Can Ethnicity Become a Straitjacket?

Audio Transcript

In my own personal journey, I’ve struggled to understand, “Who am I?” I thought the battle was always “Am I Asian?” or “Am I American?” or “Am I Asian-American?” It turns out the battle was actually I’m in Christ. That’s where my core identity is.

“I’m a Christian first. There’s just so much security in that.”

After being established there, then I can put on my ethnic identity. Richard Lovelace says that those who are outside of Christ flounder about and they find identity — cultural identity — and they put it on as if it were a safety jacket. But it actually becomes a straitjacket. That’s all you have.

Until you put on Christ, you cannot put on a second, earthly identity correctly. You can’t put it on right. So, wrestling between “Am I American or Asian?” — that’s futile. You are in Christ. After that, man, now I can embrace my cultural identity, right? Like Paul says, “I can be all things to all men” (see 1 Corinthians 9:22). I can be Asian, and I can be Asian to the glory of God because I’m a Christian first. There’s just so much security in that.

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