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Last month we looked at the last stage of diversity development, Transformation. The church is the imago deo. It is by looking at us that the world can see what God looks like. Creating a multi-ethnic body that is conformed to Christ’s image and lives out the culture of the Kingdom in its community is part of how we represent God in the world. Yet, this is not enough. We must also take this ethic into the marketplace and the world. Yes, by living out the ethic of the Kingdom feeding the poor, caring for the orphan, loving the rejected, and bringing freedom to the oppressed. How we do this will differ depending on the societal power we possess. Let us take the bold step of sharing God’s perspective on justice issues.
One great example from Purdue Chi Alpha (PXA) is an event called “Indiscriminate Love: Race Matters.”
Shalyse Iseminger, a graduate student and one of the driving force behind the event explains, “We wanted to convey the message that God’s love doesn’t discriminate and as the Church, neither should ours, but also that race is an issue in our society that should be acknowledged as we celebrate the diversity God has created. On the first evening, there was a sermon preached called ‘Blacks in the Bible.’ The next morning, groups of PXA students performed skits and presented TED talks about different issues including implicit bias, Black Lives Matter, and Affirmative Action. This workshop provided a safe space for students to be educated and ask questions about controversial issues concerning race.
“Indiscriminate Love was widely advertised, so there were some students and ministers from other Christian groups present. This resulted in some of our students being invited to present to the University Religious Leaders Organization on our campus. Now, we are working with some other Christian groups on campus who have recognized the importance of racial reconciliation within the body of Christ, to plan another Indiscriminate Love event this year. The Dean of Students office also heard about the event and we have been in conversation with them to see how we can work with them, and they with us in spreading the message of reconciliation. As we seek to value diversity in the way God values diversity, we are seeing the transformational power of the gospel not only in our own XA group, but also across our campus!”