André Mooney is a “military brat” of African American descent. He received a BSBA in Marketing (1996) and an MDiv in Theology (2004) from Golden Gate Baptist Seminary (Scottsdale, AZ). He is a licensed ordained minister (Southern Baptist Convention) and currently serving as a USAFR Chaplain for 943rd Rescue Group (Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ). He is married to Tanya and they have three children and two grandchildren.
In an ABC News interview with Robin Roberts on Jan. 21, 2016 at 7:53 am, actor Will Smith (lead in the movie “Concussion”) was asked about his thoughts on the lack of individuals of color being nominated for the Academy Awards this year. In addition, he was asked if he would attend the ceremony in light of his wife (Jada Pinkett Smith) not attending.
As I intently listened to this interview, my hopes were to hear a new argumentation other than that of the redundant tone of inequality. It is my personal contention that seeking equality for the sake of being equal leaves many challenges. Further in-depth discussion on this is fruitful, however, for Mr. Smith made a comment that struck me,
“Diversity is America’s SUPER POWER!”
In hearing, my brain immediately started racing:
- What does this comment mean?
- What motivated him to say this?
- Why am I struck by it?
As I continue to chew on this statement while drinking my first cup o’ java (with caramel macchiato creamer), it hits me.
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.” (Revelation 7:9)
In John’s vision, within the heavens there is “diversity,” all in one accord giving praise to He who is worthy of all praises. Within this text is no indication of the requirement or quota of diverse representation, but a greater message, in the mind of God and what He has set forth for true eternal worship – in His presence is the unity of diversity!
Wow. As I continue to wrap my mind around this idea, I am encouraged that we still have freedom of speech in this country, where we can challenge paradigms and traditions in effort to progress as a people.
Imagine, the U.S., a global superpower, yet within her borders the embracement of diversity. Let me develop this thought further: Freedom is the culture of this country. We enlist from all creeds and tribes, individuals who feel a calling to support and defend the borders of this nation and the freedoms she enjoys. The fact that our military forces are “colorless” makes us powerful as we unite in diversity for the greater truth of living freely.
“Do I embrace diversity?”
For each of us, answering this question will play out uniquely; however, the following are a few heart-stirring questions that may expose motive:
Where is my neighbor from?
What is their faith background?
When can I invite them over?
Do they need my help?
We all have to ask ourselves the question, “Do I see the color of my neighbor and embrace it?”
Grand Canyon University’s College of Theology blog, Living Faith, interacts with relevant topics and provides advice from a Christian worldview. To learn more about the College of Theology and GCU’s Christian worldview, visit our website.