Diversity, multiculturalism, racism, sexism, white privilege, black power, Islamophobia
What comes to mind, what feelings are aroused, when reading those words?
In light of the current prominence of these concepts in our society, many of our Christian ministries are making an effort to become more sensitive to minority cultures and viewpoints. Unfortunately, in the process, many minority members within our ministries are becoming hyper-sensitive to perceived slights. This well-intentioned consciousness-raising is resulting in a deepening of feelings of separation within many ministries.
Now, consider these words from Galatians 3:28:
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
How, then, are we to consider one another within the Body of Christ? If we truly believe we have been made new and we are One in Christ, then we must give up our preconceptions about those with different heritage and background and see them only as brothers and sisters in Christ. This applies to majorities and minorities equally. It means we gladly set aside what we feel is our right to take offense for unintentional slights from our Christian brothers or sisters, not only on matters of race and culture, but on the day-to-day life of the church.
No one grows up without absorbing some bias, prejudice, or stereotypes. No matter how divisive these differences in outlook become in the world, they must melt away within the Body of Christ; they have no place within the Christian Church.