Picture*photo credit http://communityorganizer20.com
One of the biggest buzz words floating around Christian culture right now is "community". Everyone seems to be talking about community, doing life together, finding your "tribe".

Rightly so, too. 

Community is vastly important. We are made to gird each other up, community creates the checks and balances in our lives that keeps someone from barreling head first off the deep end. "As iron sharpens iron" and all that jazz. In fact when Christ walked on Earth one of His last "commandments" he gave to his followers was to take "communion" and do this in remembrance of me.

Where we tend to go wrong with this is how we pick an choose who is in our community. We narrow down our tribe to those we agree with. Those that look like us, act like us, think like us. Those that are our age, that like the same things as us. 

When we do this we miss some of the really amazing things living in true community has to offer us. The ability to grow in our own humanity.

Human beings are amazing in their diversity. Not just racial diversity, but diversity of thought, of opinions, of beliefs, of preferences.

In progressive protestant Christian culture we have this terrible habit of leaving a church or community if there ever crops up any opinion that we do not agree with. We take off if anything challenges our point of view. 

I think there is so much value to look another human being in the eyes, someone who is as rich and diverse in their thoughts and opinions as you, and say I disagree with you but still honor who you are.

In a real communal living we can let in many people and love them for who they are rather than stumbling over who they are not. Dear friends of mine believe something completely different than me, or they believe nothing at all. This doesn't change the fact that I would die for them.

Love covers a multitude of sins, and I'm not qualified to tell another human what is or isn't a sin. I'm qualified to love them and cover their sins. And my life is better for the diversity of thought, belief, appearance and experience that is in my life.

6/26/2013 11:22:06 am

This has been a big thing I have been trying to figure out. What if God cares more about people and healing than doctrine and dogma. Didn't Jesus come to love and serve people and to teach is to do the same?
Romans 13:8-10 NABRE

Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, [namely] “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.

David L. Helms
6/26/2013 12:09:11 pm

Yeo, that's the second most important commandment. Love your neighbor as yourself. That's how we change the world.


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