Cynical Strategies and Kneejerk Answers
Is diversity-equity-inclusion philosophy Christian? Of course, not everyone is interested in this question. The answer matters only to those for whom Christianity’s endorsement or lack thereof counts as evidence for or against DEI philosophy’s ethical force. Sincere Christians are interested because they want to know that their actions and the causes they champion are at least consistent with their Christian faith. Nominal Christians and cynical politicians (right or left) often assert or deny the Christian status of DEI philosophy because they wish to persuade sincere Christians to join their causes. I am not writing to them. Seeking only to win supporters, they have neither the desire nor the patience to investigate the question seriously. I am writing to help sincere Christians to think through this issue thoroughly, critically, and Christianly and to arm them against cynical actors who wish to recruit them for their causes by convincing them that DEI is (or is not) consistent with their Christian faith.
Unfortunately, when asked the question, “Is diversity-equity-inclusion philosophy Christian?” many people answer affirmatively or negatively with a kneejerk opinion based on a vague impression formed by little more than the resonance of the words with their experiences. In ordinary communication, precision of language is not necessary. The context supplies the clarity that overcomes the ambiguity in the words. But in theological, philosophical, and ethical discussions—especially controversial ones—precision and clarity are necessary. Such discussions require patience, discipline, and thoughtfulness. So, if you are interested in the question and are willing to follow a methodical and (hopefully) thoughtful line of reasoning, please continue reading.
Let’s clarify the grammatical and logical form of the question before we rush to give an answer. What are we asking when we inquire, “Is X Christian?” If we turn the question into an assertion (“X is Christian”) we can see that the word “Christian” is being used as a predicate adjective, that is, as an essential or accidental property attributed to a subject X. The word “Christian” can also be used as noun, designating a person who adheres to the Christian faith, so that we can ask, “Is X a Christian?” or we can assert that “X is a Christian.” Answering either of these questions or sustaining these assertions requires that we understand the essential nature of Christianity. Clearly, then, to answer the question, “Is the DEI philosophy Christian” we must possess a clear and precise understanding both of the DEI philosophy* and of Christianity.
What, then, is Christianity? As I said in Part Four of this series, we learn the answer to this question only from the New Testament. No system of beliefs, practices, and experiences that contradicts the New Testament answer qualifies as Christianity. And if you disagree here, there is nothing further to discuss until we settle that question. According to the New Testament, Christianity is a faith, a hope, a way of living, and a people. Christianity is faith in Jesus Christ crucified and risen bodily from the dead as universal King, Lord, and Savior. The people who embrace this faith look forward to the resurrection of the dead and eternal life in the presence of God. In the present time this people, the church, lives as disciples and imitators of Jesus and through the power of the Spirit are being transformed into his image. Who then is a Christian? Only those who believe in Jesus Christ and are baptized into him. Who is living as a Christian? Only those who hold to this faith and live as followers of Jesus as instructed by the apostolic teaching of the New Testament and are being transformed into his image.
The Decisive Issue
In view of this clarification, to ask “Is X Christian?” is to ask, “Is adherence to X an essential component of Christianity or an implication of the essential nature of Christianity as described in the New Testament?” It does not ask whether X is compatible with Christianity. Many beliefs and activities are compatible with Christianity but are neither essential components nor implications thereof. Christianity is compatible with your belief or disbelief of the proposition that Subarus are better cars than Hondas or that life in other galaxies is possible. Whether you enjoy playing tennis or prefer hiking makes no difference to your faith in Jesus. These beliefs and activities are not addressed by Christianity but are left to reason, free choice, and preference. There are, however, many beliefs and activities that are incompatible with Christianity because they negate or subvert or are in other ways exclude one another.
The Judgment to be Made
When people argue that the diversity-equity-inclusion philosophy is Christian, they are asking us to accept adherence to it as an essential component or a clear implication of the Christian ethics described in the New Testament. If they are correct, Christians are obligated to support DEI. If embracing DEI is not an essential component or a clear implication of Christian ethics, Christians have no such obligation. However, if DEI philosophy negates or subverts Christianity and Christian ethics as described in the New Testament, Christians have an obligation to reject it.
I shall argue in future essays not only that sincere Christians are not obligated to accept the DEI philosophy and support its agenda but that they are obligated to reject and resist it.
*See the previous four essays for my understanding of the DEI philosophy.
You said: Only those who believe in Jesus Christ and are baptized into him. (are Christians)?
The majority of Christians? are not even taught why they are being baptized.
This verse: Acts 2:38 is the only verse in scripture that tells a person how to receive the gift the Holy Spirit.
Change your mind you, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus the Anointed One for the release from the bondage of sins; and you shall receive the gift the Holy Spirit. “Christians” are those who are not just baptized in Jesus name but are baptized into the Anointed One who is the gift the Holy Spirit. this Holy Spirit resides in your heart and you become the temple of the Holy Spirit. The word “christos” is an adjective and means “anointed’ or Anointed One. A true Christian is one who has the Anointed Holy Spirit and desires to manifest a gift “charisma” of the Spirit. This new testament after the Day of Pentecost is all about the promised Holy Spirit. I am not interested in DEI. I am interested in how to teach a Christian how to manifest a charismatic gift of the Holy Spirit.
Good points…but my subject is DEI. And in my setting this issue is of vital importance to thinking and living as a true Christian. There is so much misinformation being spread about. I could say much more about what it means to become and live as a Christian. But I needed only to make a brief statement in this essay. Thanks for reading and commenting.