The church cannot tolerate the distinctions and privileged statuses the world orders itself around. The Gospel breaks this down where it is lived out and exposes the suffering that privilege inflicts on everyone. Jesus was drawn to the hurting poor and the hurting rich. God has a preference for the poor, that is clear in the Gospels and in the Hebrew Scriptures. But we should not overlook the suffering that wealthy people endure or that wealth itself brings. There are many people in our society who are economically wealthy and impoverished in all other ways. Like the rich young ruler, Jesus has compassion on them too, though they seem more inclined than others to find that compassion offensive as it is a prophetic compassion, a compassion that exposes the needs they are so keen to ignore.
2 thoughts on “the church is allergic to privilege”
Unfortunately the historic church has not only got the allergy, butin my opinion, was bitten and is under the influence of an airborne mosquito centuries ago.
What do I mean? Well in regards to privilege, what about the ongoing distinction of clergy versus laity? Of the privilege of being one of the special people who administer the sacraments versus just one of the church people? It seems to me that Christian leaders have for centuries seen themselves as ‘special’. Where in reality, our example should be that of Jesus, who in the night in which he was betrayed, took up the towel and wash basin, and washed the feet of the disciples. He also spoke of the importance of leaders setting an example.
So, my bottom line, is that Christian leaders need to on a consistent basis, identify themselves as servants, and not as somehow or other ‘special’ or above such things as service.
After all, are we not bond servants of Christ, as Paul identified himself?
Then perhaps, we will be make use of the antidote to this allergy.
Yes, Karl, that is exactly the point I was trying to make. Church leaders throwing their weight around is like a kid with peanut allergies eating a pbj. The way we most often do church is harmful to the point of destruction of us actually being the church.
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