Tuesday Thoughts: Christian Independence
I've never really approved of the "just Jesus and me and my Bible" kind of direction. Some of the folk who are attracted to T.A. Sparks got that way because they think that's what he's saying; yet he was of an earlier time where the idea of the independent Christian was not even on the horizon. He spoke and wrote and lectured to folks who were "churched".
And there is a plethora of folks who are of the mind that the body of Christ has nothing to offer them, and they have nothing to offer reciprocally. But this 21st century solitary mindset does not take into consideration that throughout history, those who escaped to the desert anciently, or even those who adopt an eremitic lifestyle most often do this with the permission and under the direction of those who are over them in the church setting because it is a spiritually perilous endeavor.
That solitary mindset works for personal devotions, but the Body of Christ is a living organism, with all its various parts ministering together for the maturing/perfecting of the saints. It is the people of God filled with his spirit, not just individuals.
It's also not just about a reductionistic sort of "fire insurance" either. And if it is, it's not a very good insurance policy, but as Bonhoeffer called it, "cheap grace."
The individualistic Christian mindset is a somewhat new concept, very much American, I might add, which allows for no one being accountable to anyone else, except the god he or she has created in one's own image. Probably one of the biggest forms of idolatry there is in these days of great and often subtle apostasy.
No, we're not perfect. And that is precisely why we need one another in the Body of Christ. It's how Christ designed it.
It may well be that this "I do it my way" mentality is one of the reasons the church as a congregation is becoming a place where it is difficult to get along - because no one wants to submit to one another.
Cliques and the like form around personal interests rather than the mind of Christ. Then a sort of mini mob rule follows, where some are heard and others are not.
The point is that the Church is not a democracy, but those who walk in the Spirit, hearing the Shepherd's Voice, walking according to His word, teaching and admonishing one another in all that He has commanded, and therefore have harmony with one another. It is not the American mindset, nor is it of any other worldy political persuasion. We are to hear one Voice, that of the King of kings and Lord of lords, and that is all - as He makes Himself present in and among His people.
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