Ok so this isn’t necessarily directed at the whole church at large but rather a certain trait that pops up in congregations everywhere which unfortunately are the cause of many a Christian to stumble, leave, or resent their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Church. is. not. a. friends. club.
This is especially evident with women but I feel I need to say it, stop it with the cliques. Seriously, what is this, high school?
I can’t count the times, especially when “church shopping” where I noticed or experienced outsiders, new people, smokers, rednecks, or others being completely ignored or almost what seems to be dismissed from fellowship for purely “cosmetic” reasons. HYPOCRITES!
What are you doing at small groups when you ignore new people and fail to bring them into your conversations and fellowship? What does that say about you? What does that say about Christ, whom which your life is to be a example of? When you go to church on sunday and only ever make fellowship wih your “group”, what does that say about your commitment to live in the example of Christ? What love does it show when you are “too good” to break bread with he smoker, the redneck, the felon, or the homeless guy that stumbles into church that day?
They’re not on the same level as you? You wouldn’t have much in common you say… Yeah, same way Christ had tons in common with the prostitutes of his day, yet he hung out with them, he fellowshipped them, he let his life be an example for theirs to follow. Yes they are expected to change their ways and follow God, but thats where you come in. Get out of your comfort zone for once and you might see that your example alone can potentially bring them to Christ’s love.
Wisconsin is full of stubborn, change-avoiding, prideful people but remember these are all traits which we are asked to cast off. I realize there is a big Lutheran and Catholic influence here and many local Christians are either part of or previously of these religious doctrines. Let it go. Christianity is NOT a religion.
Romans 12:16 ESV says:
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.
Humble yourself, because you’re not as “good” as you think you are. Everyone is broken and is there for the same reason as you. Fellowship with all, love all, for the only one qualified to judge is the great Judge himself, Jesus Christ.
Get rid of the cliques and start fellowshipping with your brothers and sisters, you just might find a great friend in someone you would normally not associate with. He might be a felon, or full of tattoos, or simply a new girl from a different part of the country; Someone though whom may even be a heaven sent key to strengthening your own walk with Christ… if you’d only humble yourself enough to accept their friendship.