So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.1 Peter 5:6 (NLT)
Humility seems to be in short supply these days. Whether it is political posturing by professional politicians, fearmongering (promoting fear in an effort to control) to get one’s way, or simply showing prejudice towards a group of people because of their beliefs, pride has taken hold of countless inhabitants upon this earth. It’s as if we’ve said, “Goodbye humility!”
Unfortunately, this sense of ego reaches into God’s family, the church. There is political posturing over policies and procedures which govern our organizational systems, each side casting the other as the devil. There is name calling at different ministries within the church (such as the One Project) because of misrepresentations and fallacies. Some are even so bold as to suggest that those affiliated with such movements should be kicked out of the church, and pastors who have taken part in the events be fired. Still others point fingers of shame at other local churches who worship differently than their own particular congregation. People slap labels on other Christians, such as “liberal,” or “conservative,” or “historical,” all so that they can stereotype others as somehow evil or heathen.
I love the Adventist church. I’ve grown up in it. I worship as part of it. I get the distinct privilege of pastoring for it. Yet, the humbleness to which we are called to live has taken a backseat to ego. The infighting and bitterness are causing the advancement of the Gospel (our sole purpose on this planet, by-the-way) to take a backseat to opinions, rumors, and backbiting. Church, this must stop. Never mind the fact that it’s distracting from our mission, but who in their right mind looking in from the outside would ever want to belong to such misery?
So, here is my plea. As Peter – who knew a thing or two about screwing up – put it, “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.” We must humbly ask forgiveness of one another for our behavior. Heal the wounds in our church. We must humbly ask forgiveness of our Savior, who’s mission we have been ignoring. We must humbly set aside our differences and focus on what unites us – Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. (Not policy) Drop ego. Embrace the love of God and submit to Him.