Christlife Posture: Loving Like Jesus

Topic: Embracing Cultural Diversity

Suggested Approach: Choose 1 thing from each of the three boxes

OR Choose 1 from Media or Reflection + 1 from Scripture 

Media Excursions (Watch/read/listen and be ready to discuss Q's)

Paintings

  • View both of these paintings: Ethnic Jesuses (Urbana Image) and The Risen Lord (He Qi)  Do you find yourself drawn to some images but not to others? How can others of different ethnicities help you see Jesus differently or more fully?

Videos

  • This Christian Community… (Unworthy) What do you think was key in this effort to cross a religious/cultural divide?

  • Three Beautiful Human Minutes (Sharon Midget) What do you think the difference is between embracing diversity and celebrating cultural tolerance?

  • Skit: Help (One Time Blind) What misconceptions does this person have about the body of Christ? What misconceptions do you think you tend to hold to?

  • For further exploration: Best Videos and Posts on Ethnic Diversity (Adam Go) A (v) next to a title means “video”.  Look at one or more of these.  What stood out to you about diversity and faith? How did this video encourage or inspire you to value ethnic diversity in the body of Christ?

Song

Article 

  • Read both My Black Identity: a multiethnic journey (Jade Taryn Perry) and My White Identity: a multiethnic journey (Carolyn Molloy) What similar struggles did each person have? What was different about their struggles? How do these articles help you think about how to be more loving no matter what your ethnic background is?

  • A Biblical View of Diversity (Shiao Chong)  Respond to the idea of a “unity of diversity” (vs. a diversity of division). Do you agree that “Race is an artificial pseudo-scientific category” and therefore an “attitude” problem? Explain why or why not.

  • Race and Ethnicity in the Bible (E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O'Brien) Consider your answers to the two questions at the end of the article.

Online Teaching

  • Must Every Church Be Multi-Ethnic? (Panel with John Piper, Trip Lee, and Stephen Um)  Which ideas resonated with you the most? What is your answer to the question the video poses?

  • Why are there so many kinds of Christianity? (Ten Minute Bible Hour-Matt Whitman) What stands out to you in this long-range view of Christian diversity? If Christianity has a history of being diverse, what do you think hinders the church, at times, from embracing ethnic diversity? 

Reflection Options  

Journal  (Reflect on one or more of these questions)

  • Journal about your vision for unity in diversity in your church, neighborhood, community or college campus.

  • What was your best experience of a group embracing the value of diversity?  What facilitated that positive experience?  What was your attitude before and after that experience?

  • How did Jesus value or act on the value of ethnic or cultural diversity?  If you could guess, what do you think Jesus would want to say to our churches about cultural diversity?

Quote Interaction  (Agree, disagree or otherwise engage with the quote/quotes)

  • The most insidious racism is among those who don’t think they harbor any.  (Jack White)

  • The family of God is ethnically and culturally diverse. As Christians we not only permit such diversity, but we cherish it. This is because God Himself cherishes ethnic diversity. He is not color-blind; He is colorful. At His throne God welcomes worshipers “from every nation, tribe, people and language” (Rev. 7:9). His plan of redemption is for the peoples of the world in all their rich variety. (Philip Graham Ryken)

  • People who treat others as inferior are those who themselves suffer from a sense of inferiority and insecurity. Others are a threat to them because they don’t have a sense of being important to the eternal God. They don’t have the assurance that this God will look after them more than adequately. When we lose sight of our identity in Christ, lesser identifying features, like race, class, caste, and education, become significant. We try to find our identity by acting more significant than others.  (Ajith Fernando)

  • If we want the meaning and the worth and the beauty and the power of the cross of Christ to be seen and loved in our churches, and if the design of the death of His Son is not only to reconcile us to God but to reconcile alienated ethnic groups to each other in Christ, then will we not display and magnify the cross of Christ better by more and deeper and sweeter ethnic diversity and unity in our worship and life? (John Piper)

Reading and reflection on Shaping The Journey of Emerging Adults

  • Read “Is This A Universal Landscape?” (pp. 36-39) What are some factors that create diversity in the way we experience and grow in faith?  Which ones do you feel you have been more affected by?

  • Read “Friendships” (pp. 146-147).  Look at the list of American ethnic subgroup tendencies in friendships as well as gender differences.  How could the various tendencies of these groups enhance the functioning of the body of Christ if all were valued equally?

  • Read “Living in a Diverse World” (pp. 195-197). How are young adults poised to bring the church forward in valuing diversity? Look up one of the churches/ministries mentioned.  What inspires you about their approach? What might you be able to propose for your church in regard to valuing diversity?

Explore Scripture

Meditate on one or more of the following passages. Always look them up in context.  Take some time to really explore the verse in relation to this topic.  How does the bible portray the value of diversity?  Make a note of what you discover to share later.  See "Learn More About Ways to Study Scripture" below for help in getting the most out of the verse.

  • Isaiah 56:6-8

  • Matthew 1:1-17 (what diversity in cultural background can you find in Christ’s genealogy?)

  • Luke 6:35

  • John 3:16, 17

  • Acts 2:1-13

  • Romans 12:4,5

  • I Corinthians 1:10-17

  • I Corinthians 12:12-27

  • Galatians 3:26-29 & Colossians 3:11

  • Ephesians 4:1-7, 16

  • James 2:8-10

  • Revelation 7:9-10