What's this blog all about?
Not too long ago, it occurred to me that I am probably not going to like heaven. Don’t get me wrong- I’m going to like aspects of heaven. For example, I can’t wait to meet the best version of myself. And I look forward to exploring a fully renewed physical world. Plus, the thought of seeing Jesus face-to-face sparks even the darkest corners of my heart. All of these things – Perfect Me, the physical world, Jesus - sound fabulous. Sign me up! I’m just not too crazy about all of the other people who are probably going to be there.
You see, in theory, we support the vision of a diverse, integrated and interdependent body of Christ, but we typically don’t venture outside of our homogenous churches to live the vision. We have reformed churches, black churches, hipster churches, Chinese churches, Pentecostal churches, emerging churches – but we rarely engage in meaningful interactions outside of our church/cultural groups. Instead, we tend to focus on the things that differentiate us from other groups, underestimate the richness and value that other groups bring to the Kingdom of God and foster negative attitudes about other groups. If we interact with other groups at all, we usually do so at a distance and with at least a hint of suspicion. If we are a body, then we are one that is afflicted with an autoimmune disease.
When we become aware of the problem of disunity in the Church, we tend to (1) panic because we don’t know what to do about the problem and (2) blame others because that seems like a good temporary solution. This response only serves to widen the divide. However social psychological research on group processes can help us to understand why such divisions exist and how we can overcome them in healthy, fruitful ways.
This blog is about overcoming division, embracing difference and living as citizens of the kingdom of God now. Heaven is going to be awesome. Let’s start now.