Christian Elitism

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal 3:28 

 

Have you ever met a fellow disciple who believes that they are better than others because of being a Christian?

Not just being a Christian, but one that has special “truth” that makes them feel more “Christian” than his brothers and sisters in the Lord?

I had the unknowing privilege of being such a person in my earlier walk with Christ.  As a member of an organization that we would classify a cult today, I believed that we had precious revelations that made us special in the eyes of God.  But the Holy Spirit over time opened my ignorant eyes to more clearly understand what Christ accomplished through his life, death, and resurrection. His grace assures me that we are all free in Him. It’s not what we do, but what he did that makes us special.  And he did it for all of us.

Today, whenever someone approaches me and looks down at me or others because they are not Christian, or not a true believer, or a mature disciple, or a “and you add whatever you want to,” I cringe.  It only reveals to me where the person stands in her understanding of who Christ is. When one fully understands that Christ died for all – those who are alive today, those who have yet to be born, and those all who have died – and that as a believer, our identity is fully in Christ. And being alive in Christ, there is no special ritual, no special prayer, no specific act, or no unique knowledge that elevates us one above the other. We are all adopted in Christ with a godly relationship with the Triune God. If God chooses to have a favorite, it is His choice. It is not because we exercised some special formula that requires God to act on our behalf.

Paul states it well in 1 Corinthians 13th chapter where he puts spiritual gifts in their place by elevating what is truly more important – love.  Love supersedes all. When love leads, elitism is dead. There is no reason to feel more important than others as we are all one in Christ (Gal. 3:28). Real Christianity expresses itself in love for others, self, and God. Elitism has no room where love blooms.

The next time someone expresses an elite attitude, remember how Jesus acted and lives today – in humility.  Humility and elitism are opposite ends of the spectrum. Elitism’s sister is pride. And pride was the downfall of Lucifer who became Satan. So how do you handle someone who expresses an elite attitude?

Just remember that elitism is not a Christian attitude – and like all humans – we are all dysfunctional at various degrees. Smile, bite your lip, and pray that the Holy Spirit may lead the person to discover who Christ truly is and the love that surpasses whatever we can think or imagine.    Otherwise, who are you going to become?

 

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