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Richard Twiss: One Church Many Tribes


Let me illustrate. My immediate family includes African Americans, Chinese, Puerto Ricans, Japanese, Hawaiian, Filipinos and Haoles (me). A number of us go to the largest church on this island. Our pastor is Japanese/Portuguese. His white mainland wife was saved under the ministry of Chief Thum, an Assemblies of God evangelist who preached the Gospel wearing a full Indian headdress and waving a tomahawk. When you see us living and ministering together as family, lovingly accepting our differences and cultural traditions, how could you not want to be a part of that? Our differences beautifully complement each other in the oneness we have in Jesus.

There really is no doubt that those who make up the church have done hurtful and foolish things. There certainly were many mistakes made when Europeans attempted to colonize and evangelize the first people to live in North America. Our Bible says that Jesus came to break down every wall, to make us one people, and that it is good for brothers to dwell in unity.

We all live and learn. We need to learn from our past mistakes and yield to the Spirit’s work in our midst to make us one. After all, a little war paint, some well played drums and great smoke signals are surely more fun than some of the “worship” I have had to endure in the last 40 years. Twiss is on point on the best way to bring the Gospel to another culture.

Reviewed by H. Murray Hohns

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Category: Living the Faith, Spring 2001

About the Author: H. Murray Hohns went home to be with Jesus on November 28, 2012. He was on staff at the largest church in Hawaii and served on his denomination's investment committee from 1999 until his death. Hohns held two degrees in Civil Engineering, an MA in Theology from Fuller Seminary, and served as an instructor at Foursquare's New Hope Christian College (formerly Pacific Rim Christian College) in Honolulu. He wrote six engineering books and hundreds of articles in every type of newspaper, magazine and journal.

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