What I read today;
1 Corinthians 1; Matthew 17; Isaiah 17; Job 17; Joshua 17; Genesis 17
We have this habit of trying to measure ourselves against other people. In doing so we divide ourselves against other people. We do this based on ethnic lines, white, black, native American, Asian, European, and on and on. We do this based on class lines like those who are educated and those who are not or those born with money and those who are not.
Sadly, we do it in the church as well. I’m Baptist, I’m Lutheran, I’m Methodist, I’m Presbyterian, I’m Catholic or I’m non-denominational. Among seminarians, it also includes the following people. Some follow Martin Luther. Others John Calvin. Some Huldrych Zwingli. Others John Wesley.
We definitely have a habit of being tribal, don’t we?
In Corinth, Paul faced the same problem. The sad truth is that our tribalism is usually an effort to make ourselves feel superior over other people. We like to think we have the perfect interpretation of the Christian Faith. The problem is that the church is run by people. Sadly, that automatically makes us imperfect. Paul goes after the competitive nature of people. He lays down the law, so to speak. Paul reminds the Corinthians that God doesn’t view us as other people view us. The things that God values are different. He values the person who is a servant. God values the person who puts the Kingdom of Jesus first.
All of our actions and efforts in the church our doomed to fail if we don’t understand that it’s all about Jesus Christ. Jesus has to be what we center our lives around. Showing people the love and grace of Jesus is the only mission that counts. Theology is important only if it is a tool to point people to Jesus. Our denominations fail to do their jobs if all we do is fight about doctrine and fail to point people to Jesus Christ. If all we are doing is pointing out the errors of others then we are failing to point people to Jesus.
From time to time throughout Church history, we go through a period where God re-centers his church back to where it needs to be.
Let’s pray that the time is coming again when God moves peoples hearts away from the tribalism that we see today back to a Christ-Centered movement.