Essential.

For the human being, community is an essential aspect of existence. Not only is it almost impossible to achieve some sort of satisfaction or meaning in life without community, but its also an aspect of life that as humans we look for and desire. Even the loneliest and most anti-social of individuals would happily enter into community if given the right circumstances.

Because it is a human concept and element of life, it is also a Christian element of life. Any aspect of life which is inherently human is bound to be found in The Book of Ages. Scripture speaks time and time again on the meaning of community, the importance of community, and the essential aspect of community (especially the Church) to the Christian’s walk and journey.

According to well-known 20th century philosopher, pastor, theologian, and thinker, Reinhold Niebhur:

“…survival impulse cannot be neatly disentangled from two forms of its spiritualization. The one form is the desire to fulfill the potentialities of life and not merely to maintain its existence. Man is the kind of animal who cannot merely live. If he lives at all he is bound to seek the realization of his true nature; and to his true nature belongs his fulfillment in the lives of others. The will to live is thus transmuted into the will of to self-realization; and self-realization involves self-giving in relations to others.”

The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness by Reinhold Niebhur (pg. 19)

As Niebhur states, it isn’t enough to just survive and live. It isn’t human to be simply satisfied with continuing our existence and this is something that we can see in all aspects of life. Even though we do require quite times and times of solitude, the human psyche pushes us toward some sort of social interaction and hopefully this interaction will eventually result in the creation of community–self-giving in relations to others.

Therefore, the importance in discussing this topic should be something that as humans we are driven to understand and truly capture. After all, if we are made for community and we can’t be realized without it, we should try to get at the bottom of it all.

 Disclaimer.

I don’t claim to know it all and to have all the answers. To be honest, I am looking for answers myself. Hopefully, writing here will help me work through some of the doubts, questions, and answers I am dealing with and struggling with in life–because if you aren’t, then you must not be struggling with original sin (haha).

I do know that Christian communities (most at least) run across problems, can be dysfunctional, can hurt you, can prove useless and obsolete and that they can also fulfill their role in the Kingdom of Heaven. I can never forget the comments made by a friend of mine about Christian community when this individual came to the personal conclusion that there was more of a “community” atmosphere and presence in a military (Army) setting than in a house packed with Christian living together. This thought bothered me because if the truth of the Gospel is the greatest of truths and the Church of Christ is the community which will live on forever in the Kingdom of God, then how could it prove to be dysfunctial, or at least second to the U.S. military?

The truth is that in many ways I don’t disagree and we can take a quick look at Church history and detect the few mistakes the church has made since the time of Jesus Christ’s ministry on Earth. Take a quick look and we can pick up on the bunch of lost and stranded people that Christian community has forsaken and left on the side of the road. The questions my friend asked are good questions and deserve to be (must be) discussed for Christian community to mature into what Christ intended it to be.

So please read along and comment. Help me out and help us all grow in the collective-concept that Christ intended for His church–may the gates of hell never prevail against it.

Next Topic:

Seriosuly, what is true Christian community?

 

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