Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Community, love and other things

Well, again I am going back and forth on the issue of community here. I do not believe God intended people to live a disconnected life. God Himself is an interconnected Being – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He gave Adam a companion – Eve. He invented and established the concepts of marriage, family, community, and ecclesia.

Jesus came, gathered 12 people, taught them and lived with them. He could gather more than 10,000 people at one time without fliers, banners, television commercials, internet and email. It was easy in a close-knit community to publicize through the word of mouth.

In Acts, people gathered regularly in homes, prayed, sang, encouraged and ate together. They shared everything they had with everyone.

The local churches in NT - Corinthians, Romans, Ephesians etc represents a symbol of the global (universal) church of Jesus, shows us how we (members of the body of Christ) ought to serve one another. Again, you see community here.

People had a higher degree of dependability on God. When there wasn't rain for their crops, they cried out to God. When there was sickness or emergency, they prayed. Today we call 911. And who cares about rain today? I have city supplied water coming in my kitchen when I turn the knob. I get grocery in Walmart super center.

There was confessing of sins to each other. There was 'speaking to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.'

All the believers were together and had everything in common.

Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.

Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.

They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.

And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
(Acts 2)

They were poor, but still rich. They didn't have much stuff like we do, but still contented. Because it was about equality - Exodus 16:18 (2 Cor 8:15).

All the believers were one in heart and mind.

No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.

With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.

There were no needy persons among them.

For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales
and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. (Acts 4)

We have 'grown' way too far that the above mentioned are a bunch of 'stupid ideas' with no practicality today. We have made ourselves so much 'sophisticated' that today we do not even know who lives next door to us. We have isolated ourselves into nuclear homes and thereby abandoned the God-given abilities to love, share, listen, support, encourage and console.

"I am too busy I have no time." This is a shitty thing.

While we are busy measuring our success by possessions, money and power, we doom into the 'normalcy' of this world's seducing materialism. Jesus was a radical, but yet an ordinary person people could relate to. He was radical not because we was rich, he was a radical because he was poor.

I will stop here because I am no different than any other ignorants. I can only sit in the comfort of my living room and shed a few drops of tears when I see on the television screen the heart wrenching suffering of people around me who are desperately in need of love, care and affection. How pathetic?


RJW said...

Did you just say, "shitty?" Ahahahahahahahahahahahaha, cough, gasp, gasp!!! :)

How can we not love you? You are so funny and breath-takingly real!

Matthew and I were just having this discussion. It is the love of Christ that compels(urges) us to share the Grace that we have received with others. Having stepped into light, we turn and lead others out with us. All areas of our lives are impacted by coming to know how great is God's love and provision for us in Jesus.

Don't feel guilty, Bino, just give that which you have freely been given. And we have been given EVERYTHING in Christ.

Cindy said...

My goodness!This is it! You have spelled it out. Our lives are so so superficial today and let's face it..If our neighbor or a friend of ours have a problem deep deep in our heart we laugh..What the heck??And why are we so so selfish? When a friend needs to stay at our house for a couple of days or may be more why couldn't we just accept him/her into our lives and be happy about the stay..Say it's our in laws or even our parents..!We brag and brag! Our minds are so rotten and it never gets better as we DO NOT want to wade off the luxurious lifestyle..I have to admit here that the quality of our lives are degrading every moment as the quality of lifestyle becomes better..Any doubts??WATCH YOUR MIND!

--Revival by Dr Rodney Howard Browne

Joel B. said...

Shitty shitty bang bang. That's all I can say. But no, I can't say it. I'm a Christian. But yet, I did say it! I hope no one heard me!

But jokingly (the above was serious), aren't we all just a bunch of spoiled rotten materialistic-infected no good rotten terrible people? LOL... Ok, somebody STOP me!

Really though (ahem, ok, now, really), I think that no matter where our current mindset is, and no matter how we currently see the world around us, and how it has affected our lives up to this point, it's still always going to be a matter of becoming more and more established in God's love and in our identity in Him that 'grows' us into being the lovers and grace-givers that we truly are (already) as people who are indwelled by Christ.

I see what you're saying here, and I can FULLY relate! The 'remedy' is not to wallow around in our thoughts of how miserable our love-life really is (as in, loving others as Christ does), but to grow in understanding His great love for us.

I've come to discover that no matter how greatly and wonderfully God's love shines in and through me, I still fall way short of loving others perfectly. In other words, I'm a very poor lover - only if I choose to look at it that way. The reality is that I'm still growing in God's love for me and in submitting myself to Him to be the lover of the people around me, through me.

It's awesome! It's all Him, from start to finish, and the pressure is not on "me" to become a better lover of people (in deeds), but rather I simply need to let go and rest in Him. In other words, instead of trying to love more and more, I need to learn to rest more and more.

Leonard said...

Tedious Grace peddlers....

anchors that point to the Anchor


not trying to endear myself, just wanted to let you know I'm glad to be journeying with ya's


Bino M. said...

This post was more of a releasing of my own frustration on a lot of things I have observed around me. I didn't intend to make people guilty for not doing enough. It was my own observation of the ironies around us, such as we become more advanced, industrialized, sophisticated, wealthy, we become more selfish, ignorant and incompassionate.

Thank you all for sharing!

getting there said...

For me, I had no time for family and friends.. no time for my husband and my child.. no I had church meetings to go to.. stuff to do.. If you weren't involved and doing stuff, you weren't good enough

Four months later..I had been expressing some concerns to the pastor.. I left when they would not see that they were going way overboard with the lakeland revival thing.. I left with excomminication.. life for me has changed now.. I am free to love, free to just live..and be me. There is so much out there to do apart from church meetings.. yes.. being too busy is a shitty thing!

Joel B. said...


You really did make a lot of great points that have had me thinking a lot (in a good way) in the past few days. The more we have, the less content we are. Good stuff to ponder and to bring to Papa.

Getting there,

Wow... excommunication. I think that's a very abused and misused thing in the church today. But anyway, it's good that you're now finding freedom to live and to just be who you are. There really is a life to be lived in Christ, wherever you are!

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