Thursday, September 21, 2017

Complexity part 4: Diversity

The word diversity has become a rather common buzz word in the world. So much so that church people have become rather suspicious of it, even with the parts we have no moral problem with. Despite that it plays a vital part in Christian theology. (1st Corinthians 12) A complex part that the church has failed miserably at I dare say. Allowing the world to uplift their redefined concept in a seemingly positive way, and attaching it to themselves as a badge of honor. As well as give them a reason to accuse the church. Which has only caused the church to neglect true Christian diversity even more, only to embrace the misguided notion of normal that we talked about last time. This has been detrimental to the church universal.

When faced with the word diversity, we need to remind ourselves that worldly diversity and Christian diversity are completely different concepts altogether. Worldly diversity is about race, culture, and sexuality. Where Christian diversity applies to, talent, skill, and ability. Worldly diversity is supposed to be about equality, but in practice is only applied to those who think, feel, and believe a certain way. Where Christian diversity is meant to be about the common good, helping one another, and establishing your unique place within the community of church. Allowing all our best qualities to work together, so we as a group can be truly Christ like in a way that we can't as an individual. Yet, in practice the church doesn't do any better than the world does in living up to their definition.

True church diversity cannot happen if we as individuals have no sense of whom God made us to be. We will never discover that if we are following a one size fits all legalistic theology, or if we choose to be content with a simple whitewashed faith, instead of deal with the complexities of the brokenness in our heart. See my post titled talentless for more on this.

With all that being said, let me remind you of a very vital truth about diversity. Humanity does not naturally gravitate to it. Most people prefer the more comfortable but inefficient uniformity. Mainly because many of us feel threatened by people who think, feel, and do things differently than we do. Even down to innocuous subjects, and trivial details. I've seen people lecture others on how to eat an ice cream cone. I’ve seen people debate which ingredient should go first when making a root beer float. I've seen people fight over the proper way to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as if their happiness depended on winning that argument. So it is no wonder that humanity is so terribly divided on important issues. Such attitudes reveal the core of whom we are as humans. A core that we should seek to overcome, but do we want to? Even those who uplift diversity as a virtue will become rather hostile towards those who define and apply it differently than they do, since nobody is applying diversity and equality to schools of thought.

Even beyond issues of mere preference, the church is making a big push on evangelism out of necessity right now. So much so that if that is not where your gifting lies, you are made to feel guilty for it. That necessity doesn't stem from just a lack of outreach in years past, but because of the many parts of the body that we have neglected, alienating a large group of people who have those gifts. The more the church fails at unity in diversity; the more desirable worldly diversity appears. We as a church should not be letting this happen, but clearly we are. The question is, what are we going to do about it?

The Visual PARABLEist

Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. -1 Corinthians 12:13 nlt

many bodies becoming one
click to enlarge

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