God Loves Diversity

ALIVE Magazine
There’s an old Peanuts comic strip where Snoopy is sitting on top of his kennel typing a manuscript. Walking by, Charlie Brown asks, “What are you doing Snoopy?”
“Writing a book about theology.”
“Good grief,” Charlie says, “What’s its title?”
Thoughtfully Snoopy responds, “Have You Ever Considered You Might Be Wrong?”
No matter how much we have read, thought, discussed or reflected upon theology, God’s truth is always greater. Sadly, history shows it is easy first for his people to forget this and then to believe they have a monopoly on truth. But such attitudes, in the end, bring division and discord.
What we need to realise is that God loves diversity. Call to mind the many different varieties of plants and animals and you will appreciate what I mean.
Looking at the church, I see God’s fondness for diversity still at work. It reminds me that Jesus prayed for unity, not unanimity. What brings this unity is not the way we worship or serve God, nor the ‘purity’ of our doctrine, but our common commitment to Jesus as Lord, children of the same Father and united by the same Spirit.
Yet the church is as complex as it is diverse. This complexity can be a source of great discomfort to many, causing them to huddle in like-minded groups for security and support. While there is nothing wrong in such groupings, they are harmful when they develop an ‘us and them’ mentality where “we are right” and “they are wrong”!
In this issue of ALIVE Magazine, we look at Bishop Spong, that self-proclaimed man of controversy whose ideas have made many uncomfortable. Has he sold out to secular pressures, or is the evangelical church in danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater by rejecting his theology outright?
Along with our regular columns, this issue also features stories on Eva Burrows and Bill Campbell, who both have invested their lives in those less fortunate. And we ask, “Are Christians, like the rest of the world, expecting prescription drugs to be a panacea, rescuing our bodies from a lack of basic healthy living?”
I pray something of the diversity of God’s people will show through this issue, helping us all to appreciate the breadth of God’s truth and stimulating each of us to consider if and where we might be wrong.
Stephen Baxter
Managing Editor
ALIVE Magazine, Oct 2001

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