Diversity has come to mean many things in modern society, but at its core, diversity acknowledges that there are differences among people. A few weeks ago, I interviewed Dr. Hunter Baker on this website, and as I was reading his book, The End of Secularism, this quote jumped out at me as particularly relevant.
“If we are equal, it is almost surely in the sense of being equal before God, because we are in fact equal in virtually no other way” (177).
I wrote on Monday about how Christianity provides the basis for valuing all human life, but Christianity is unique in that it acknowledges differences as well. For instance, we read about what Paul had taught to the church in Rome.
“Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith” (Romans 3:29-30, ESV).
This entire chapter of Romans is talking about whether or not one had to be Jewish to come to God, but Paul spoke to the truth that both Jews and Gentiles can be saved by faith. He did not tell all the Gentiles they had to become Jewish; some differences would remain. In fact, that diversity was accepted and embraced.
However, they all had the equal ability to come before God if they chose to, and this speaks to what Dr. Baker had written as well. All Christians are sinners saved by the grace of God, and by faith, we can all come before Him.
A Christian pro-life perspective recognizes this diversity while similarly holding to a core of theological unity. Children from North America can come to God just as senior citizens from Asia can. This type of diversity is part of the richness of the body of Christ.
To use the language from Romans, Jews will still be Jews, and Greeks will still be Greeks. They will retain what is good about their culture, but they will similarly leave behind the parts that are sinful as they draw nearer to Christ.
In Paul's time, Greeks could still embrace their culture but would leave behind idolatry if they were really Christians. Today, we still might love watching our football games, but we will stop getting drunk every time the games come on. This is where the importance of theological unity comes in. This is not some kind of universalism, which I absolutely oppose, but rather me emphasizing the point that the body of Christ is able to overcome cultural barriers when people are united within the Truth.
As followers of Christ, we are going to progress to become more conformed to the image of Him and leave our sins behind further and further behind, but there are still going to be some differences. We don't celebrate our diversity of sins but rather the diversity of good things God created.
If the church is a place where diversity is embraced and celebrated, then it seems to make sense that diversity matters throughout life and even while still in the womb. Having this Christian pro-life perspective then allows me to be consistently outraged about the statistics I presented last week about abortion and disability.
Because these children are being murdered only because of the differences they might have from what their parents expected, I can argue that all lives have value.
Even though people are different and have different levels of ability and disability, as a pro-life Christian, I can hold that all of these children are created in the image of God and embrace that diversity. If these types of differences do not hold people back from coming together and following Jesus Christ, then I can certainly fight for their right to life. I can consistently defend unborn lives from lethal discrimination because I have a worldview that affirms the value of all.
A pro-choice view cannot consistently do that either as I outlined last week.