1 Peter 2:9
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we are born into a new generation, headed by our King of Kings and Lord of Lords, we are called to be holy in Christ though seen as strange to others who are still in the world and for that we should thank God with our praises. This is the relationship between us and God and not between us and the world. But, this does not call for us as Christians to be exclusive, elitist or snobs. All too often this is how the world sees us and whilst we cannot solely be blamed for the breakdown in this extremely important relationship, unfortunately we do have to accept some of the blame. There seems to be an ever widening golf between Christians and non-Christians and Christians bruising and damaging other Christians.
No one could accuse Jesus of being exclusive, elusive, a snob, partial to the rich and those with influence in society whilst dismissive of the poor. Not at all! No one could accuse the Apostles of that either, although Peter was corrected by Paul on one occasion when he showed partiality. So although many did not believe In Jesus or the Apostles and levelled all sorts of accusations at them it was not this.
Jesus was accessible to the people at all times, unless He was up in a mountain speaking to His Father. He ate and drank in the taverns with the sinners, the people who needed Him the most. He didn’t sit behind the walls of the temple waiting for the people to find Him. He travelled to cities preaching, teaching, performing miracles and so much more. He did NOT travel with body guards, expensive and elaborate entourages or anyone to protect Him from the people. When the Disciples tried to stop the crowd from getting to Him, He forbade them. And, the Apostles followed in their Masters’ footsteps. So where are WE going wrong?
I have been around Christians in one form or another throughout my life and although not all Christians can be accused of this there is a greater number than I would care to admit who are very aloof and cliquey. They make no effort to share Jesus with anyone and will not invite non-Christians to their gatherings. I myself have not just seen this but experienced it in my life many times. While I was in the world and not a practicing Christian, but still had so much love and reverence for Christ; was not invited to my Christian friends’ birthday parties and social gatherings because I was not ‘one of them.’ I would be with a group of Christians and they would speak to each other and never to me some even refused to make eye contact with me! Having experienced both worlds in their fullness, I strive to be like Christ to be inclusive and to reject the cliquey groups.
The great commission is given to us ALL when we become Christians to witness to the world, share our testimony of Christ and spread the Gospel to the corners of the earth. Yet you will find only a precious few willing to do this and it is so much easier now than when Christ was with us.
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
God does not condone our behaviour and it is a misrepresentation of who Christ is in us when we act in this way. As Christians we need to get our Faith back on track and not to allow it to continuing sliding down this slippery slope. I have always noticed people’s reactions to each other and the way people treat each other. I think it is fair to say, that we warm to some people instantly, while we keep our distance from others and some grow on us over a period of time. Some we show favouritism to whilst ignoring others altogether. And all this is acceptable when we are in the world; but the moment we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour this behaviour has to change. It doesn’t happen over-night, but we need to actively put the Word of God into practice so it can shape our lives.