I usually like to surf the net to read news when I finish catching up on all my emails in the office. During this routine, I was drawn to a topic about church. The writer, a pastor, was responding to an article that accused the church in Nigeria of doing less, if anything, about corruption. The main thrust of his piece centered on the good things the church was and is still doing in the world today. He further aired his frustration about how the world glorifies mistakes made by few Christians and preachers above the growing number of dedicated and Christ centered ministries who are spread across the globe. He concluded by rebuking the initial writer of the piece he was responding to stay away from writing about the church and its challenges.
“The endless game of, “I am more approved in the Lord’s eyes than you,” divides the Body of Christ and gives non-believers a negative opinion of the Christian faith.”– https://www.raptureready.com/rr-better.html
While I agree with the author that the power of Christ and the church is still as strong as of old, I understand the frustration of many non-Christians. I also disagree with the view that no one should speak about the church and its challenges. There has never been a time to address the challenges we face like in these last days. This is because so much has been smuggled into the gospel so much so that the preaching of the cross has been relegated. Lust for a feeling of spiritual superiority in humanity has given birth to the battle for ecclesiastical elitism among the ‘ecclesia’ (The collective body of Christian believers regarded as constituting a universal church.)
The mixture of belonging to a ‘trending church’ and desire to feel special when talking down on other churches is a cocktail that so intoxicates these days. In some extreme cases the members’ identity are so entwined with their particular church group that they see themselves more as a member of that church than they do of themselves as members of the body of Jesus Christ. This is evident in the trend where people talk more of their church than they do of Christ, and they feel that attendance elsewhere will make them less of a Christian. Jesus Christ did not die so we can testify more about the church and the leaders’ ministry than we do of Christ and the Bible. Paul, in his letter to the church in Corinth mentioned that “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. 2 Corinthians 10:12 (New International version).
For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings? What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. – 1 Corinthians 3:4-7 New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Christ commands that we love each other irrespective of color, class, culture or gender. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 (NIV). Overcoming the current challenge of elitism in the body of Christ will help unite us in love and strengthen the spread of the gospel of salvation which is the great commission given to us by Jesus Christ