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Unity & Equality

October 13, 2014

“Jesus breaks down divisions between Jew and Gentile, slave and free, and male and female. He brings unity and equality among us all”[1]

During this time away from blogging one of the things I have really been examining were roles in the church. What balance or imbalance in authority, rights, and power exist in different churches or denominations? I entered this examination fully aware and understanding I would not reach a definite conclusion at the end of it. Here are some of my shorter thoughts that over time I intend to expound on.

Jew and Gentile. When I spent time looking at this I focused more on how can we reduce cultural divisions in the church. Why do we have all white or all black churches in this day and age? Is there a way to blend these churches? When I read the New Testament I see the authors very intentionally dealing with the cultural differences with the goal of unity. Do we really try to establish unity or use our cultural differences as barriers to keep others out?

Slave and Free. When I look at “slave and free” I include “poor and rich.” There is much work being done in the church to bring attention to the modern day slave trade and human trafficking. But where is the same level of support for issues such as minimum wage increase and truly affordable health care? Do our churches encourage the rich in our churches to care for the poor?

Male and Female. This seems to be one were I spent the most time. But I did a great deal of searching about women and leadership in the church. Why not have women in leadership in the church? How do our church teachings about men and women and their roles influence domestic violence? Why are we so afraid to openly talk about these issues and examine them in our churches?

But Love’s last statement, “He brings unity and equality among us all”[2] should be our driving motive as we work in these areas. It should haunt us if we are shortchanging the work of Jesus in these areas. So, over the next several weeks I will be addressing some of the issues I have explored.

[1] Rick Love. Peace Catalysts: Resolving Conflict in Our Families, Organizations and Communities. (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2014). 34

[2] Love, 34

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