Best-selling author Debbie MacComber in God’s Guest List wrote, “There’s a trend these days to knock organized religion in favor of individual spirituality. I believe that’s a big mistake. If you get into the Bible, you’ll see that much of it is about relationships. We grow when we bump up against people, when people challenge us, and when we are held accountable. If we want to open the door to our ultimate guest, we have to know that He usually comes with a whole entourage. And while some of His people will become our heroes, others may be prickly or poor and needy.”
Why can’t a person go deep in Christ without getting all caught up in Christian community?
First of all, you and I were designed for authentic relationship with God and with others. According to Scripture, love for God is deeply intertwined with love for others. You can’t separate them without destroying faith’s essence and vitality.
The Apostle John wrote, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” (I John 4:20-21 NIV)
Second, to “love God” without a connection to His community is like reading a cookbook without ever cooking. You never make the mistake of burning the dinner rolls but no one sits down to a home-cooked meal either.
How in the world can you practice the one anothers without a community?
The one anothers?
Love one another.
Be devoted to one another.
Honor one another.
Live in harmony with another.
Stop passing judgment on one another.
Accept one another.
Greet one another.
Agree with one another.
Encourage one another.
Forgive one another.
Admonish one another.
Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Do not slander one another.
Don’t grumble against one another.
Love one another deeply.
From Jesus to John to Peter to James to Paul, we are encouraged to walk with God in faith and to live with one another in love.
Community in Christ is this simple.
Anything short of that is playing at the shallow end of the spirituality pool.
I’m curious about your thoughts. Why are you involved in Christian community? If not involved, what are your reasons? Whether involved or not, your comments will help generate healthy discussion.
“Hide and Seek” by Margaret Manning at Slice of Infinity (good piece on church as community)
“Buyer Beware” by Seth Godin (short article on the importance of building trust)
Two men. Two eternal destinies.
One common hope.
What people are saying:
Tarver’s storytelling technique as he takes us along with Nick and Wayne’s journeys through opposite eternal pathways is nothing short of genius.–Linda Rondeau, Author of The Other Side of Darkness
Masterfully written!–B. C. Jones
My final verdict…I loved it! –Chris Patton, Christian Business Owner, Christian Faith at Work blog
My novel can be found at:
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