Definition: A small group of people that excludes outsiders; an exclusive set of associates.
1. Cliques are contrary to the loving unity intended to be shared among Christians.
1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Acts 4:32a And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul. [See also 2:46]
1 Corinthians 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
Ephesians 2:14 For He is our peace, Who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.
2. Cliques create discord and disunity, which the Lord hates.
Proverbs 6:16,19b These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: … 19b he that soweth discord among brethren.
Matthew 12:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.
Acts 6:1 [A clique resulting from Jews favoring their own above other races caused frustration and murmuring:] And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
Galatians 5:15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
3. Cliques provide an atmosphere where gossip and backbiting thrive.
Psalm 38:12b They that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.
Proverbs 16:28 A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
Proverbs 11:9a An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour.
4. Cliques often result from a feeling or pretense of superiority, due to pride.
Proverbs 13:10a Only by pride cometh contention.
Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
1 Corinthians 4:8-10 [Paul chides some of the Corinthian church who had become conceited and self-confident] Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you. 9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.
Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
James 2:1-4,8,9 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; 3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: 4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? 8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced [convicted] of the law as transgressors.
5. Excluding others is like choosing to be handicapped, for we all need each other.
1 Corinthians 12:12,20-26 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. … 20 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 21 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. 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 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. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
6. Be loving and unselfish — draw a circle that excludes no one.
Romans 12:9a,10 Let love be without dissimulation [hypocrisy, insincerity]. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.
Romans 13:9b,10 And if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
1 Corinthians 10:33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
1 Corinthians 13:4,5 Charity [Love] suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.
Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Philippians 2:2,4 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
1 Timothy 5:21b That thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.
Hebrews 13:1 Let brotherly love continue.
1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned [sincere] love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.
James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
1 John 3:17,18 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
7. In excluding others, cliques exclude Jesus.
Matthew 25:42-45 For I was an hungred, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in: naked, and ye clothed Me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not. 44 Then shall they also answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee? 45 Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me.
1 John 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God Whom he hath not seen?
8. Consider how you would feel if others excluded you from their clique.
Proverbs 18:24a A man that hath [or would have] friends must shew himself friendly.
Luke 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
9. Fight for unity!
John 17:20,21a Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; 21a That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us.
Romans 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
Romans 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren … be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the Gospel of Christ… that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel.
[See also BIAS]