Friday, April 01, 2005

Many Members, One Body

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, "For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and all were made to drink of one Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:12-13). I think it's safe to say that all Christians believe this. But how many of us actually put it into practice?

My friend Dave Black, in his essay "A Fowl Lesson," reminds us that we believers are indeed part of one body. Many evangelical churches, however, seem to ignore that spiritual truth:
    Modern Christianity has fled from the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. There is very little "one-anothering" taking place in many of our congregations. Just as we have cars full of single people, so the church is marked by organized artificial performances in which the majority of believers are mere passive observers.
Dr. Black uses the example of geese flying in formation to drive home the point that Christians have a duty to minister to one another:
    What, then, can we conclude except that just as the geese take care of each other, we as believers are called upon to love all true Christian brothers, and to love them in such a way that the world might observe our love in action. A return to biblical norms of doing church must involve a renewed emphasis on the notion of mutual ministry rather than reliance on professional clergy.
It's a sad state of affairs when the lowly goose seems to have a better grasp on the value of togetherness than most Christians.

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