Pursuing Perspective

I have started this blog post a million times. The subject of race is one that so many find so controversial, that I have found myself more preoccupied with whether or not I’m stepping on somebody else’s toes than if I’m declaring the truth of God. I am more concerned with God calling me a good and faithful servant at the end of this journey than if I ruffle some feathers. If you feel convicted or uncomfortable while reading this, I challenge you to take that feeling to God and wrestle with it. Walk with Him, and look at the true condition of your heart.

Many like to claim that racism no longer plagues us in this day and age. However, if this is the case why are subjects like unity and diversity so controversial in the Church. Somewhere along the way when sin entered the world, the evil that is racism entered our beloved body of Christ and divided us. It’s nothing new. The evils of racism were faced back in biblical times when the Israelites and Gentiles refused to associate with each other, back during the foundational years of our country when slavery ran rampant, and only about 58 years ago when segregation was still legal. What I have never understood is how there can be so much division when scripture continuously calls for us to be unified. God has never called us to be the same or identical, He has called us “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139) and created us in His image. Imagine your circle. Does everyone look the same as you? Do they have the same opinions and beliefs as you? Why is this the case? Why are we so much more concerned with whether or not the people we surround with are the same as us, rather than being concerned with loving all of God’s people the way he has called us to?

There is value in diversity, and in not every single person in the body of Christ being the same. 1 Corinthians 12: 12 -27 tells us:

"There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ. We were all baptized by one Holy Spirit. And so we are formed into one body. It didn’t matter whether we were Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free people. We were all given the same Spirit to drink. So the body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts.

Suppose the foot says, “I am not a hand. So I don’t belong to the body.” By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. And suppose the ear says, “I am not an eye. So I don’t belong to the body.” By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, how could it hear? If the whole body were an ear, how could it smell? God has placed each part in the body just as he wanted it to be. If all the parts were the same, how could there be a body? As it is, there are many parts. But there is only one body.

The eye can’t say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” In fact, it is just the opposite. The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are the ones we can’t do without.  The parts that we think are less important we treat with special honor. The private parts aren’t shown. But they are treated with special care.  The parts that can be shown don’t need special care. But God has put together all the parts of the body. And he has given more honor to the parts that didn’t have any.  In that way, the parts of the body will not take sides. All of them will take care of one another. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part shares in its joy.

You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it."

This passage of scripture tells us how badly we need each other. The body cannot function if we are all the same, that was never God’s intention. Why would we rather create circles and bubbles that affirm our own beliefs than challenging ourselves and live in the goodness that we can experience through the Lord’s unity? We should be embracing the different cultures of our brothers and sisters in Christ. God made those cultures as well, and without them, we are missing vital parts of what makes the body of Christ work. We all bring different attributes to the table and we each carry something unique that we can use for God’s glory, whether we be black or white or any shade in between. As you leave this space I’d like to challenge you to pray into what diversifying your own circles would look like. Wrestle with the prejudices and the fears in your own heart, and surrender them to God. Heaven is full of every “nation, tribe, and people” worshipping the Lord. Let’s make Earth look more like the Kingdom of Heaven and embrace our brothers and sisters of every color and pursue God as one.

Author | Cam Pace
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