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Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Biblical Premise for Justice and Reconciliation

Diversity in the church is scriptural. It is holy. God himself is a manifestation of three vastly different entities communing together in unity.  God has designed his people so that we need everyone in order to fully understand who He is. We know this because that is how He says heaven will be like:

Rev 7:9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nationfrom all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb!"

This is a picture of creation in all its diversity coming together to praise God. Let it be 'on earth as it is in heaven.'

But this environment doesn't just magically happenThis is not about being PC because it's popular thing to do—it's about Christ-driven redemption of a broken worldWe must identify and actively combat the injustice and disparity that underlies our modern racial divisions. True reconciliation means bearing with one another, and sacrificing of ourselves to combat injustice in the lives of others.

Examine what scripture has to say about the importance of justice (Isaiah 58) and unity (Ephesians 4:1-14). Observe how the early church dealt with unjust systemic practices (Acts 6:1-7). Notice how Jesus interacted with people from many different cultures and backgrounds, intentionally surrounding himself with people from all walks of life. He loved them, cared for them, and radically brought people together across cultural, social, economic, and religious divides (Matthew 8:5-13Mark 1:16-19Mark 7:24-30Mark 14: 3-9, Luke 14:15-24John 4:1-42, John 8:1-11John 9:9-12John 13:34). He listened to the needs of those around him, and then acted to ease those burdens. Is this model reflected and acted upon in your church?

All Eyes=Not Good
Notice that we are not supposed to be 'colorblind.' If we pretend as if 'we are all the same' then we miss the richness that God gave us. He has designed the Church to be a body that is unified, but that has unique parts that need each other—we are not all eyes or feet, remember. "For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others" (Romans 12:4-5).

The Church must step up for the sake of justice and reconciliation, demonstrating in practical ways that we care about these issues that are so deeply rooted in scripture (Philippians 2).

If you have questions, or meet with resistance, it’s okay and it’s good to wrestle with these things. For this purpose, BTSF has been brought into cyber-existence. As we build these relationships with other communities we must remember that it takes intentionality and perseverance. Sometimes it is uncomfortable but it is also rewarding. And I'm excited for our journey.

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By Their Strange Fruit by Katelin H is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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