Spiritual Elitism and New Churches
In my sermon this Sunday at our monthly Reveal preview worship service I confessed that as a church planter I found it easy to confuse a taste for novelty as faithfulness. In some ways this serves us well. Our charter demands that we experiment, tinker, and frequently try new things. We are a new church, and along with that designation comes a responsibility to not fear failure while trying new things. However, this proclivity to lean hard towards whatever is "new" or "different" can sometimes encourage a subtle and creeping suspicion of anything established or old. It is a kind of spiritual elitism that the Apostle Paul condemned in his letters to the Corinthian Church. 2 Corinthians 13 was our scripture this Sunday. The leap in perspective from new church to enlightened church to more faithful church is counter-productive to our efforts to realize our primary objective - transforming the city in the present to look more like heaven. I don't think it would be a stretch to say all churches, whether they are new, old, established, suburban, urban, big, or small, share that same mission. Just as spiritual elitism infected the Corinthian Church, so also can it infect us and ultimately do harm to the body of Christ.