The title seems very intriguing and begs a question. This article is the result of some of my own experiences and my own observations in the church. If you ask me what is biggest evil present in the church, I would reply by saying ‘discrimination.’ The church should stand as a ‘alternate society’ in this world which is inflicted by all kinds of discrimination. The predicament of the church today is that she, herself, became discriminative due to its denominationalism, preference to affluent classes in the church, and most importantly Caste system which I call ‘Christian Caste system.’
If you carefully observe the Bible, there is subtle progression from Jewish particularism (Old Testament) to universalism (New Testament). This ‘progression’ was intended, planned and implemented by God. Take for example, God’s preferential attitude towards marginalized in the book of Exodus. People of Israel under Egyptian bondage were nobodies. God descended to their level to deliver them. Ruth is a gentile woman but she secured a place in Christ’s ancestral lineage. If you study carefully the genealogy of Jesus Christ, it projects an ‘eye-opening’ truth i.e., we can see gentiles in the genealogy.
The very fact of ‘incarnation’ is so powerful. God has incarnated. He did not show discriminative nature. Had he had such attitude incarnation would have been impossible. If God doesn’t have such discriminative attitude, how dare we who claim that we know Him, have such attitude. God made everyone equal. We are supposed to realize that our neighbor is also made in the ‘Image of God’.” The sick, poor, Dalit, rich, politician and everyone carries the ‘Image of God.’
It is heart-breaking to see so-called Christians who profess Christianity have such discriminative attitude. The church needs to be an ‘alternate society.’ A society who reflects God nature, love and mission. However, as one man of God said that the greatest obstacle for missions today is not the religion, race, creed but it is the ‘Church.’ It is true. Due to the discrimination within the church internally, mission is being corrupted externally. It is clearly written “there is neither Greek or Jew.” It means equality of all.
Mahatma Gandhi once said that we need to work towards ‘Sarvodaya’ which means ‘well-being of all.’ Christ did not die and resurrected just for Jews, but for the entire universe. As followers of Christ, we need to ask whether or not we are following Christ. The Church and the believer need to introspect and retrospect. Finally, it is only when you truly respond to the work of the Holy Spirit in you, then only is possible to be an ‘alternate-man/woman’ in this society. The church which is made of such ‘alternate-men/women’ can be a great transforming agent in this discriminative world.