Are we a People?

4 08 2008

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” – 1 Peter 2:9

I was listening to a speaker relay a conversation he had with a Jewish man where the Jew pointed out that the biggest difference between Jews and Christians is that Jews see themselves as a people.  They feel a sense of oneness and unity with fellow Jews and don’t immediately assume the fellow Jew they are meeting for the first time probably belongs to a different tribe.  Christians, on the other hand, have splintered into a thousand groups and look with suspicion on one another, not feeling any real sense of unity with their fellow believers unless they subscribe to their particular brand of the Christian faith.

So do you identify with other believers over a set of specific doctrines or does our oneness in Christ cause you to look at all the churches in your city and say, “we are all one people”?  I must admit this is a strange idea to me.  I have very little real faith in our oneness as a people and so I’m afraid I might be part of the problem.  What do you all think?

Our current attitude is perfectly summed up in the below joke that so ironically described the Christian attitude toward each other it actually won the funniest religious joke of the year.  Funny, but quite sad…

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump. I ran over and said: “Stop. Don’t do it.”

“Why shouldn’t I?” he asked.

“Well, there’s so much to live for!”

“Like what?”

“Are you religious?”

He said: “Yes.”

I said: “Me too. Are you Christian or Buddhist?”


“Me too. Are you Catholic or Protestant?”


“Me too. Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?”


“Wow. Me too. Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?”

“Baptist Church of God.”

“Me too. Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?”

“Reformed Baptist Church of God.”

“Me too. Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?”

He said: “Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915.”

I said: “Die, heretic scum,” and pushed him off.