I wanted to continue the discussion about “us” and “them” in the church. I think one of the greatest challenges that Christians continually face is this question of groups/factions/cliques/parties within the church.
On the one hand, let’s accept the fact that we are always going to find those with whom we feel more affinity than others. It’s okay to have friends. As I heard Lynn Anderson say once, it’s okay to have circles in the church if everyone is in a circle.
I’m talking about rivalries. That feeling that “they” are trying to do something that “we” don’t want them to. Sometimes it’s about language. Oftentimes it happens based on age. Sometimes it’s about outlooks. It can be about worship styles, preaching styles, songbooks or pew Bibles.
The problem is, for most of us, this suspicion of “them” arises time and again throughout our Christian life. It’s not a one-time decision, but a continual choice to NOT label, to NOT distrust, to NOT scheme to get our way instead of their way.
We need to emphasize the things that unite us, for they trump all that may divide. In Christ, there is no us nor them, there is only we Christians, we church members, we brothers in Christ.
I’d like to hear your suggestions as to how to overcome the natural tendency to be factious.