Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Sense of Community






I'm going to start of by saying I am NOT a theologian. I have not taken theology classes or officially studied theology. Most of what I post regarding Scripture has been researched to the best of my ability when necessary. Everything I post regarding Scripture has been put on my heart for some reason. I believe that when a thought/Scripture sticks with you it's because the Holy Spirit is revealing something to you and I choose to use my blog to share that with others.

Today I post on Community. It seems broad right? Let me tell you how I got here and maybe it will make sense.

Stefan had a coworker that belongs to the Mormon Community. One night she and I got to talking about her beliefs (because learning about different faiths is AWESOME and I encourage you to always take that opportunity whether you "buy it" or not!) One thing she mentioned that stuck with me is the strong sense of community. In her faith, they try to do business with other Mormons whenever possible. (Especially small businesses) They also jump up and help each other out whenever they can. I found this really cool (for lack of a better word).

Recently I was reading a blog about a woman that grew up Amish. In one post she talks about a tradition in the Amish Community for new mothers: An unmarried woman comes to live with her and takes over housework and childcare so mom can focus on bonding with her new baby. Again, how cool is that?

This led to me thinking, "Why don't we see that in Christian Communities?" I know there's at least one reader out there thinking, "Well, in my church..." and I want to stop you there. That is EXACTLY what I'm talking about here. I'm sure that you'd lend a hand to a fellow church member. You know, someone you know well. What if it were someone you KNEW was a good Christian (let's say they attend a different church or even denomination); would you be as willing to help?

There's a Scripture that touches on this:
Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.  1 Corinthians 1:10 (NKJV)


Now, I know it's easier (more convenient?) to worship with people that believe the same doctrine that you do. I get that. But, in the end, does it really matter that Church A believes in infant baptism and Church B doesn't? Isn't the big picture to raise that child to accept Christ? And further more, when did Jesus ever say that Christianity would be convenient?? Everything I've read talks about having troubles and being persecuted. We believe that when someone ridicules our faith. We believe it when our car breaks down on the way to an important meeting. We believe it when a family member becomes ill. But we go out of our way to worship with people that only believe EXACTLY how we believe. Churches divide over details all the time. I believe the term is "sacred cow." 


Now, there are some major differences between denominations. Some believe "once saved, always saved" and some believe that a single time of sin can make you lose your salvation. I can see that keeping people apart. Those aren't the kinds of things I'm talking about here. 



I think I'm rambling...


I recently found a great sermon on this exact thing. There are a few quotes I want to share.

An attitude will determine first of all, not a constitution, not a doctrine, but what is our attitude to life, what is our attitude to other believers, what is our attitude to the Lord Jesus Christ and His Lordship in my life - that will determine whether we are united or whether we are divided in the church!
Now people get this idea of Christian unity that we have to surrender our minds up to somebody else, that we have to give our wills over to some church leader, and we're not allowed to think any more for ourselves, and somebody else acts on our behalf. That is the thing of cults, strange Eastern religions, that is not the unity that Christ speaks of in His word - the unity in the Spirit. It's not some kind of dictatorship, but it is a unity nevertheless, but a unity that is based on the common leadership of the Lord Jesus Christ - a surrender not to a human being alone, but a surrender to Him, to His word, and to His Spirit as His Spirit guides us through the word to its precepts and principles.

. . .
God doesn't give us the word of God and these standards on the basis of our human ability, He gives us commands, He gives us promises on the basis of divine provision. God never ever, right throughout the Scriptures, demotes His own standards and practices because of our human limitations, but He does the exact opposite: He provides the strength and the ability that we need to do what He commands - that is the miracle of salvation in Christ! He can make us into something by grace that we could never of ourselves ever be.


 Take a look at yourself and your church. Are there divisions within your church? Why? Is it over a major piece of theology or something trivial like where the pulpit should sit? Do you avoid supporting your fellow Christian only based on denomination? When was the last time you attended a fund-raising event for a church of a different denomination?

I'd love to hear your thoughts and host a respectful discussion!

4 comments:

  1. Yes, I do agree with you. As Christians we should be more united and walk in unity.

    Truly it is CHRIST that brings us together as one.

    And is is sad that other faiths walk this concept out so well.

    Meanwhile, we can do what we can do, and it will make a difference.


    Let's let our lights shine brightly in this dark world, especially now, when so many are easily decieved.

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  2. I agree with you completely! It was Jesus' desire that we be a body unified. It saddens me to see all of the division and hurt in the church. I can't imagine what Jesus must think.

    Blessings to you this WFW!

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  3. Alicia: I have a feeling he'd be totally dumbfounded. Like, "So wait, explain to me why where the pulpit was placed was a good reason to abandon your church..."

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  4. Kasondra, It sounds like you were a preachers kid and more importantly paid attention more than even you knew. I hop you sent this to your dad. Our Community Thanksgiving was about this very topic. Why do we as Christians lend ourselves to titles?( Baptist, Methodist, Catholic or any other one)God has call HIS people to follow His commandments and go into the world and make disciples. I think we as humans get stuck on stuff instead of what the real prize. Yes GOD is our Prize in any faith. I love you and this is a good topic. Touch lives and make a difference.

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