There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. (NLT)
Some followers of Jesus only feel safe and secure if surrounded by fellow believers who tick all the same boxes, who think and speak and act just like they do. It is a form of tribalism. We identify ourselves by the tribe to which we belong. And these tribes can become our primary loyalty. Not content to be merely Christians, we identify as a certain subset of Christianity.
This ignores the wonderful diversity of God’s church. As Paul states here, the one God delights in equipping his very different people to serve him and others in very different ways. Whenever we start to think our own group of Christians are really the only ones serving God we have succumbed to fear and pride.
I am not called on to express my faith in just the same way as others. When I gather at my church I am implicitly choosing not to attend another church. I have every right to prefer one style or culture over another. But I do not have the right to look down on others, to presume my preference is the truth whereas others are going astray.
God loves to work through the diversity of his people. He has chosen not to make us all clones of one another. So why not make it a habitual practice to pray blessing on those churches and groups we choose not to attend? God loves his whole church: we can scarcely do otherwise.
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