Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Sunday, November 25, 2012

CommUNITY (2)

Ephesians 4:11-14

"And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,..."

There is a responsibility placed upon the leadership of the Church to equip the community of believers in a manner consistent with building upon a foundation of faith and works by which each and every individual has purpose and identity. This identity is found within the realization of Jesus Christ in the corporate life of the Church as well as in the individual life. We are to be first and foremost a corporate entity and secondly an individual.

In our individualistic society developing a sense of community is a daunting challenge. Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that stresses "the moral worth of the individual". Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and value independence and self-reliance while opposing external interference upon one's own interests by society. It is this thought process which makes it almost impossible for those who hold to this mindset to come under the authority of the Church and submit to its leadership. Their premise is that the loss of their freedom and identity to the corporate identity is not in their best interests. We are not here to develop a spiritual life of our own, we are "... to walk worthy of the calling with which (we) were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

An individualist enters into society to further his own interests, or at least demands the right to serve his or her own interests, without taking the interests of society into consideration. The individualist does not lend credence to any philosophy that requires the sacrifice of the self-interest of the individual for any higher social causes. It is this attitude which distorts the Christian mantra of sacrifice and submission and even in a Christian context allows an individual to believe that what Jesus has done for me is only and all that is important. Whenever it is about what an individual believer wants, the relationship with God and other believers is distorted. It is and always has been about entire abandonment to Jesus Christ, God's Son.

In our individualism we fail to shrink from our right to affirm our personal agendas in order for the corporate agenda to be fulfilled. The leadership of the Church has its hands full in dealing with self-sufficiency, self-worth and pride.

Matthew 5:3
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven."
If there is no need, then there will be no want,

If there is no poverty, then there is no richness,
If there is no humility, then grace is never needed,
'As and 'So'.

There is no solution to the question of the unity of the Church, which a strong sense of humility will not solve.

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