In light of ongoing social ferment in 2017 on both sides of the US/Canada border, I offer some insights from Jurgen Moltmann, written 40 years ago. Readers of Volf's Exclusion and Embrace will recognize Moltmann's influence on his thought.
In a social context where often we are only getting perspectives that represent a humanist worldview (i.e., a world with human capacity for self-improvement at the centre) or distorted Christian civil religion (with Christian semantics employed in the service of patriotism), we need to take the time to reflect more deeply on a revealed tradition that for millenia recorded a perspective on the distorted human condition that can only be rectified by outside intervention. We can't fix this of our own accord. History is witness to that reality.
"Birds of a feather flock together." But why? People who are like us, who think the same thoughts, who have the same things, and who want the same things, confirm us. However, people who are different from us, that is, people whose thoughts, feelings and desires are different from ours, make us feel insecure. We therefore love those who are like us and shun those who are different from us. And when these others live in our midst expressing their need for recognition, interest, and humanity, we react with defensiveness, increased self-confirmation, anxiety and disparagement. This anxiety is indeed the root of racism, anti-Semitism, discrimination against people with disabilities, and, not the least, the lack of relationships in the congregation. "Birds of a feather flock together": that is nothing other than the social form of self-justification and the expression of anxiety. This form of self-justification, therefore, never appears without aggressions against that which threatens its security. It has no self-confidence. It has no ego-strength.
"Accept one another." As we have seen this imperative unfortunately has its limitations. The roots of these limitations lie deep within ourselves. They appear in our anxiety about ourselves, and then in the self-justification which is so deeply ingrained in us.
"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you" (Romans 15:7). Only this attitude can give us a new orientation and break through our limitations so that we can spring over our narrow shadows. It opens us up for others as they really are so that we gain a longing for and an interest in them. As a result of this we become able actually to forget ourselves and to focus on the way Christ has accepted us.
... We can mutually accept each other because Christ has accepted us...
(from Jurgen Moltmann, The Open Church: Invitation to a Messianic Lifestyle, SCM Press, 1978.)