Church is not like Stepford wives or about producing clones where we all think and act the same.
We need to glory in our differences!
There can be unity without uniformity.
Two models for unity are a bowl of soup and a bowl of stew.
Soup is all the same – there is no variety, no difference, it is all blended together; but a bowl of stew has separate parts, yet it makes a whole. There are carrots and meat but together they make a whole, each mouthful is different but still a whole. We can see the different kinds, there is a boundary between carrot and meat. The carrot is not trying to be a piece of meat! But they work together.
We are not all the same and neither should we be!
God’s creation has many different aspects and yet it is still his creation. Why should the church be any different? Black and white is boring!
Unity within diversity – this theme is picked up late by Paul in this letter – the body is a whole but many different parts.
The danger comes when we take one aspect of creation and make it the whole. Partial truth becomes the whole truth. That’s what idolatry is. We don’t always have the whole truth.
Let’s learn the lessons of Corinth:
Let’s avoid divisions by thinking of boundaries, nuts and stews.
Let our desire be to bring glory to Jesus and not ourselves, or a particular Christian stream.
Be boundaried – but make the boundaries with fences with gates not with divisive walls.
Celebrate diversity – be a stew!
Be nuts for Jesus!
See that in him the whole thing holds together!