Linage and Blood line.
In Modern world today, there still exist many places where your pedigree is more important than anything else in existence. Either you are born into it, or you are not. Those of us in America, at least many of us, are not aware of pedigree prejudice. Other countries it is much more evident. India’s Caste system and England’s nobility, are two that easily come to this author’s mind. In America we have several bastions of ranking. TV has opened up The Hamptons to view and allowed the masses to be entertained by watching the manipulations of the rich and famous.
I lived in a small town, population about 2000. The Post Office served about 30,000 which included all the surrounding country and smaller communities. I lived there for about 28 years, my kids were born there, but I was always a newcomer. I knew several old timers and their families. I was (or at least think I was) their friend. But after 28 years, I still feel like an outsider.
But to change focus, lets look at our Churches today. I have been in many Churches that were owned by one or two families. If you were an outsider and not born into or married into THE family; you were an outsider. How many times have you heard someone telling that their parents, grandparents, etc went to that particular church. Somehow you get the feeling that because you don’t have the pedigree, you are a lesser Christian. And believe me, some will work hard to keep you feeling that!
In Sabbath School we were studying the Gospel of John and one of the topics we have looked at is the Jews who were trusting in their pedigree, rather than Jesus. “We are of Abraham.” John 8:33
While it seems to be human nature to be concerned with status, it is not godly. From history and a study of social behaviors, we see a long and dark path of discrimination based on multiple factors. Money, ancestry/linage, membership, and many other separating factors have been the criteria for determining who is in status verses who is out. Animal pedigrees can raise the price of an animal substantially.
Somehow, the Church Jesus started is not supposed to have pedigree power. Jesus taught servant hood. Genealogy is fun. It can also inspire us to keep on keeping on as we look at our family history in Church. But it should not be a power structure. If your ancestor carried the Ship’s Bible on the Mayflower, it does not earn you rights, privileges or power in today’s church.
It seems that Churches that exalt pedigrees are Churches that are stagnating and are soon on the decline. Visitors and new members cannot fit in because they just do not have the appropriate family linage.