Written by David Williams, President, Taylor Seminary and Greg Henson, President, Sioux Falls Seminary
With students, mentors, and partners around the world, the Kairos community is obviously diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, age, geographic location, and cultural realities. We are also diverse in other ways, particularly in our theological affirmations and our social/political views. When thinking about diversity, it is important to remember that what unifies the Kairos community is our shared commitment to becoming more faithful followers of Jesus under the authority of Scripture as guided by God’s Spirit.
That said, we represent a wide array of theological traditions. Currently, more than 70 denominations are present within Kairos. We can’t list all of them here, but to help visualize the theological scope we have included a few examples here. The community includes people who…
- Are Baptists (of various kinds).
- Are Methodists/Wesleyans (of various kinds).
- Are Episcopalians/Anglicans (of various kinds).
- Are Lutherans (of various kinds).
- Are Mennonites/Anabaptists (of various kinds).
- Are Presbyterians (of various kinds).
- Are Christian & Missionary Alliance.
- Are Pentecostals (of various kinds, including “Jesus-only”
- Pentecostals) Are Catholics (of various kinds).
- Are Quakers (of various kinds).
- Are non-denominational (of various kinds).
We engage Scripture very differently from one another. This means some of us…
- Believe that the Scriptures are inerrant.
- Believe that there are better ways to express Scriptural authority than inerrancy.
- Believe in a literal 6-day creation.
- Believe that creation’s 6-days should be interpreted differently.
- Believe that the miraculous acts of the Spirit described in Acts have ended.
- Believe that “speaking in tongues” is a necessary sign of the work of the Spirit.
- Believe that baptism is salvific.
- Believe that the relation of baptism to salvation is more testimonial.
- Believe that infants should be baptized.
- Believe that baptism is for professing believers.
We see Scripture through very different lenses, which leads to different interpretations regarding some of the current “hot topics” of our day.
This means some of us …
- Believe that women should be ordained to pastoral ministry & leadership.
- Believe that ordination to pastoral ministry & leadership should be limited to men.
- Believe that LGBTQ persons should be ordained.
- Believe that ordination should be limited to heterosexual persons.
- Believe that marriages of LGBTQ persons should be blessed by the church.
- Believe that marriage should be reserved for heterosexual couples.
We engage with governments and political structures in very different ways; thus, we see our theology played out in politics in very different ways. This means we have…
“Vaxers” and “anti-vaxers,” “Trump supporters” and “Never-Trumpers.” We have Republicans, Democrats, New Democrats, Libertarians, Socialists, Green Party, Liberals, Anarchists, and many others given that we are present around the world.
While much of our cultural and historical formation has taught us to gather with people with whom we agree, the Kairos community seeks to be different. What unifies the Kairos community is our shared commitment to becoming more faithful followers of Jesus under the authority of Scripture as guided by God’s Spirit. We believe each person in our diverse community is welcome to fully participate in this community because we see our differences as an opportunity to learn from each other, to grow in our understanding of what God is doing in and through the diversity of God’s people in the world, and to practice the way of Jesus.