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Not long ago, the wedding plans of an African American couple were dashed when a Mississippi congregation refused to let them have their wedding in the church. Even though the couple attended the church, when some members objected, the pastor felt he had to comply with his members to keep peace. The Bible teaches that we should accept people from all cultures and ethnic groups. Not only did Jesus break down social and ethnic barriers while He was here, His followers did so too. We read in Acts 11 that when some Jewish Christians were reluctant to embrace Gentiles, others obeyed what Jesus taught and ignored racial and cultural barriers. We read that the believers who had been scattered during the persecution after Stephen’s death traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch of Syria. They preached the word of God, but only to Jews; but some began preaching to the Gentiles about the Lord Jesus and a large number of Gentiles believed and turned to the Lord. The church at Jerusalem heard what happened and sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw this evidence of God’s blessing, he was filled with joy, and encouraged the believers to stay true to the Lord. True followers of Christ know that the church is not a social club. It is the Body of Christ. So they welcome all people who profess faith in our Lord Jesus.

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