Unity and Diversity in Christ

April 24, 2016


In 1968, Martin Luther King lamented that 11 am was the most segregated hour in the nation. In her book, Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that keep us Apart, Christena Cleveland reiterates this lament as she explores the ways in which our churches are still divided, not just racially, but ethnically, culturally and theologically as well.  Cleveland is a social psychologist and researcher who works with pastors and organizational leaders on issues of multiculturalism and how to build unity. She explores research that shows that while America is becoming more diverse, churches are increasingly becoming more ethnically, culturally and theologically homogenous. (p. 28)

We are attracted to people who look and think like us; we perceive them as familiar and safe. “Research on [what attracts us to each other] suggests that familiarity is the most powerful predictor of friendship. The more we interact with a person, the more familiar we become with them. The more familiar we become with them, the more we like them.” (p. 28) Familiar people become our friends; they “get” us and our humor and values and beliefs.

Bible References

  • Acts 18:1 - 4
  • 1 Corinthians 1:10 - 18