Psalm 96:3-4 NIV Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. (Emphasis mine)
The beauty and power of praise that will come to the Lord from the diversity of the nations are greater than the beauty and power that would come to him if the chorus of the redeemed were culturally uniform.
Why Is Diversity Important In The Church?
Cultural diversity is important because our country, workplaces, and schools increasingly consist of various cultural, racial, and ethnic groups. We can learn from one another, but first we must have a level of understanding about each other in order to facilitate collaboration and cooperation. Learning about other cultures helps us understand different perspectives within the world in which we live, and helps dispel negative stereotypes and personal biases about different groups.
In addition, cultural diversity helps us recognize and respect “ways of being” that are not necessarily our own, so that as we interact with others we can build bridges to trust, respect, and understanding across cultures. Furthermore, this diversity makes our country a more interesting place to live, as people from diverse cultures contribute language skills, new ways of thinking, new knowledge, and different experiences.
Cultural diversity supports the idea that every person can make a unique and positive contribution to the larger society because of, rather than in spite of, their differences. Imagine a place where diversity is recognized and respected; various cultural ideas are acknowledged and valued; contributions from all groups are encouraged; people are empowered to achieve their full potential; and differences are celebrated.
Fight, Surrender, or Invest
I John 4:18 NKJV There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
Even though the concerns in our society may not be as new or extreme as we have assumed, they are present. So, how should we approach a broken society?
One option would be to fight back. The Bible is filled with examples of God sending His people to not only speak firmly but also stand in opposition to the injustice in the world. Yet while many Christians have taken brave stands against the marginalization of people, there are also examples of Christians who, in their efforts to stand up for truth, have actually hurt society.
Anytime we find ourselves putting down a community, or group for any reason, means that we have a problem with people, Any hateful feelings you may have toward these people are opposite of the feelings God has for them. Combativeness without compassion is always going to be counterproductive.
Another response would be to surrender to society. But because society is always in flux, it’s impossible to have a consistent worldview when we’re eager to go along with society. We should never change our orthodox beliefs to line up with a culture that is constantly changing.
A third option is to invest in society with empathy and conviction. As opposed to words such as fight and surrender, the word invest paints a picture of people giving of themselves to improve the world around them. It means that you and I don’t just write blogs or talk boldly about cultural problems; we sacrifice and invest in the lives of others in society.
Invest is another way of saying the word engage. Engagement encompasses learning about a certain context or group of people to better understand them. Developing relationships with people not like us or people who might intimidate us is so necessary. Our differences with people should drive us to them, not from them.
This third option makes the most sense. When we’re afraid of what tomorrow holds for society and respond by fighting against people, surrendering to misguided ideas, or simply showing indifference to growing causes around the world, we’re choosing to mistreat and devalue others. Not only is dismissing people never a valid option, but it isn’t pleasing to God. - From God Of Tomorrow 5 Day Reading Plan by Caleb Kaltenbach
Unity in diversity is more beautiful and more powerful than the unity of uniformity. When their diversity unites in worship to God, the beauty of their praise will echo the depth and greatness of God’s beauty far more than if the redeemed were from only a few different people groups.
“Diversity is the one true thing we have in common. Celebrate it every day.”
This blog is for you! If you have any questions or topics you would like me to address please use the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.