Chapel discusses diversity
President Barry Corey held a dialogue with Biola alum Adam Edgerly regarding unity in diversity among Christians during chapel on April 24.
how can the church continue to seek reconciliation?
Corey questioned Edgerly on how the church can continue to seek reconciliation and unity during a time of political and social divisiveness. While the chapel did not discuss the April 2016 swastika incident on campus or the theft of the gay pride flag from the Lent memorial a few weeks ago, similar tensions and discord were addressed.
The chapel began with Corey reading Psalm 133 and referencing how God’s people traveled together to Mt. Zion to worship him. Likewise, he said Christians today must seek harmony with each other as they travel together towards a common destination — the worship of God. Corey also shared his own previous experiences of unknowingly offending those who were different than him.
Both Corey and Edgerly emphasized that the church body cannot simply travel beside each other but should practice humility and grace on every side of the conversation.
“It’s essential to who we are as Christians that we dwell together in unity and that means we appreciate each other in our cultural differences and all of our nuances and differences and we celebrate those and we love one another,” Edgerly said.
Celebrating each other’s differences remains one of the things which sets Christianity apart from the world, according to Edgerly. He also addressed how many Christians have become tired of the conversation either because little changes occur or they feel villainized.
“We can't just follow the world’s agenda because people make money off of stoking division. They get ratings the more controversial things are. Political parties get more power the more divided people are,” Edgerly said. “So we can’t fall into that and just go along with that agenda. Christ has a different agenda.”
a body that remains divided and constantly fighting
Sophomore nursing major Ijah Lockett agreed with Edgerly, adding that a body that remains divided and constantly fighting hinders their ability to witness and represent Christ in their everyday lives.
“People need to see evidence of God and people who do not know God cannot see God in a people who are extremely divisive and against one another and constantly hurting each other and breaking each other,” Lockett said. “Who in the world is going to want to see God and follow God if we’re over here fighting each other?”
Corey also mentioned in an effort to stoke more conversation than fighting, and in light of the swastika incident, there has been more forums and chapels discussing diversity and unity in the last year. Senior film major Keanu Banayat explained although he has not seen major changes, he appreciates the university taking small steps.
“The school has done steps, and I don't expect giant steps, but they're steps that should be expected whenever change is called,” Banayat said. “It’s awesome to see that we’re taking very, very little steps, but we’re taking steps and that's something that we can appreciate.”