Our branch church closed recently because we focused on us and not on our community.
Attendee, Midwest Church Alive
We live in a time where we quickly put people in boxes. Maybe we have more in common than what we think? Introducing All That We Share. The English version.
From the January 2014 issue of The Christian Science Journal
We read in the Bible that “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34). In other words, God loves all His/Her creation equally. He doesn’t play favorites! He doesn’t love one group of people more than another. God fills all space. Since God is Love, Love fills all space. It would be absurd to think that there is something outside of “all” that wasn’t loved, because “all” is unequivocal.
All is all.
The thought that God might play favorites can be based on a sense of tribalism. “Those people, that party, this nationality is better/worse than we are” forms a reasoning that leads to sharply divisive, and even dangerous attitudes. Many challenges facing us today are a result of this kind of tribalistic thinking, found, not just in Africa, but in many countries, including the United States. If you think about it, we have “tribes” all around us. For example, cliques at school: “The popular kids,” “the athletes,” “alumni tribes” after graduating from college, etc. And then there are all those other tribes—ethnic, political, and religious.
Jesus’ example countered any sign of tribalism. For instance, when he asked for water at Jacob’s well, he talked to a Samaritan woman (see John 4:1–42). His disciples “marvelled that he talked with the woman” for as she herself said, “How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.” And in his parable of the good Samaritan, he specifically picked a Samaritan to illustrate the need to love and care for others of different “tribes” (see Luke 10:30–37).
Tribalism divides people. For there to be peace in the world, there needs to be unity. This has to begin with the individual. We can’t afford to think that tribalism is a problem that exists somewhere else. It is in our own backyards, and needs to be healed there.
Photo below – Abandoned Church of Christ Science
Photo below: The architect best known for designing Pullman was also a prolific designer of Christian Science temples in the Neo-Classical style. This one is the fourth church built facing Raymond Park. Its monumental limestone porch leads visitors into one of the most sublime Neo-Classical spaces in the city: a sloping auditorium with a rib-vaulted ceiling that is illuminated by a band of clerestory windows. The space was restored in 2003. It is now a concert hall for the Music Institute of Chicago.