I have heard people complain about Christianity, saying that it was “clique-ish”. When a Christian girl said she wouldn’t date one of my non-Christian friends, he said it felt like Christianity was this club that only accepted other people in the club. I disagreed.
I feel like it’s more like a family that adopts kids. The father tells the orphan kid in question, “Hey, we love you and want you to join our family. As a member of the family you will be our son, just like our other son. You will have all the rights and privileges of a member of our family and I do mean ALL of them. There will be no distinction between you. The only requirement is that you love our son. He is our first-born son and he will be your brother and you need to accept that and love him as such. Don’t worry—he loves you and is overjoyed to have you as a brother; you won’t have any issues with him not accepting you. He will love you… all we ask of you is that you simply accept him as your brother and our son. If you can’t do that, that’s okay. You don’t have to become a member of this family. But if you want to join the family, that’s the only non-negotiable. It’s your choice.”
It’s not clique-ish because the offer is extended to everyone. The only ones who aren’t in the family are those who choose not to be, because they don’t like the terms. No one is forced into the family, and no one is rejected from the family.
No one is rejected because they don’t meet standards. It’s not like applying for a fraternity or sorority where the powers that be decide if they like you or not, if your grades are good enough, or you are attractive or funny enough. No one is rejected because of their income or abilities. It’s not, as my friend implied, like being rejected from a prestigious club because you don’t qualify. In fact, no one is rejected at all—not by the family. The family wants to adopt them all—every. last. orphan.
It’s the orphans. They are the ones who reject the offer. They don’t want to be a part of the family because they either don’t like the family or don’t like the terms. I would say the rules, but that’s misleading, because lots of people think being a Christian is all about following rules of conduct—the you can’t drink, smoke or have sex, or date those who do kind of thing. It’s not like that. It’s not a country club that has requirements of attire and etiquette if you hope to enter. It’s a family—a family in which you are loved, not because of what you do or how you act, but because you are FAMILY. And to be adopted into that family, there are terms. Not rules, but terms. One term, actually—that you accept the son. That’s it.
They may seem like odd terms, but the reality is, the father knows that if you don’t like his son, you won’t like him, because they are just alike. The son is a true reflection of the father, and if you can’t get along with the son, you won’t like the father nor will you get along with the rest of the family, because they are all a lot alike. It’s okay if you don’t like the family—no one is forcing you to join…it’s your choice.
My friend, the one who was upset that the Christian girl wouldn’t date him, he was looking at it wrong. It wasn’t that she rejected him because he was outside the club, she rejected him because he rejected the family…her family…the ones who loved her, took her in and adopted her and made her as one of their own. The offer had been made to him, but he’d rejected it. He’d rejected the son…the same son she had agreed to love and accept. In truth, she would have loved to go out with him (I know because I knew her, too) if only he’d been willing to join the family. No one was rejecting my friend…HE was the one doing the rejecting—he rejected the son.
In essence, he’d refused the free membership application to the club, and then complained that he wasn’t allowed to use the club’s swimming pool. The “club” wasn’t the problem.
I don’t know where you stand with Jesus. Maybe you are a member of the family, but don’t know how to respond when others complain that Christianity is a clique. I hope this helps.
Or maybe you’re frustrated because you’ve been rejected by a “good Christian girl” (or guy) and just don’t get why they don’t think you are “good enough” as you are? Or you’ve felt outside the club in some other way and you just don’t get why Christians don’t let you in the club house. Well, if that’s you, I hope you have felt loved by Christians as you are. Because our Daddy and His Son love you as you are…SO much they worked out a plan to save you, one that involved the Son dying for you…that’s a lot of love. It’s not that you have been rejected. Please know that. We haven’t rejected you. Or if we have, it’s because we are still learning what being in the family is all about, and we are wrong… The Father and the Son did not, have not and will not reject you…and they are the ones who do all the adopting around here. They are the ones that count. THEY have extended the same invitation to you they gave to us, adoption with all the rights and perks of sonship—so long as you are willing to accept the son, Jesus. If you aren’t “in the club”, if you haven’t become a member of the family, then it’s only because you have chosen not to. That’s okay. We wish you would choose differently, but we respect your right to choose. Just know that it’s your choice, not ours. And if you should ever choose to change your mind…you are still welcome and wanted!
Believe it or not, this is largely an excerpt from my Transformers: Age of Extinction movie discussion at Shepherd Project Ministries. Find out what this has to do with Trans4mers, here!