Ghettos are locales where people of a similar culture, social, or economic group live or hang out.
Sometimes this is enforced by an authoritarian government: Jews in various nations during WWII, Israelites in Eqypt in the time of the Pharaohs. Keep them together behind a fence so we can keep track of them, and so they can't bother us.
Sometimes it is completely voluntary. Hutterite, Amish or Mennonite communities, 'Little Italy' or other ethnic neighborhoods. Let's keep our uniqueness intact, so everyone else won't influence us.
I see a lot of the second, voluntary kind of ghettoization in the church.
There can be so many activities/meetings/programs that there is no time left to get to know anyone from outside 'the group'. Business connections so you can get your car, teeth, hair or house fixed by a fellow Christian. Christian sports leagues. Christian media. Some get so paranoid that they won't even associate with someone from the church across the street.
And still we think we are being a worthwhile influence in society. Just how do we think we are accomplishing this worthwhile influence?
When we march against some particular 'ill of society'?
When we gather in our bunkers to pray or pontificate about these 'ills'?
When we get together and bemoan how bad the world is getting?
I dare you!
--Don't look in the Shepherd's Guide the next time you need a professional.
--Quit your 'Christian' hockey team and join a 'normal' one.
--Drop one or two of your regular church activities and start hanging out with buddies from work. Or just start hanging out at your neighborhood purveyor of your favorite beverage.
--Don't sign up for yet another seminar about how to be a better Christian. Just get out there and do it.
Assuming that the presence of God's Spirit in your life is making you a better citizen, start being yourself.
--Join a political party that appears to promote better treatment of the little guy.
--Join a civic organization or service club or interest group.
--Find some worthwhile endeavor and help.
(As I was writing this, I received a message from someone who had been planning on joining the particular street outreach group I work with. She had to bow out until next Spring because she is planning on taking a weekly one of those "Better Yourself and Your Life" seminars that have the purpose of "teaching people To Live Their Lives Much More Better & Much More Fulfilled (In Every Area!) In A Spiritually & Physically & Mentally & Emotionally & Financially Way"!!
I kid you not.)
5 hours ago