Apr 03, 2022 |Let's Be That

United in and Honoring Diversity

04.03.22 | Let's Be That

United in and Honoring Diversity

Noel Heikkinen


Each one of us carries a unique and valid life experience. How have you looked beyond yourself and to the cultural perspective of others? Pastor Noel Jesse Heikkinen shares our core value of being united in and honoring diversity. In the church, each one of our individual pieces of cultural and cultural experience is added to everyone else’s to make something beautiful. We do not desire conformity or uniformity, but the full expression of our individual and cultural life experiences woven together by our common salvation.

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Diversity: the condition of having or being composed of differing elements.


Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, the whole earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” So God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female.

Genesis 1:26-27

I will bless those who bless you, I will curse anyone who treats you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.

Genesis 12:3

When an alien resides with you in your land, you must not oppress him. You will regard the alien who resides with you as the native-born among you. You are to love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 19:33-34

Alien: a person who comes from a foreign country who does not owe allegiance to your country./


Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because of the Cushite woman he married (for he had married a Cushite woman).

Numbers 12:1

Can the Cushite change his skin, or a leopard his spots? If so, you might be able to do what is good, you who are instructed in evil.

Jeremiah 13:23

Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because of the Cushite woman he married (for he had married a Cushite woman). They said, “Does the LORD speak only through Moses? Does he not also speak through us?” And the LORD heard it. Moses was a very humble man, more so than anyone on the face of the earth. Suddenly the LORD said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, “You three come out to the tent of meeting.” So the three of them went out. Then the LORD descended in a pillar of cloud, stood at the entrance to the tent, and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them came forward, he said: “Listen to what I say: If there is a prophet among you from the LORD, I make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my household. I speak with him directly, openly, and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. So why were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” The LORD’s anger burned against them, and he left. As the cloud moved away from the tent, Miriam’s skin suddenly became diseased, resembling snow. When Aaron turned toward her, he saw that she was diseased.

Numbers 12:1-10

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Acts 1:8

In those days, as the disciples were increasing in number, there arose a complaint by the Hellenistic Jews against the Hebraic Jews that their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution.

Acts 6.1

This proposal pleased the whole company. So they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a convert from Antioch. They had them stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

Acts 6.5-6

You know, then, that those who have faith, these are Abraham’s sons. Now the Scripture saw in advance that God would justify the Gentiles by faith and proclaimed the gospel ahead of time to Abraham, saying, All the nations will be blessed through you. Consequently, those who have faith are blessed with Abraham, who had faith.

Galatians 3:7-9

There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; since you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 3:28-29

So, then, remember that at one time you were Gentiles in the flesh — called “the uncircumcised” by those called “the circumcised,” which is done in the flesh by human hands. At that time you were without Christ, excluded from the citizenship of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. In his flesh, he made of no effect the law consisting of commands and expressed in regulations, so that he might create in himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace. He did this so that he might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross by which he put the hostility to death. He came and proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So, then, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole building, being put together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you are also being built together for God’s dwelling in the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:11-22

After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!

Revelation 7:9-10

United In and Honoring Diversity:
Created in the image of God, we recognize the dignity of all people. We are a diverse community, united around the Gospel
of Jesus. We do not desire conformity or uniformity, but the full expression of our individual and cultural life experiences
woven together by our common salvation. We choose to live with a broader cultural perspective than our own.


There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; since you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:28

What is diversity? Give some specific examples of how God has used the diversity of His people to help you understand or experience who God is.
Read Leviticus 19:33-34. What posture has God always called His people to have toward the “foreigners” (i.e. “immigrants” or “outsiders”) who reside in your land? Who are the “foreigners” who reside among us today? What are some specific attitudes or actions you can take to “love them as yourself”?
Read Ephesians 2:11-22. What are some “dividing walls of hostility” that exist between people groups in our culture? According to this passage, how has God made peace possible? What role do we have?
Have each person in your group close their eyes, and then have someone slowly read Revelation 7:9-12. Describe your reaction to this passage. What do you see in Revelation 7:9-12? How do you feel? What hope does this give you?
What are some specific ways the church has been successful in “united in and honoring” diversity? What changes should the church consider?