By Trevor Jenkins
It’s no secret that our nation is divided, but what becomes difficult to admit is the fact there is extreme polarization within the Church. There is a saying, “When the Church catches a cold, our world catches the flu.” Evangelicals think mainstream
Christians are losing their moral compass by redefining Christian principles. Mainstream Christians think Evangelicals are legalistic and intolerant of others who hold different views. Within this battle, the enemy has turned Christians against Christians and has given the world a ringside seat to watch this fight.
One of the reasons the western Church often feels divided is because we have
become really good at wielding shame against each other instead of listening to each other and giving people an opportunity to voice their feelings. We need to
allow people to wrestle, in a healthy way, with questions about life, faith, doctrine, and culture.
Do you know what shame says? Shame says, “There is something inherently wrong with you because you are not like us. Why don’t you get it?” We often communicate this when people make different choices than we do in how they think, act, or even vote. Not only do we make people feel like they are wrong, but we also make them feel like they are evil because they are wrong and not like us.
Shame divides us, so to avoid shame, we learn to hide, reject, and minimize how we really feel. However, the Apostle Paul reminds us of the ministry of reconciliation we have in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18). Our sins separate us from God, and we needed reconciliation with God because our relationship with Him was broken. The good news of the Gospel is that while we were still sinners, Jesus Christ freely died for us (Romans 5:8). In doing so, He defeated our shame by conquering sin and death, squashing the eternal beef we had with God.
Christ’s death not only has the power to reconcile us back to God, but it also empowers us to be reconciled to people. God has given every believer a ministry of reconciliation. We get to proclaim a message about a God who takes away our sin and shame by forgiving us for all we have done and will do and adopting us into his eternal family.
Trevor Jenkins is Founder and Facilitator of Unfiltered Conversations