I was going to write a post railing about their existence in our church and how I have noticed them more as our church has grown larger. After I read these posts, I realised that I have been just as bad at actively seeking out new people and making sure they feel included at church.
It's much easier every week at church to talk only to the people we know, that we feel comfortable with and have things in common with. And it's okay to have close friendships in church. We need to have close friends who will hold us accountable for changing our sinful natures to become more Christlike. But it is not okay to be exclusive and to avoid inviting new people into existing friendship groups. This is not the kind of behaviour that Jesus demonstrated to us.
I think these posters are right. Cliquish behaviour stems from selfishness and looking out for our own interests (and I would also suggest our popularity) rather than the interests of others. And this kind of behaviour will not win others to Christ's family. In fact, I think it can be a real turn off to newcomers and may even drive them away from our church.
I need to examine my own behaviour in this regard and pray about it. I thought Ben's warning was good...if you don't think you are in a clique, then you probably are....