Below is the daily Bible reading I am doing for the West Side Church. Please feel free to follow along.
Today’s reading (James 2) offers some instruction on what our churches should look like. When I look at the American Church today I sometimes see something that is completely different.
When I look at the American Church today I see churches that are mostly made up of people from similar social backgrounds. Now I do not believe that this has been done on purpose, but I do believe it happens. You see, in most of our circles in life we run around with people from similar social and economic backgrounds. That is just the way our culture works and thinks. Why does this happen? It happens because people in the same social and economic backgrounds have similar interest and experiences, where someone from a different background has different interests and experiences. This pattern has followed its way into the church.
So is there anything wrong with this following its way into the church? I say yes and no. If it has followed its way into the church because the people of a community share similar social and economic backgrounds, then that is fine. If it has followed its way into the church because it just sort of happened, then it is fine. But, if it has followed its way into the church, because people of a different social and economic background have scorned others, whether above or below them, then we have a problem. Listen to James’ words on this … “If you really keep the royal law found in the Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.”
Here is my guide to what the church should look like. The church should be a representation of the community you live in. If your community is mostly upper middle class, then your church would resemble that. If your community is mostly lower middle class to those on the verge of poverty, then your church should resemble that. (Now we must also understand that God has called us to reach all, so we would step out of our communities dominating characteristic if there is a large percent of the population that does not know Christ.) So my final question remains, does your church makeup resemble the community where you are planted?