"The rejection of the gospel as social is not just a repudiation of the social gospel; the rejection of the gospel's implications for combating race and class divisions nurtures social niches and fosters a "social-club" gospel." (Paul Metzger, in Consuming Jesus)
I'm reading Consuming Jesus, a very interesting book that talks about race and class divisions in a consumist church, and this quote jumped into my eyes. I have been thinking a lot about unity in church, specially unity as something different from conformity and uniformity. I mean unity in diversity, the only real unity I believe in.
It is easy to be "united" when there is uniformity, or when we abdicate of out uniqueness to conform into a predefined mold. It is so easy, that what it really creates is a false unity, a unity that will only stand firm if we reach out for people "just like us", which normally means middle class white people.
Real unity exists in diversity, where diference is not ignored, but embraced. It is a unity that stands after confrontation and conflict of different visions. It is a unity that when it happens, it has a solid foundation, that no one can destroy. It exists not because of avoiding confrontation, but because of embracing confrontation of different beliefs. Not through conforming with an artificial pattern, or abdicating of beliefs for "the common good".
This is a unity that needs courage, humility, love. That is focused on Jesus Christ, and not on our own pleasures and wishes. It is composed of people that sacrifice their preferences without sacrificing their beliefs. Great maturity is needed to make room for this to happen.