When the Colorado Department of Human Services proposed several 2011 updates to the rules for childcare centers, the one that caught most publicity caught many off guard: that daycares’ dolls must “represent three (3) races.”
To several, this particular change seemed excessive; but it actually has merit when considering that children so young have likely only ever interacted with others just like them.
That mindset, they inherit from their parents.
According to basic social psychology, similarities (not opposites) attract. “Birds of a feather flock together,” as they say. People bond over common beliefs, common personalities, common lifestyles, common careers. Prejudice creeps in, however, when people befriend only others with similarities and start seeing others for their differences. They become locked into a “Birds of a Feather” mentality.
Throughout his entire ministry, seemingly nonstop, the apostle Paul was mediating similar conflicts: orthodox Jews contesting inclusion of gentiles, richer members dissociating from the poorer ones, everyone at odds over which rules had priority over others. Because of their differences, many of Paul’s converts refused association with each other. Most of his letters, in fact, include some call for unity based on their one guaranteed similarity.
“In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us,” (Col 3:11 NLT).
By reminding them of this, Paul likely settled many Birds of a Feather issues and united them in Jesus.
Most Christians attempt to keep that same spirit, but then they stop there. Perhaps their niceties extend as far as their non-Christian neighbors, but beyond that, many Christians still keep a distance from those radically different from themselves.
This cohesive unity isn’t confined just to Christianity’s boundaries. One other aspect—one major, universal characteristic—supersedes even that.
So God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
Male and female he created them.
What “kind” of human beings did God make in the beginning? God just made humanity, all in the same mold.
Not all Christians personally know a Jew or a Muslim, a “pagan” or an atheist; some have never met a Caucasian or a Negro or a Hispanic; and most Christians only really know one denominational view within their own religion. This world has every shade of people imaginable, yet none of these differences—none of these slight variations of the image of God—can stand between our common heritage, or our common destiny in this existence.
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