Strength in Diversity

I’ve talked about the voices in tension coexisting alongside each other within Scripture. What about the voices in tension permeating the Church today, as evidenced by the thousands of different denominations, theologies and practices that exist all over the world? Is this the way it was meant to be? Didn’t Jesus pray for the unity of the Church?

A student in theology preached a sermon in our church not too long ago about unity in the body of Christ. He was quick to point out that unity does not equal uniformity. Unity can be found in diversity as well. I agree with him wholeheartedly.

What if the Christian faith is supposed to exist in a variety of forms rather than just one imperial one? What if it is more stable, more agile, and more responsive to the Holy Spirit when it exists in these many forms? And what if, instead of arguing about which form is correct and legitimate, we were to honour, appreciate, and validate one another, and see ourselves as servants of one grander mission, apostles of one greater message, seekers on one ultimate quest? ~ Brian McLaren, A New Kind of Christianity

Natural selection theory teaches us that populations with a larger gene pool, being more adaptable, have a higher chance of survival in the face of a changing environment. What if having diverse forms of Christianity helped the faith survive through the centuries of human history with its tumultuous philosophical paradigm shifts, cultural revolutions and social upheavals, and continues to do so?


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