The highlight of the article is from Mark Driscoll - pastor of Mars Hill Church.
Driscoll contrasts a church of Babel - the first human attempt at cultural uniformity - characterised by the concept of 'hanging out with people like me because I find myself so wonderful' - and a church of Pentecost - God's attempt at kingdom unity through diversity - characterised by the concept of 'hanging out with people unlike me because God has been gracious to us all.' (Driscoll)
The Babel church Driscoll suggests asks:-
"How can we glorify ourselves by growing our ministry?" This desire leads to a false gospel that does not call me to love my neighbor and show hospitality toward those who are different from me. This gospel expects that I love only those who are like me and who share my same values and interests"In contrast the Pentecost church asks:-
"How can we glorify Jesus by expanding his kingdom?" This desire leads to the true gospel that calls me to love my neighbors who are unlike me, and welcome them into Christ's church."Here's the ouch quote...
"Therefore, the real issue is not will we pursue diversity, but will we follow the gospel of Jesus Christ? If we are following the gospel, diversity will occur as a result of the reconciliation accomplished in Jesus Christ. If we are not experiencing diversity, this may indicate we are lost in the woods following the directions of a false gospel of convenience and self-promotion". (Mark Driscoll 2005)My thouhts are - how this embrace of diversity is handled obviously is dependent on where you live, being in the second most ethnically diverse borough in London (!!) obviously will look different to the Cambridgeshire Fens. But even there difference is there to be sought out and embraced. I think there is a case for homogeneity being the first step to diversity - ie distinct groups for distinct people but only as being part of something bigger and diverse. However I still worry about 'specific church' for 'specific people' - it seems all too consumer for me.
That said I think I about to start a ministry at our church for "tall football loving men who are most definately balding" anyone up for it?