Diversity and the Church: A Culture with No Excuse

Diversity and the Church: A Culture with No Excuse

I started listening to NPR a number of years ago because I felt a need to hear a different voice, to listen well, and to give consideration to viewpoints that I did not share. Since then, as the tone of challenging conversations around race and politics has become more shrill, and as opinions have become more ironclad, I’ve been thankful for quiet voices of reason that remind me of the holiness of diversity and the call to love.

Deep divides within the church on everything from immigration and the role of women to worship style and the definition of family challenge the body of Christ to be the force that passes through our differences all the way to grace. In the month of February, The Redbud Post is focusing on diversity as a spiritual issue with a collection of writings from Redbud members that challenge readers to practice the “love that suffers long and is kind” in living out our many roles as believers. A studied intention to live as an Ambassador of Unity invites me to trade my litmus tests for conversations with real people and to seek out opportunities within the body of Christ to remember that we are one.

I invite you to join me today over at The Redbud Post to read my essay in its entirety.   Over the past year I have intentionally read books to broaden my own narrow world, and I’ve folded two of them into the post. And while you’re there, take some time to look around and even subscribe to the post so you can receive regular infusions of goodness to your inbox each month.

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31 thoughts on “Diversity and the Church: A Culture with No Excuse”

  1. Hi there. I enjoyed reading this. I’m not someone of faith, in part because of some of the issues you alluded to hear about the shrillness and division surrounding some of the conversations involved. It’s refreshing to see a moderate voice promoting the good work that can be done rather than simply the interpretational differences that divide people. Thanks for sharing.


    1. It’s sad that we’ve become known for our divisiveness and shrill voices. When believers from all along the conservative/liberal bandwidth point to Scripture to support their personal prejudices, they’re mishandling the truth.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. To be fair it isn’t just internal to the conservative side of things. The overall vitriol surrounding any discussion of societal values at almost every level of the discussion is enough to put me off.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I believe part of the challenge is that we’re a mixed multitude (just like the Israelites when they left Egypt). We have to make it known that finding yourself in church, or being busy with church activities doesn’t make you a child of God (or part of the body of Christ). Like Jesus told Nicodemus, we have to be born again.

    Thanks for sharing this, Michele. Blessings to you.


    1. So glad you asked! Someone else asked the same question on Facebook this morning. It’s National Public Radio, which here in the states is a new outlet that also delivers great programming on culture, music, etc.


  3. Surely as Christians you have to be pro Immigration? Doesn’t that fall under helping the meek/poor, loving they neighbour and just general charity? I’m floored that this was up for debate in the church?! #GlobalBlogging


    1. Immigration is so complicated. I don’t pretend to know more than the basics, but we certainly are called to love and to protect the defenseless, whether it’s immigrants, the unborn, or those who are at the end of life.


  4. Great, thought-provoking post, Michele! Listening to different voices and opinions is so important, really listening and trying to understand even if we don’t agree. It would make such a difference if we could all do this, and learn to respect and even celebrate our differences instead of letting them divide us.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So so good! The world/the church would be a pretty boring place if we all were the same; acted the same, believed the same, etc. The beautiful unique tapestry of the church is what makes us beautiful. I will admit I am not always good at listening to the other side, but I am learning and trying. I want to do better! So much THIS friend: “Looking squarely at tragedy and acknowledging together that we live in the space between what-is and what-will-be can be the starting place for God-initiated transformation leading to oneness in heart and in mind.”


    1. Mary, sometimes comments don’t show up right away. The site administrator has to approve them, so sometimes even my responses to comments are delayed.
      Anyway, thanks for being here (and there) and for your friendship in this blogging life.


  6. We have to keep seeking answers and looking for ways to grow. This topic is so hard, but we must keep trying. I hate how divided our country is these days and how far we have gotten from God.


    1. Yes, and I’m also intimidated by the electrical charge of anger that’s running through the conversation. I don’t want to hurt someone or stir things up by saying the wrong thing. So . . . we read, listen, and pray, trusting God for sensitivity and for the right words at the right time!


  7. Race and diversity are common topics of conversation in my house. Though we speak candidly about them, we always have to be careful what we say (and how we say it) when we’re outside of our home. I’m so glad to see the topic of diversity being addressed more in the church and by Christian authors! We’re not going to make progress and have unity among Believers by ignoring racial tensions. We should be leading our society in reconciliation and unity, not straggling behind!


    1. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the culture at large looked to the church as an example of open-hearted acceptance of “the stranger among us.” That’s a huge goal and one we should be praying toward.
      Good to hear from you , Shannon!


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