There is a powerful testimony about God in society and the church when diversity is modeled among His people. There is a profound distortion of the character of God when His people act as if diversity is optional.
The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. I Cor 12:12-14
Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 1 Corinthians 12:14
1. Passive withdrawal 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 1 Corinthians 12:15-16
People withdraw when they feel they are never really allowed to be fully contributing members of the team or family. Ignored/ marginalized Denial of one’s experiences
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 1 Corinthians 12:21 2. Active exclusion
Reflected in attitudes that communicate: 1. …diversity is optional. 2. “…what they bring to the table… we don’t need”. 3. “…their presence would detract from the good thing we have going on here.” 4. “…their presence would be a liability to us.”
Reflected in actions: Personnel Student recruitment Faculty/staff recruitment Community Culture What’s affirmed/valued… vs What’s minimized, ignored…
The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part… If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into exuberance. (1 Cor 12:25-26.)
1. Pursue: We choose to be a community that continuously and proactively pursues biblical diversity as a present reflection of kingdom values. 2. Affirm: We will respect each other’s experiences and perspectives, and affirm the value they add both to this community and to our understanding of the kingdom. 3. Commit: We commit ourselves as a community to celebrate diversity as a good gift from God’s hand.