Friday, 17 March 2017

The Battle Of Individualism


Christianity started as a community. It was a group of people learning to follow Christ and to experience him together. Most of the letters Paul wrote were written to a community of believers not individual Christians. Together these community tried to workout their salvation and make themselves ready for the coming of their Lord. Christianity was a cult obsessed with Christ and learning to live the life of Christ in this hostile world. Together they learn to survive the hardship of their time, they carried the burden of each other and lived as one.
Over the years Christianity became more individualistic. 

There was a growing emphasis placed on individually pursuing Christ. We began to inculcate the idea that every man is on his own. A lone-ranger style of Christianity began to creep in and take over the Church. It is the warlord of individualism, the agent of death, decay and disintegration. He gradually breaks loose that which hold together because he knows that one would chase a thousand but two would put ten thousand to flight. He dread unity, he attacks life and introduce death. Jesus came and gave life, that life grow into a body, a community. But death cannot stand it, he sent his warlord — individualism — to break into our midst. To force the Christian to focus on himself and gradually forget the body.

We have come to believe Christianity is just about me and God. And we say things like, "it is between me and my God". No, Christianity is us and God. If there is anything wrong in the relationship between you and God it affect the whole body of Christ. And if your relationship with God is very progressive the whole body benefit from it. Stop thinking it is all about you and you alone. Look at us, our theologies are individualistic, our messages are individualistic, our songs are individualistic and we are so plague by individualism.

Christians today talk a lot about personal salvation, personal experience of God, individual pursuit of the kingdom of God etc. The concept of the body has gradually fade away. We don't even know of the existence of such things as; experiencing Christ as a community; knowing him together as a community; pursuing salvation and the kingdom of God as a body etc. Paul said, "may  be able to comprehend together with all God's people what is the width and length and depth  and height — to know the love of Christ  which passes knowledge; that you may be  filled with all the fullness of God." (Eph 3:18-19).

We cannot know the width, length, depth and height of the love of Christ individually. It is together with all God's people that we can grasp the fullness of God. It is in a community that we have a greater knowledge of God. In the community we come in contact with different sides of Christ as he had deposited them in different people. We would be struck with awe at the diversity and beauty of the complexity of Christ. 

We would find Christ in a richer way. Christianity is not all about you, you are not called to walk this journey alone. Set yourself free from the shackles of individualism and learn to discern the body.


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