A Commentary on Christian Culture: Clique Community
The danger of creating exclusive groups and calling them “community”
We are relational creatures. From the beginning of creation, we were meant to be in relationship with God and one another.
Genesis 2:28 says, “The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’”
God didn’t want Adam to be alone, and he doesn’t want us to be alone either. We can feel the yearning for acceptance and belonging, especially when in a new environment. Christian colleges are wonderful, and they bring people with similar beliefs together. However, sometimes we latch onto the need for community so strongly that we take it too far.
If we find our value in our friends and social status, we will be sorely let down. Unfortunately, we may also hurt others in the process. Picture this: a freshman girl starts school and is worried about making friends. Eventually, she finds a group of friends who she gets along with, and they become close. Now, another girl has the same fear of being alone. She sees the group of girls and asks if she can eat with them. They exchange looks but agree. After the meal, they leave the new girl and talk about how awkward it was.
While everyone in that situation had the same worry at some point – not making friends – the new girl was rejected based on timing. To make matters worse, the group defends their actions, saying that they have such good community with one another, and they don’t know that the new girl would fit in.
When we create unwelcoming groups, they are no longer communities, but cliques.
Having a close group of friends is healthy and wonderful, and it’s okay to be closer to some people than others. The issue is when we use this as an excuse to exclude and ostracize others. Why do we feel the need to reject other people? How did you feel when you were the new kid?
Romans 15:7 says, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”
We are called to love and accept one another. Our value isn’t found in others, so we shouldn’t exclude others to protect our reputations or social statuses. We have all been an “outsider” at some point, so why should we be apathetic to other “outsiders?”
A strong community is filled with different personalities, interests, and dynamics. While we may find respite in people similar to us, we shouldn’t exclude those who don’t fit into our own narrative.