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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cloned Christians?

Illustration by renjith krishnan

  • Do this.
  • Do that.
  • Look like this.
  • Look like that.
  • Talk like this.
  • Talk like that.

Everyone alike.


Is this what Christianity's supposed to look like?

Not according to the Bible!

The Bible does say that Christians are parts of one body through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 4:4-6) But, it goes on to say we are different. Each person has a unique function, important to the whole.

This concept is further explored in Romans 12:4-5, For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

I love this illustration of the body of Christ being like a physical body: For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked (1 Corinthians 12:12-24).

Can you imagine it? Some of us are eyes, and some are feet. Some are ears and hands. Each believer is different. We are different because it’s part of God’s design. He has a job for each of us, a unique role for every Christian. And, even though we’re different one from the other, God wants us to get along in the church, to work together in harmony: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular (1 Corinthians 12:25-27).

Probably one of the most important people in the early church was the Apostle Paul. He told the Christians in the church at Corinth, Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). He wasn’t saying he wanted them to be just like him; Paul wanted them to be like Christ!

So, are Christians supposed to be just alike?

Only inasmuch as we’re Christ-like.

Each Christian has his own personality, spiritual gifts, and function in the body of Christ, the church. We work together like cogs in a big wheel. Each one is important. Each one plays his part.

It’s quite okay to be different.

Think how Jesus picked His disciples. There were fishermen, a tax collector, a political zealot, and others of unknown professions. We know Simon Peter was the excitable action man. John was tender and loving (and probably the youngest disciple). Thomas will be forever known as the non-trusting one, the guy who had to see to believe. And yet, God used them all to turn the world upside down. (Acts 17:6)

  • Who made our personalities?
  • Who made our physical features?
  • Who gave us our frames?
  • Who gave us abilities in some areas and no inclination in others?
  • Who gave us our family backgrounds, even ancestors?

Psalm 139 says, For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee (verses 13-18).

The answer to all of these questions is God. God has a purpose for every human being ever born. In fact, he planned us as we are, and He actively thinks about us.

Okay, so we’re supposed to be different. And, we’re supposed to grow more and more like Christ. So, what does that mean for me . . . now . . . in April, 2014?

For women, I think it means:
  • We accept our bodies and our looks as God’s design. Yes, we can comb our hair, fix up, and firm up. But God designed us as we are for our own special niche in His plan. We need to accept that He knows best and that He can best use us—exactly as He formed us. It’s part of our acknowledgment of God’s sovereignty.
  • We realize that each Christian has a unique role to play. If she lives for God, she will be fulfilling that role.
  • We look for ways in which to use our God-given gifts and aptitudes for His glory. We find our place in our church and in our community. We shine as lights in our own corner of the world. We understand that different lights will shine in different corners.
  • We appreciate differences. Just because someone is very different from you doesn’t mean he or she can’t be used of God. Celebrate the fact that God uses all kinds of different people to bring glory to Himself. Remember we’re all parts of a whole.
  • We become thankful. When we recognize God’s grace in wanting to use people at all, we begin to thank Him for the privilege of collaborating in His work. It is more and more amazing that God would want to use men and women, when He could easily do things all by Himself. It’s humbling.
  • We start to love people and enjoy them, just as they are. This acceptance is freeing, and it also provides us with a mirror for looking at ourselves as others see us. (We’re a little kooky, too!) 
Cloned Christians?

No, the Master Plan embraces diversity. Praise God! 


  1. Your title Cloned Christians really caught my attention. I really like how well you discussed the body of Christ. I really appreciate this.

  2. So true! Viva la difference! It's so important that we not judge or foist our particular convictions on another Christian - which can sometimes be oh, so easy to do. A wise friend of mine once said, "We need to agree to disagree." Somehow, that thought just made it okay that we each saw things in a different way (neither was wrong, but just not in agreement) and there was peace. We don't all share the same convictions, but as the body of Christ, we need to accept each other and not let our differences become a thorn in our flesh. Thanks, Lou Ann.


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