No Leavers, No Remainers
I used to think that I was middle class. My family were apparently middle class. Not sure what this was supposed to mean really. I was taught to speak 'properly' and always pulled up if I utilised grammar incorrectly at home. I remember being told off by my parents for using the term 'literally' in a non literal way. This was before it had started to be used in conversation as the verbal equivalent of a comma.
Unfortunately, I have inherited the same trait & I am now one of those insufferable people who correct other's grammar in my head whilst listening to them. Other things that apparently made me middle class were the fact that we lived in a nice area growing up & that I was fortunate enough to have had a university education (although to be honest I came to that rather late).
I used to think that there were churches that reflected different cultures too. Working class churches, middle class churches, black churches, white churches, north churches, south churches, even counter cultural churches. I spent many years working for one of these & taking the gospel to new age festivals full of witches and pagans. Setting up a church in a tepee and traveller vehicles and leading worship in the middle of muddy fields. I have come to realise that this is not the way that God sees things though.
You are not working class or middle class or upper class. You are not underclass or counter-cultural. You may have been able to identify under these labels before giving your life to Jesus but they no longer define us following our rebirth.
There is only one class of people in church & that is the aristocracy. That's right, we are all born again aristocrats with bloodlines tying us to the Royal family. So there is no such thing as a middle class follower of Jesus. Even an upper class believer does not exist. Such labels are beneath the child of God. You are royalty & royal people are not concerned about the same issues as the common man. Royals are not concerned about how on earth they are going to survive life. Their survival and prosperity is already assured as a matter of inheritance. They are concerned with how they can shape the world. About the legacy that they will leave for the future.
Think about Prince Harry during his military career. Do you think that, when he got into trouble with his superior, he was in any way anxious about his future? Even whilst he was being bawled out, in the back of his mind he would have been thinking 'Yeah OK, I accept the discipline but ultimately I am a prince and I'm not worried about how I'm going to manage in the future. People are falling over themselves to give me stuff'.
When we start to live out of our royal identity, worry finds it increasingly hard to cling to us. This is why the nation of Israel required a leader who had been brought up in the royal household and who thought like a prince and not like a slave. A Moses who already saw the world very differently & consequently was shocked when he realised how his people regarded themselves.
But it doesn't end there. The book of Galatians goes even further. Not only is there no class system within Jesus, there is no such thing as male of female gender. Galatians says that 'in Jesus' there is now no Greek or Jew, No slave or free. No male or female. So it kind of renders a lot of the discussion about gender and sexuality moot (not to mention the one about whether women should be leading churches). Women should not lead churches because (as far as God is concerned) there are no women in Jesus. Men should not lead churches because (as far as God is concerned) there are no men in Jesus. We should be looking for people to lead, not based on their culture or their gender or their financial means but rather based on whether they are consistently living out their life out of the power of Jesus.
So to put it another way, we could paraphrase and say that:
If someone is living in revival and daily surrendering to the will and life of Jesus then they are no longer able to be categorised as Conservative or Labour. They are above being a Brexiteer or Remainer. Above being politically left or right. Within the family of the church there are no foreigners and no indigenous peoples. If we are still thinking out of those cultures then we have missed the point (as happened at the start of the book of acts when deacons had to be instituted to stop people's tendency towards cultural bias).
So my challenge today is for us to become aware of our cultural, racial, and class baggage and to try hard to leave it outside the door of the church. When you speak to a Christian you are speaking to a member of the Royal family. Treat them with the respect and honor that they deserve and don't think less of them because they still see themselves as part of a particular group or culture. This too shall pass with God's help.
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