Community – Members of One Body
Community – Members of One Body
Community is made up of individual members. The Church of Jesus Christ is made up of individual members. Individual members are critically important. Organs, we may call them. Pancreas, lungs, brain, heart, liver; all different but critical members with important functions without which the human body would not function well and eventually not be able to live.
These members must, and do work in concert with each other. Some are quite visible and others are never seen. All, however, are very important. Some guard from injury. Some protect from disease. Some transfer messages and others digest and fuel the body and mind.
The human body is an organism. The Church of Jesus Christ is an organism. An organism is organized but, it is not an organization. When each part does the part for which it is created, the organism functions beautifully. When the parts compete, the organized organism becomes disorganized and begins to falter and die. Internal struggle ensues and parts vie for prominence. Creating an organization destroys the organism. Organism creates organization. Organization does not create organism. Life produces organism. Organization does not produce life.
A church that attempts to disenfranchise any important part will be lost. A church that features a part that should be less visible will also be lost.
We are attracted to growth. We are attracted by growth. The more rapid, the more impressive. But, not all growth is good. Growth can be destructive. Cancers start small and can grow to be impressive, invasive, malignant tumors.
Unfortunately, a body part can become a cancer. In the Church some people become cancer. Their influence is so dominant and so controlling that they are no longer useful for healthy growth and function. They metastasize and in time erode and compromise the function of all other organs. All other organs lose their identity to the cancer’s pervasive presence. Sadly, the body accepts the invasion of the cancerous tissues and succumbs to the invader.
The cancer is just doing what cancer is born to do- grow, invade and destroy. A healthy body can detect and contain or eliminate the cancers before their life-ending poison can do its damage. A healthy Church will do that also. Sometimes an infected part must be removed so the rest of the body can live.
As in the human body, cancer in the Church can grow, nearly undetected for years.
When finally the pain or dysfunction calls for surgery, it is sometimes too late for healing. “Make the patient comfortable until death.” Pain killers are prescribed, sometimes to be used at the discretion of the patient. The pain of suffering and death can be lessened by narcotics. Spiritually, however, the pain lingers. Long after social and emotional death, the Spiritual pain continues and wreaks its havoc on persons and places.
Some of us are nerves. Some are sinews. Some are calluses. Some are comely parts. Some are uncomely parts. When parts that should remain invisible demand visibility, that is called pornography. Pornography is destructive. Parts that are not created to be displayed cause inappropriate responses when they are displayed for public view and the organism is lost. Community is lost the same way. churches are lost the same way.
Be the part of the body that God made you to be. Be part of an organism that is organized the way that God intended it to be. If you do that, there will be real community and you will be useful because you are blessing the world into which your God has placed you. You will be one of the needed members of that Community.