The Expository Files

 

Thoughts About Dealing With Our Diversity

In the second Federalist paper, John Jay wrote his understanding of the American people: "Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people - a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs."

However accurate Jay's description was in 1788, this is not true today. Whatever opinion one may hold about how our diversity came to pass, it is our reality in America today.

When Jay wrote this, almost everyone was a Protestant; half of all Americans were of English stock, with another fifth from elsewhere in the British Isles. Perhaps his summary was not totally accurate, as historians would argue with reference to Indians & slaves. And in fact, Jay's ancestors were French and Dutch!

Nevertheless, the founders lived in a world unlike our time. There were fewer races, religions and ethnicities compared to our time.

However we got here, the question is How Will Christians Deal With This Reality? I would hope, (1) we would pray for our nation, (2) that we would take seriously the command of Peter to "honor all people," {1 Pet. 2:17; see also James 2:1-13}, (3) that we would shun prejudice and violence, and (4) that we would reach out to all people with the gospel.

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 'The just shall live by faith'." (Rom. 1:16,17)

Worried about this nation? Take the gospel to all.

Source: What Would The Founders Do? by Richard Brookhiser

By Warren E. Berkley 
The Final Page
From Expository Files 16.8; August 2009

 

 

 

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