I had another amazing opportunity to go overseas. Our small group recently returned from serving in India. The things we saw and were able to take part in were truly amazing. The Indian people were very friendly, kind, and welcoming to us.
There is one thing I would like to point out which was very impactful to me: the unity the Christians have in Jesus Christ. This may seem simple, but when you understand not only the culture, but the (length that it has been around), it really is astounding.
The Indian culture operates under a caste system. The best way to describe it is our class system, but it is really not anything close to it. The caste system, around for thousands of years, is not set up like our class system with three classes. There are hundreds of castes that exists within the culture.
The way the system is set up is often sad. There are some people in lower castes that would never be allowed to be in the house of someone in a higher caste. This was new to us as Americans. One of the guys who was on our team observed this at our hotel. Often people coming into the hotel would not even acknowledge those working there, many times not even looking at them.
Thankfully the Christian Indian churches were different. Standing out like a beacon of hope to those of the 75% of the 1.3 billion people belonging to the lower castes are the Christian churches of India
We were at several churches where the Gospel has broken through the caste system. People of different castes that should not even talk to each other in society before becoming Christians were in church together worshipping and celebrating their family of God together.
How often do we have these struggles in America without their extreme caste system? We set up our own caste system, do we not? We have people of different backgrounds, races, politics, and socio-economic places in life. People refuse to worship with others in American churches because others don’t believe exactly like them, even though they are a part of the same family of God through the Gospel.
What does Scripture teach us? That we should worship together. James tells us that no matter what one’s status or economic position is, we are all equal in Christ. The apostle Paul tells us in I Corinthians 15:1-5 that despite different theology on secondary issues, that the Gospel should be our main focus to unify us.
What are the areas in which you struggle to love others that are in God’s family? (How can you view others who are different than you as keeping the fact that the Gospel has unified you as the main thing?) Does your church consist of people with different backgrounds coming together to worship the same Jesus Christ? If those who have thousands of years of the caste system can see the Gospel break through their culture, surely we as Americans can have victory in this as well.
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.