The problem I have with that mentality, now, is that it is so divisive by its very nature. How many times have I heard the comment, "Well, I'm not a Christian, I'm a Christ-follower because I don't want to be known by what those people think." And, frankly, I think that it's a cop-out. I think that it's an easy way to neglect parts of the body of Christ, and I think that that directly disobeys a call that God placed on His Church to work together and build each other up in love.
1 Corinthians 12:12 begins a passage of scripture where Paul talks about the Body of Christ being like that of the parts of the human body in order that people recognize that by the hope we have, we are all united as one. In this lesson, Paul describes how the foot cannot say to the hand I am not part of the body because I am not a hand. In the same way Paul says the eye cannot say to the hand, I do not need you. Paul seems to be driving at a principle that in our individualistic and self-focused society has become lost even amongst the Christians. OMG!
We are an imperfect group of people, driving to a perfect ending, with the mentality that the trip there will be perfect.
We need to stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution. My pastor recently offered up a slogan that seemed to get caught onto by many of the congregation and I truly appreciate it because I think that he is spot on: "Change your conduct or change your name." And soon after that I blogged about it. But, if we allow that to be our modus operendi in regards to the people around us who claim the same beliefs we do but then don't act how we think they should, we are missing out on a whole additional part of the body and denying ourselves the opportunity to be connected to people who we need just as much as they need us.
The Church doesn't need anymore naysayers. The Church needs more people who are going stand up and proclaim what is right. Sure, that means correcting unholy actions and character. But let's start recognizing that we are all extended grace so that we can have the opportunity to know Christ more. Change your conduct or change your name but be ready to extend grace to your brothers and sisters, the other heirs in Christ, when they miss the mark as well. Recognize the unity that can be found in the Holy Spirit and allow it to bring us all together for the good of sending His Gospel into all the earth.