Wednesday, July 2, 2008

All those One Another's

The verses placed in yesterday's blog entry drive home a clear point when taken as a whole, I think. Accepting some restated one-another's, there are thirty-plus directives on how to feel about the person next to you who professes Christ, whether he or she is in the pew with you or in the next seat on the plane is not delineated.

I remember the first time anyone showed me a list like that. It made a lasting impression on me. I was a Christian school principal. I gave the whole list to my secretary and asked her to turn each one into a small banner with her computer. (She was whiz with stuff like that!) I then placed these banners around the school in the wall space above doors and lockers. Whenever and wherever you looked up were these words on how to treat the people around you. Don't know if it mattered to the kids, but it helped me, our staff and the parents.

What if these truly defined our relationships within the Body? I am a romantic come to Christ. My faith fills the piece of my heart (Remember me talking about the imagination?) that wants life to be beautiful. A social fabric pieced together on these simple words would strengthen everyone. So, why not? The Holy Spirit must be at work to see such come to pass. Why doesn't church always feel like these words?

I know what I think. What do you think?

Oh, and calling it the fruit of the fall, though essentially correct, is too easy. Be specific.


Craig V. said...

The beauty of being a romantic is that we acknowledge and embrace imagination. If the Truth is not so much what we see now (except in Christ) but what God will bring about at the second coming then imagination is a vehicle of truth. The danger is when our notions of what can be in Christ make us dissatisfied with what Christ is actually doing in His body. We don't want to wash ourselves in the Jordan because it's just an ordinary river. Finding a balance here is one of the things that eludes us. Perhaps this is one of the why not reasons.

ded said...

You make a very important point. We must look for the positive, declare it, and encourage such to grow.

Steve Sensenig said...

I'm not only a romantic, but an optimist and an idealist.

So, even if the answer is "fruit of the fall", I think that's because we view ourselves as fallen and not as redeemed.

In other words, the fall should not be what determines or drives relationships in the present expression of the kingdom. If we allow the fall to be the foundation of our experiences, I daresay we have not accepted the work of Christ for what it truly is.

So I think the reason we don't experience those "one anothers" more consistently in most of our fellowships is because the emphasis in most Christian teaching has not been on the reality of what we have already been given through Christ. The emphasis is on our supposedly still fallen nature.

In other words, I think we have set the bar way too low. We have conditioned people not to expect reality of life in the Spirit this side of heaven.

One of my desires is to see the body of Christ learn who she truly is. It's hard sometimes, though, to punch through all the rhetoric that leaves people in a place where they're too busy figuring out who's in and who's out than actually living this out with each other.

(In saying that, I'm trying not to express what Craig was cautioning against: "dissatisfaction with what Christ is actually doing in His body." I'm more frustrated with what others are doing with His body!)

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


Thanks for reading and commenting.

You bring up an insight more of our brothers and sisters need to recognize: being a new creature in Christ is more than a spiritual thing to say; we actively release our identification with our old natures to embrace the new.

Steve Sensenig said...

...actively release our identification with our old natures to embrace the new.

I love the way you put this. There is a choice that every believer faces. Reminds me of Romans 6 (like we talked about in person last night): Consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to Christ.

What just struck me in thinking about this is that this is a choice that Paul was writing about to believers. In other words, one can be a believer and still not be considering themselves dead to sin.

It's not going to be pretty if they choose to remain enslaved to sin, but it's a choice that believers have the freedom to make.

(Having said that, I'm not sure where 1 John 1-2 fits in, but I'll mull over that some more. Regardless, Paul was writing to believers and encouraging them to make that choice.)

Just "thinking out loud"