:: Sunday, February 16, 2003 ::
It seems that in some ways, our own desire for community to be "accountability" may be aggravating the problem that we are trying to address. When asked why church attendance, (or small group, or home meetings or whatever) are important, many of us give an accountability answer. "Well," we say, "we can't just strike out on our own; we need other people to keep us from wandering away from the faith and keep us from falling into sin." Or something like that. Which is all well and good.
But underlying that statement lies a persistent hint that says, "If I were only perfect enough, I wouldn't need community." If we didn't risk "falling away" or "falling into sinful behavior", we wouldn't be in community. We would go it alone. This "community" is not essential to our lives as believers. Community is merely the place that individuals achieve greatness. Moreover, we have made "community" a necessity because of sin - which leaves us with a bad taste in our mouths.
This, however, is not the Biblical model. (We can discuss at another time why an argument from the Bible is useful and necessary). The Gospels portray Jesus as living in unbroken community with his Father in heaven. This community is so tight that he is in the Father and the Father is in him (John 14:10). Somehow, community is essential to the life of Jesus, which is the eternal life we are interested in participating in.
Somehow, in our reflections upon community, we should not rest in a definition or expression of community that makes it undesirable and / or nonessential. Furthermore, we should not make community a necessity only because of sin. What could we do differently?
I would like to discuss this idea. I will keep posting on this topic periodically as my thoughts begin to gel. Feel free to join the discussion. I pray that God may lead us into the kind of community that He desires.
:: Matt 2/16/2003 03:26:00 PM :: permalink ::