When God set out to create the world he really showcased his love for diversity. When we look at the animal kingdom we see that he didn’t just make Bengal Tigers, he also created Tibetan Tigers, White Tigers and others. Look at the thousands of different butterfly species, all varied in color and pattern, size and shape. We can look to the seashore at the beauty and diversity of the shells littering the shore. We can look to the forest and see the diversity of the trees and plants and insects that call them home.
Whatever group God created, he created them in a spectrum of diversity. Be it animal, plant or mineral…each and every individual is unique to itself. There are no two of anything exactly alike in all the known universe. Nothing. No two blades of grass, no two grains of sand, no snowflakes, trees, sunsets or clouds. You alone testify to this with your unique fingerprints, iris’ and DNA. There are absolutely no two things on earth identically made. Things may look similar, but put under a microscope, nothing is made identical to anything else.
Our God is a God of absolute diversity. He ever amazes me. Wrap your mind around this fact, that since the very beginning of the earth as we know it, there has never been a copy produced in anything. Everything is an original. Now, that’s a masterpiece in itself. God is glory. His creation bears witness to his attributes as it says in Romans 1:20 “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”.
Looking at his creation we see that God is most definitely a God of diversity.
Lately I have been bothered in my spirit because of certain situations I have encountered within the body of believers. There tends to be a desire amongst certain groups of Christians to portray the body of Christ as one that lacks in diversity and that is unbiblical. The Bible tells us that the body of Christ is made up of many different parts each one functioning to enable the body as a whole to accomplish our task here on earth – to gather the lost to Christ and give God the glory.
Romans 12:4-5 “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”
Probably the best example of what I am saying is in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 it starts out with “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.“
Then illustrates the point beautifully with showing each individual part is important and must work with the rest of the body in unison…
“If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?”
And here is the most important part the why of this diversity – IT PLEASED GOD!
But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”
There are over 20,000 different denominations in the United States, that doesn’t bother me, because in my own body I know there are literally billions of cells working together to keep me alive and healthy, and the body of Christ is made up of individual cells as well (me and you). What does bother me is how divided many of these “parts” are from the Body of Christ in general. Maybe look at groups of cells forming organs in the body. Maybe the Baptists form the lungs, maybe the Catholics are the kidneys. Groups of like cells functioning in a particular fashion to benefit the larger body as a whole.
I like to step outside many people’s comfort zones, I keep company with Catholics, Baptists, Apostolics, Charismatics and Church of Christ members. Because according to my Bible (not your or my pastors opinions) if anyone is a born again believer and professes Jesus Christ to be the Son of God they ARE my brother or sister in Christ.
Go deeper into it and you find divisions amongst denominations about music, children’s church, Sunday worship times, Wednesday night bible studies, women wearing pants and what version of the Bible we must use. There are churches today that would expel you from the chapel for not using a King James Version of the Bible. I recently shut off a video in which the “Pastor” started screaming about how another “Pastor” was the devil for reading from the NIV and that he was teaching blasphemies. This hurts us and keeps us seperated.
In Christ we are to unify.
There is so much fighting in the Body of Christ it’s no wonder we have so many issues breaking our churches apart. In your own human body what happens when your immune system turns on itself ? You suffer and eventually die because your own body starts fighting itself thinking your own flesh and blood is its enemy. God made us to be different why do we fight so hard to force ourselves to all be the same? Is it not evident that God cherishes us in our individuality and God granted diversity?
What did Jesus teach on the matter? He taught in Mark 3:25 “And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” I believe this division is an attack from the enemy because if we are distracted by judging or criticizing our brothers and sisters in Christ, we are not focused on the work of the Lord. We are not busy doing the Lords work by tearing apart the Body of Christ – that is Satans work!
I see that happening in the church today. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to turn off a sermon I was watching online because the Pastor started to proclaim hatred towards Christian brothers and sisters. I guard my mind viciously against that, because I know God is a God of diversity. I understand that the differences in the body are by Gods Sovereign Design alone – HE WANTS US TO BE DIFFERENT & UNIQUE.
It is important to note that The Bible is not a book of diverse meanings however. I tend to agree with a Pastor I once heard say Wednesday night small groups have hurt Bible literacy because they often teach that scripture is subjective to interpretation asking questions like “Well what did you get from that Jeff?” or “What does that mean to you Anna?” The Bible was written with one truth for every scripture, it’s truth is absolute. Our job through Hermeneutics and Exegesis is to extract Gods message from that scripture not our personal interpretation. It is Gods truth we are mining for, not our perception of it.
Gods will for our diversity will never contradict or be contrary to what his word says. This is why it is so important to know what the Word of God actually says on many of the matters that we face today not only socially & politically but also in our church. There is a clear, ineffable answer, to every single problem we face on an individual or group level for every single aspect of life located inbetween the covers of The Bible. Know what the Bible says and obey it!
There are several church bodies that preach that they will be the only ones in heaven. Alas I must tell them there are no Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, or Apostolic’s in heaven, there is just a multitude of Christians. A body of believers who have been born again through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now some would argue that I am going to hell for even saying that, but my Bible tells me the following in how I should determine who is my brother or sister in Christ….and I put my entire soul on the line in saying I will believe the Word of God over the word of man on the matter.
This chapter of the Bible really lays out who our brothers and sisters are but the last two versus in particulary drive home the importance of loving our brothers and sisters in Christ. 1 John 4:20-21 “20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”
1 John 4 King James Version (KJV)
1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are
of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus
Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the
flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have
heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater
is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world
6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God
heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that
loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent
his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent
his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth
in us, and his love is perfected in us.
13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given
us of his Spirit.
14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the
Saviour of the world.
15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in
him, and he in God.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love;
and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of
judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear
hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
19 We love him, because he first loved us.
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he
that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he
hath not seen?
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.