end with jingling bells...

Prophecy: Goodness Is Following You, Turn and See

Prophecy: Goodness Is Following You, Turn and See

Read Time: 1 Minute 51 Seconds At a recent gathering where a member was struggling, I heard and declared by the Spirit of the Lord, “Goodness is following you, TURN and see; embrace His goodness in this moment and watch the shift!” There was an immediate shift and...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: You Came From God

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: You Came From God

Read Time: 2 Minutes 25 Seconds If you search the phrase, “where does life come from?” the first explanation reads: “The origin of life is a result of a supernatural event—and readily arises from nonliving matter in short periods of time, today as in the past.” The...


Raise Your Praise!

These are the days that may leave you feeling defeated. You may be wondering when these present trials will end or how can you strengthen your faith for the battle as you wrestle against powers and...
7 Elements Needed for Revival That Will Usher in Reformation

7 Elements Needed for Revival That Will Usher in Reformation

Read Time: 1 Minute 9 Seconds What will turn the nations around? What will restore the world to sanity? There have been revivals from Old Testament times up through the year 2000. Today we need both a revival and a reformation. Here are 7 elements needed to usher in...

Mario Murillo: An Era of Mass Soul Winning Has Begun

Mario Murillo: An Era of Mass Soul Winning Has Begun

Read Time: 4 Minutes, 27 Seconds From the very first tent stake we drove into California soil, until now, there has only been one dream. And, after two years, that dream came true in Roseville. Roseville is the victory we have yearned for. It confirms that an era of...

How You Can Flow in the River of Living Water

How You Can Flow in the River of Living Water

Read Time: 5 Minutes, 2 Seconds A river is a source of life. As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. Jesus told His disciples that if we believe in Him, "rivers of living water" will flow out from within us, from our hearts. "Anyone who believes in me may...

Pin It on Pinterest