Why are there cliques?
This was a question asked recently by one of our youth. A very simple, but deep question I think! One worthy of some prayer and thought. It deserves an answer that provokes the mind and the heart, to a Christ-like response.
The word clique comes from the French according to Webster’s Dictionary. The definition is as follows; it means a refusal to talk to outsiders even at the lunch table. It includes words like clan, gang, community, body, bunch, circle, crowd, coven, pack. In social terms, it can mean ethos, bourgeois, or a sub-culture.
In our world today, we are completely surrounded by cliques. In schools, you can have a subculture, of gang’s and jock’s, those who are cool and those who are not. Even in our everyday lives, we see it. In the style of clothing, where we eat, where we work, shop, and where we worship. We have so many different denominations, by definition; we are all cliques, because we hang out in a particular church, philosophy, who we are comfortable with and even in social or economic standing, as well as age groups, or ethnic background.
In saying this I am not saying there is anything wrong with any of this. In fact I think it’s great that we can hang out with people who think, feel and believe the same. I get really excited when I can talk about the same issues, cares, enjoyment that I feel. I get really stoked when I can talk with someone about the Lord, Motorcycles, or about social justice issues. Just like you will have people and causes you are excited about. It is awesome that Lord has made us this way.
There are many passages throughout the bible that talk about cliques, the Saducees, Pharisees, the rich and the poor, Jewish, and Gentile. In some ways the divisions that come with cliques can be harmful and hurtful. Oh, cause you don’t wear the same style of clothing, or talk the same way. You can’t join us! You aren’t good enough. We can do that with people, because they don’t believe or act the same way. We can judge and mistreat people in ways that can do damage to their souls and not even know we have done that. So yes there are some bad things about living within a clique.
In 2 Corinthians 5: 20 it says that we are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God was making His appeal through us. Earlier on in this passage the Apostle Paul writes that were at be ministers of reconciliation. That we are no longer to view people in a worldly point of view, we are to reach out on His behalf. I believe in today’s world we need to embrace the differences in the world we now find ourselves living, as opportunities for us as Christians to be Minister’s of reconciliation, to be Christ’s ambassadors in a foreign world. As I embrace the world of poverty and addiction, the world of the teen. It may very well be a foreign world for many. Just as the world of the senior, the disabled, third world countries, and other cultures are foreign worlds to me.
To answer to my friend who asked the question in the first place. I believe God created us to be individuals who have different tastes, talents and abilities. Because each one of us have been created as individuals who live in community. God has given you a unique character. I believe that because that cliques bug you and you have taken the time to question this in your life. I believe this is an opportunity for you to be Christ’s ambassador in a foreign world. All by reaching out and being the person He has called to you to be. Just by being a friend and caring for others. As simple as a smile or a casual greeting.
Maybe we all can reach out in the name of Christ and be His ambassadors in this foreign world.