The Church: Separate but Equal?

Recently, I came across this Facebook post: “I’m not perfect. my relationship with God is just that. Mine. And I will find MY strength on MY own with MY realtionship with Heavenly Father.”

This is, sadly, the face of the young American church today: “I will figure out my way to God, my own way, by myself. I don’t need your help or your advice or your suggestions. I don’t care how you did it. Let me figure it out on my own.”

We live in a world where independence is the norm. We want to do everything ourselves. And if we can’t figure it out, we go to the internet for information or instructions.

This isn’t how it is supposed to be at all, especially in the Church.

Let’s take a look at the early Church, the group of believers who were gathered together after the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles.

According to the book of Acts, “..the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.” (4:32; emphasis mine).

Note that they were all together, worshiping together, sharing everything. They submitted to the teachings of the Apostles and even sold land and possessions to help out with the needs of others. These men and women were all together, learning from each other, teaching each other, caring for one another.

This is just one image of the early Church. The book of Acts is filled with examples of people joining together to learn and to teach and to care for other members of the Church. None of them thought it was up to them, by themselves, to learn about God and the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Church was meant to be a community. If we weren’t meant to learn from others, then why does the Bible insist that we join together?

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25; emphasis mine)

It is essential to meet together as a body of believers and to learn from each other, not to go it alone. Churches were formed to continue the building up of good works and love, and you can’t do that if you are on your own. If you are neglecting meeting with Christians, if you are refusing to seek or to listen to the words of those who have walked this path before, then you will surely be lost.

When Jesus sent out the apostles, He sent them two by two. When Paul when on his missionary journeys, he took people with him. There are extremely rare instances where you find any believer by themselves, trying to figure the Christian life out on their own. It’s just not possible.

So, to my friends who choose to walk the line alone, I pity you. I pray that you will return to the fellowship of believers and that you choose to live in community with those who are powerful, mature and sincere Christians, and that you do not walk alone. For the walk with Christ is meant to be walked in community, not by yourself.

We are the Body of Christ, not individual members walking alone, without a home, without a host, without a family.

Rejoin the Body of Christ…live in community…be co-dependent…depend on someone to lead and teach and help you…there are others who need the same from you.

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