Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Collecting Readers' Thoughts

I have spent many posts writing largely about individual experience in the spiritual life. I'd like to think about the larger experience of community life within the context of a body of believers.

Share a thought of what comes to mind when you think about being a member of the Body.

Don't worry about length of your comments. I'll read it all! And no comment is too small.

11 comments:

Craig V. said...

It seems to me that part of what we're describing is spiritual sleep (Steve's reference to auto pilot). Notice that we are more easily awakened by sound than by light. (Sorry, I couldn't resist). We have a sleep problem. God awakens us by the power of His Word.

ded said...

;^)

Craig V. said...

I suppose I should show I really can read and answer the question you asked. A few thoughts come to mind. Being a member of Christ's body means, by His grace, I'm part of the great event of His death and resurrection. It means that what He did is far greater than my individual salvation. It means that in loving my brothers and sisters in Christ God's love is made visible. It means that growth is relational and communal. It means that life in the Spirit is normally life in God's community.

ded said...

Thanks for sharing a thought on being a member of Christ's Body, craig v.

It means that what He did is far greater than my individual salvation.

Amen!

jesse said...

The word that comes to mind when thinking of being a member of the body is: Contributor. You have to be able to contribute your mind, body, and soul in order to really begin to receive the fruits of being in the body.

Kim's Hotrod said...

OK, I'll put in some discussion, which has less to do with community life (to a degree) and more with the body of Christ.

When Jesus was physically present on the earth, one of the attributes that ascribe to God was absent: omnipresent. He was physically confined to being one place at any given time. Now that he has gone (and he told us it would be better if he left because of the appearing of the Holy Spirit), WE have become his actual body. His omnipresent body exists in the world today when we look at the believers who are in our midst, locally and globally.

I also used to think of the members of the body of Christ being defined by their gifts - a foot is a foot because of what it does. But could the body of Christ also apply to different denominations of Christianity. Are Baptists like the feet, Methodists the neck, Charismatics the hands, etc...? We tend to use our denominational affiliations as divisions in the body, based on what we believe is right doctrinally. When I view denominations as another part of the body, I see them less as people who are so close to getting it right and more as my brothers and sisters who maybe understand things differently than I. It's a slippery slope into post-modern theism, for sure, but only if we ignore the Word and quench the Spirit living in us.

I have plenty to say (good and bad, I'm sure), but I've condensed it to these few paragraphs for the sake of the discussion.

ded said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ded said...

Summer school ended yesterday. The last week is a bit hectic with preparing and administering the End-of-Grade tests that are a major point of the summer school session.

On top of that, I had to suspend several students from attending over issues of behavior on buses. Camera phones up skirts!?! This added paper work and phone time with parents to my life.

So forgive my absence from discussion here, please.

jesse, I like the concise way you hit on being in relationship and fulfilling good works at once.

kim's hotrod, thanks for adding your thoughts. When I view denominations as another part of the body, I see them less as people who are so close to getting it right and more as my brothers and sisters who maybe understand things differently than I.

Agreed. I think once we make that shift, we begin to see and satisfy the call of love by finding common ground in our faith. If we are honest to that process, it exposes the things that are of man and strengthens the things that are of God.

June 28, 2008 7:23 AM

Josiah said...

Partaking and authority come to mind. We express him in the same our body expresses our inner being. This is as we partake of the character of the Lord. He therefore sends us with his authority over sin, sickness, and even death. (Matthew 5:8) Personally I have not walked in my authority in Christ enough yet.
I wonder, to the extent a person walks in the nature and authority of the Lord do they operate as an expression of this to others in Christ, not merely expressing Christ to those in the world. Should a mature brother or elder not only help us partake in Christ through his life but also be submitted to as He lives as an expression of Christ's authority. For those who think like ded, the structure of an American church place to much emphasis on leaders. So is there place for such authority? If so could it be solid enough to be a form of government or is leadership more of myst moving from one person to another as they express true authority.
I think the answer is in part true leadership lifts others up into their authority just as true character helps others grow in virtue. The goal is of course Christ indwelling each of us in maturity. I wonder though if in the end we will all be equally mature and complete or if we will eternally develop in His likeness--Being His body is only limited to His eternal nature so none of us ever reach an end at which we could Lord over another. Yet may we always help one another according to His grace in us.

Josiah said...

Kim's Hotrod,
I like thinking of denominations as various body parts working together. In some cases denominations reflect more of a cultural/historical difference than doctrinal disagreements. But even where there are disagreements who is to say that God cannot work through us all as one body--he uses imperfect people all the time. God's grace is definitely enough to enable people with different doctrines to work together.

freida said...

Josiah,

Thanks for your comment. I believe the issue of church government and its impact over the growth of the Body of Christ is significant. Certainly, as well, that ties to the authority of Jesus over believers and in reaching out to the lost.

It is always a joy to read your comments. (this is ded, not freida ...the computer is confused again.)