This is taking a new thread of thought from somasoul’s comments in the “Christarchy!” post Lora wrote (thanks Lora)
I find often on this blog a tendency to attack what is seen as the “Christian” status quo, readily identified as the following:
3) Spiteful of “sinners”
I will, of course, say “Amen”, “Amen” and “Amen”, provided the caveat that this refers mostly to North American suburban Christians – and, in the global scheme of Christendom, this is a small portion of the body of Christ.
I mention this because I sometimes wonder when we take on a prophetic voice to critique Christians for the above errors, if not this critique itself issues forth from a privileged and ethnocentric perspective.
For example, I am a Christian living in an urban zip code where about 1 in 3 people are living in poverty (I am that 1 in the 3 as well), and much of those in poverty are concentrated in the blocks surrounding my apartment. The city where I live was declared the second poorest city in the U.S. this past August by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The Christians I meet are former hustlers and addicts who were redeemed and called by Christ to live out the gospel. The Christians I meet are not rich. A lot of Christians I meet are homeless alcoholics (and that’s a small percentage of the homeless population, mind you) who preach better sermons on grace than most reformed Christians. The Christians I meet are quick to point out their past sins and are awed at the gift that Christ has given them through his death and resurrection to reconcile them to God and forgive their sins.
Therefore, if you were to say to them that the Christian “status quo” that needs to be repented from is being “rich, sheltered, and spiteful of sinners”, they would probably be curious who you were refering to. Moreover, would this critique of the Christian “status quo” equally apply to the millions of believers in Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia?
I think too often North American Christians think they are the only ones out there, except maybe those Catholics in Europe (but, aren’t they a cult that prays to Mary?)
Let us not forget that the “Christian status quo” is not any of the above mentioned characteristics; and so one should be careful when applying a generalization like that upon everyone.
The Christian message must always be spoken idiomatically; therefore, the only shared truth and hope we proclaim is Christ’s crucifixion (1 Corinthians 2:2); from there, we must recognize that what is in the heart of each believer and what is in their past is different, particularly across socioeconomic divides.