I Was Just Thinking About - - -
The idea of marginalization (to relegate to the fringes; making someone or something to be out of the mainstream of involvement and/or discourse; make someone or something to seem unimportant or irrelevant) is a harsh but effective device in political rhetoric. It is designed to establish a narrative about a rival that will cause one to defend himself or herself as per the exaggerated or insignificant revelations gleaned from one’s past statements or relationships. The tactic is designed to utilize a statement or act that is out of a broader context and magnify it so that people will believe the worst about another person. There always seems to be a quest for and emphasis upon an individual’s negatives. By utilizing this tactic and strategy, it is believed one can achieve a more favorable personal result because of the comparison narrative that is being circulated.
The reality of marginalization is also present in Church and Religious matters. As in most situations in life, one will encounter the proverbial “pecking order” (a hierarchy of status seen among members of a group of people or animals). Some people, in order to obtain prestige or position, have to be in a special relationship with those who are part of the “pecking order.” They represent those who recommend and influence personnel placement, the ongoing agenda and the narrative to which one is expected to accept and promote. Anyone attempting to not kowtow to the “pecking order” whims and dictates will generally find himself marginalized within the broad context of the organization. Whether the narrative established about one is valid or exaggerated to emphasize negatives, is accepted in a carte blanche manner only because it originates with a voice in the “pecking order.” There was a man years ago who was seeking relocation into a better situation for himself and his family. He was not connected to the “pecking order” because of his own personal naiveté. He believed that the will of God was the goal and purpose – not the will of any man! When one in the “pecking order” received inquiry about him, it was opined that he was more of a “blunderbuss” (implying that his actions or way of doing things demonstrated his lack of subtlety and precision). Despite the fact that he had always served faithfully and well, he was “labeled” and some of the better opportunities never were afforded him.
The adage that states “You only have one opportunity to make a good first impression!” does have some merit for those who are influenced by the comments or recommendations of others. If the ideal was being pursued by the Church, there would be an appeal made to a Scriptural portrait of a narrative that should be the expectation for each professing Biblical Christian. One criterion for consideration would be I Corinthians 15:9-11, “For I am the least…and am unworthy…But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not in vain. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.” Another criterion is Micah 6:6-8, “With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
The basis for ministry and Christian life evaluation does not flow from any structured “pecking order.” It must always be Scripturally based and in accordance with God’s standards and will. There is a Worship Hymn that should easily be the prayer and narrative of a Biblical Christian:
“In this quiet place with You, I bow before Your throne;
I bare the deepest part of me To You and You alone.
I keep no secrets for there is No thought You have not known.
I bring my best and all the rest To You and lay them down.
With all my heart I want to love You Lord;
And live my life each day to know You more.
All that is in me is Yours completely,This is the Biblical Christian Antidote for Marginalization. Consider these things with me!
I'll serve You only with all my heart!”
I'll serve You only with all my heart!”