“Diatonic” means “two tones.” A diatonic scale is made up of two kinds of tones—whole tones and semitones, or more commonly, whole steps and half steps. As Occidentals, the diatonic scale is the most pleasing tone to our ear. Try using a scale of only whole steps and it will set your teeth on edge. My students used to call it “outer space music.” Try making music with a half step scale and it will sound like you’ve let a hive of bumblebees loose in the room. The point is, it takes two kinds of steps to make pleasant music.
As humans we have a tendency to see “two kinds” in practically every situation and to do our best to make it NOT work. In the early church when everyone was Jewish, they still managed to make a distinction between Jews born in Palestine and those born elsewhere (Acts 6). Once Gentiles were converted, the distinction was circumcision (Acts 15). If that weren’t enough, the bias became wealth (James 2), and then the full blown heresy of Gnosticism (1 John)—those who “knew” things others did not.
“You’re not like us so you don’t belong,” was the attitude. “Change or leave,” was often unspoken but surely intended, and if change was not possible, then leaving was the obvious “choice.”
Paul spent several chapters in several epistles reminding us that while we are to repent (change) from a life of sin, no other change was required. In fact, our differences make us a stronger, better body.
But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."…But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 1 Cor 12:18-21,24,25.
What I cannot do, maybe you can. What you can’t, maybe I or someone else can. Every ability is important and thus every person. In fact, we have a tendency to judge differently than God does in that area. As we have noted before, it was a woman who sewed for the poor whom Peter raised from the dead (Act 9), not the martyred preacher deacon (Acts 7) or apostle and cousin of the Lord (Acts 12).
God expects us to live together, love together, and work together in harmony. Rich and poor, Jew and Gentile, black and white, we are to make beautiful diatonic music together, not segregate ourselves into uniform groups that can only make weird sounds, sounds only fit for aliens, and not for the friends and neighbors we hope to save.
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus, Gal 3:27,28.