Beauty in Diversity
This past summer I did a research paper for the Hermeneutics course I was taking at Heritage Seminary. The goal of the paper was to show that I had learned concepts taught in the course on interpreting a difficult text from Scripture. One of the best things that I learned in that course and during my research paper was just how AWESOME God is!
How did a course on interpreting ancient, biblical texts and a research paper on 1 Timothy 2:12 (yes, I like stirring up hornets nests!) do that??? It was just an awesome and beautiful reminder to me on the work that God is doing all around the world through his church. And he is doing this through SO many different types of churches! I just find that there is a beauty to this diversity in the churches!
Over the past year I've had the wonderful and humbling privileged to meet so many different church and ministry leaders from so many varied backgrounds, theological viewpoints and church models! And what is SOOOO cool about all of them is the work that God is doing. God is moving in all of them! I just LOVE learning from each of them and hearing their stories about all that God is doing in their ministries.
I think that's why I so pumped about seeing different types of church models to learn how to partner with each other. The goal is not to point out who is right and who is wrong, but rather to have a hermeneutical humility (a term I learned in my course) when we deal with people that do church different then we do.
In my research paper I read a great article by Craig L. Bloomberg where he said this:
There is no legitimate place in this debate to impugn fellow evangelicals who differ from one another by using pejorative labels “liberal” or “fundamentalist,” simply because of their views on this topic. All of us who speak and write on gender roles would do well to begin and end every address with the caveats, “I could be wrong” and, “I respect the right of fellow evangelicals and evangelical churches to come to different conclusions, and I will cooperate with them rather than combat them for the larger cause of Christ and his kingdom, which so desperately needs such unity".I work real hard to keep that attitude when meeting anyone different than myself. I make myself available to cooperate with churches who come to a different conclusion then me. I think that's what unity is all about. We can disagree on how the details but be united in who we are in Christ!
Diversity in types of churches, for me, is just how God is reaching very different types of people! And that's what it should be all about.