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Clique-ing on all cylinders

Obviously, the term "Asian" is overly general. Underneath that umbrella are Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Hmong, Filipino, Japanese, Taiwanese, etc. etc.

So should we be surprised that we don't mix well under the term Asian yet? Should we be disappointed that Koreans tend to create their little shopping centers and Indians gravitate towards other Indians, and there's Chinatown and Little Tokyo? Why would things be different in this generation?

The notion of an Asian church is daunting especially under the auspices of economic opportunity.

African-Americans gained a sense of solidarity because of a common oppression. What would rally Asian Americans together in that same sense — Opportunity? Academic and material success?

It has made us more individualistic, nationalistic and cliqueish than ever. Our wealth has only reinforced the walls of culture and some sort of subconscious notion that the prosperity found on this American soil somehow is evidence that my Korean, Chinese, Japanese, (whatever) mindset just needed the opportunity, but what made me rich was me! What made me great was my tradition and my Confucian ideals! I poo-poo on lazy, obese Americans and shake my head with disgust at their obsession with sex and body piercings. Such a young country, so little history and culture, they're barely civilized, we think. We scoff at other minorities trying to make it here in this country: they're dirty, those people are money-grubbers, they're so cheap, never trust them.

Can you imagine trying to church these people? And we wonder why we can't gain any traction…

No culture is free from this type of pride but I guarantee you that God is not mocked by it. We will never have a church that we are capable of until we repent and humble ourselves and tear down these cultural towers of Babel that we have built up. Where will our solidarity come from in this generation? If not from God, then the only force that binds us is the slow erosion of the rough edges of our culture to time and inevitability of mainstream America. And quite frankly, if God doesn't make enough sense to give us unity, and break through our cliques, then either our God is impotent, or we are more lost than found.


About David Park

Christian 2nd-generation Korean American; Atlanta Georgia; more details to come.

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