Thursday, October 1, 2009

Cliques within the Church

I’ve attended church most my life, on my own volition. For me, church is often a place that I consider my home away from home, and a place where I can learn about and freely worship God, and have some fellowship with other believers. Unfortunately, most of the churches that I have attended have also had cliques too. You wouldn’t think that’d be the case in God’s house, where people are supposedly equals and should be treated as such. After all, when you think of cliques, high school comes to mind along with the movies “Mean Girls” and “Never Been Kissed.” Church cliques usually aren’t as nasty but they certainly exist.
Instead of being called a “loser” or openly laughed at, getting the cold shoulder at church is a little more subtle. Sometimes it’s a group of women in a discussion and then just as you come along, the ladies fall silent. Other times it’s the same group at an event that you have also been invited to, but you’re made to feel out of place while you’re with them. Or perhaps it’s during a church dinner and you always end up eating at the same table instead of feeling encouraged enough to eat at a different one.
This irks me more than I let on. For crying out loud, church is not high school and people should not be broken up into groups where they feel safe and accepted. God’s house is open to all and He doesn’t play favorites, so why do some Christians?
There was a time in my life when I did belong to a church and yes, it had a clique too. But the majority of that church family was just that- a family. That church became my home away from home and a place of refuge in hard times. The people there weren’t just church members or fellow Christians, they became my family and I’m still in contact with most of them even though that church has long since closed. I have never felt God’s presence more than I did there and I’ll always reflect on that period of my life as one of my highest points, spiritually speaking.
Its too bad that many Christians don’t follow Christ’s example and love and treat everyone the same. Then perhaps non-believers would be more apt to try out church if that were the case.

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