Has multiculturalism had any influence on the way you view God’s Church?
When the term started to be used more widely some years ago, some in the Church saw it as a positive thing. If the study of history and the experiences of other cultures had been applied in the spirit of loving your neighbor as yourself, it could have been a good thing. God created the races and each has fascinating diversities that we should appreciate.
But by now, we must all realize that multiculturalism did not go in this direction. Whether the ideas were hijacked or if this was the purposeful development of academic radicals is now a moot point. It has become an attack on the moral foundations of the Western world.
Multiculturalism is not about fostering a deeper understanding of each other, nor does it simply regard all cultures as equal. What it does do is promote non-Western cultures as superior and therefore in opposition to Western culture.
This is in part why we should have a strong knowledge of the role that God intended the nation of Israel to play. In choosing a people through Abraham, God set in place a working model of living according to His law. His covenant was based on His law. Although Israel completely failed in their part of the covenant and as a result went into captivity, ultimately being dispersed through the nations, aspects of God’s law stayed with them. They certainly lost the identifying sign of the Sabbath, but Western civilization has continued to evidence a strong Israelitish influence. This is reflected in the rule of law – and the law of God played a part in its development. It is important to keep in mind that it is the law that is superior, not the people!
Back in 1996 Robert Bork warned of where multiculturalism was taking European-American culture. It would go far beyond a simple recognition of other cultures into the area of acceptance of diversity within our own culture. Multiculturalism has led us to where we are today – accepting of every divergent lifestyle and the rejection of any biblically based morality.
As Marshall Stiver noted in a recent weekly Perspective, the majority of evangelicals in America now believe that God accepts the worship of all religions. We really need to think about that trend. Someone recently suggested that there are somewhere around 600 offshoots from the Worldwide Church of God. (I have no idea how that figure is derived but we all know there are very many). Logically each member of all these offshoots must believe that their choice of position or organization is acceptable to God. The multicultural influence is that all religions are equal. Has that become the mantra of the greater churches of God? Are all 600 splinter divisions of God’s Church acceptable to God?
Our challenge is to express godly love toward people in other groups while not accepting that all groups are equal in their systems of belief. We need to be looking through eyes that have been focused by scripture and not by prevailing trends in society.
As the New Testament scriptures affirm, the Church has always had to deal with disputes and issues over members dabbling in “doubtful things.” Follow Paul’s line of reasoning in Romans chapter 14. “Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things … Let each be fully convinced in his own mind … For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14:1-8).
We are the Lord’s and as God is one so should the body of Christ be one.