I think at times apart from the Us vs. Them paradigm that sadly still exists, the other issue that plagues our churches is elitism. This elitism is hard to pinpoint as there are many forms of it, to which some of them are as follows:
– Version of the Bible read
and so on…
But the thing is, no matter how large your church is, no matter how many programs are run, no matter where you are located and the other things I’ve mentioned.
The foot of the cross is level
Paul writing to Galatia said this, In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:28 (The Message)
There are differences between our ways of worshiping God, heck denominations are created due to some rift that says ‘we no longer want to be like insert denomination here and therefore we’re creating a new denomination’. I did a quick search on Google and I came across this stat; “There are approximately 38,000 Christian denominations in the world. This statistic takes into consideration cultural distinctions of denominations in different countries.”
38,000?!? I wouldn’t have guessed so high a number when it comes to denominations globally, but that seems to show that this unity within the body of Christ…what unity? If we who are coming to God as followers of Christ, why does Jesus’ body have to have 38,000 parts to it?
Elitism and the Us vs. Them paradigm within the church not only keeps us from one another, the ones we’re called to share the Gospel message to, but it ultimately keeps us apart from God. Jesus’ prayer for his disciples and for those who would follow him later on was for unity, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of that within our church walls as well as on the outside.
It is my resolution and desire to be a part of the Kingdom work of restoration and reconciliation, beckoning forward perfect shalom, to bring about the part of The Lord’s Prayer that says “on earth as it is in heaven“. I realize more than ever if I’m going to go out into God’s neighborhood and do this and be a part of this, I need to be involved in this inside the church (building) equally inasmuch as on the outside, there’s a stronger pull to the outside for me (I like the outdoors!) but I need to discipline myself to be a part inside. It takes a lot of work to break down the walls of the paradigm of Us vs. Them and elitism, but it is worth it, it is worth striving for unity.
It begins with me,
To truly live out and be the change I want to see.
To God be the glory,