Read Luke 9:49-50
49 John said to Jesus, “Master, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he isn’t in our group.”
50 But Jesus said, “Don’t stop him! Anyone who is not against you is for you.” (NLT)
The Christian church consists of various tribes. No great problem with that. God made us different and we relate to him and express that relationship in different ways. Nothing wrong with identifying with one tradition or grouping because we find this best nurtures our faith.
Where it goes wrong is if we begin to think our ‘tribe’ is superior to others. Or that only our lot are really advancing the Kingdom of God. We begin to identify our group with the true faith. Which is perhaps what the disciples were thinking in our text today. Some whom they didn’t recognise as part of their group were doing Jesus’ work. Jesus makes it clear that you can do his work and not belong to a particular grouping.
Jesus is able to use Presbyterians and Pentecostals, Catholics and Charismatics, social radicals and theological reformists to advance his rule on earth. We need not look down our noses at those who do things differently or who do not tick all our doctrinal boxes. By all means treasure the group to which you belong. But don’t dismiss those outside the group.
Jesus has no ‘in group’. He is not terribly interested in the labelling we carry on with. Pigeon holes are for the birds.