Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Define Diversity

Starting another semester lends to blog-writing-apathy. But with Adam's blistering pace I'm going to grind out this post in a couple of quick minutes (even though it is a little undeveloped!).

I give props where props are due. So props to my Mom! In the course of conversation this weekend we discussed diversity within the church. She made the important point of diversity within context. A major mandate of the church is to be contextual sensitive in respect to it's location, people, needs, etc. So diversity shouldn't be any other way!

This requires an expanded definition and appropriation of what constitutes diversity. So I'm looking to the Bible for an accurate view of diveristy. This is a limited survey and predominately based from the New Testament. Also the list is defnitely not exhuastive.

Imagine what this would look like in your church.

Spiritual Gifts- 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. One spirit but multiplicity of gifts

Age- I Peter 5- young men and elders. 1 Timothy 5:2- young and older women. All ages are included in answering the call of Christian living.

Gender-Acts 8:12, Romans 16- male and female. Men and women both play a prominent role in the body of Christ. Paul, James, Gideon, Miriam, Mary, and Phoebe all were ministers of God's covenant.

Family- Colossians 3-All memebers of the family have roles in their own nuclear clan and the family of God.

Socio-economic class-Luke 14:13, 1 Corinthians 11 (Paul's instruction abou the Lord's supper is all about rich and poor not eating together). What would it look like to have a church full of people from different social classes. I'm becoming convinced that classism is becoming the new racism.

What if our context doesn't afford an opportunity for diversity in the above areas? For instance, several communities are predominately white, black, rich, or poor. Some churches constitute a bunch of senior citizens or young people.

I believe when our context becomes increasingly homogenized we need to be prophetic and question what that is. Why is it that our context (city, neighborhood, etc) only has white people, only has rich people, only has men, only has blacks...? We must be critical in examining the powers that underlie the potential for diversity. If we lack the possibility of diversity than we might find that we are already segregated based on an underlying affinity.

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