About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Community In A
Genesis 2:24 reads:
"That is why a man
leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become
The concept of human
community originates with God when He created the "husband/wife"
relationship in which community is rooted. Genesis
2:24 states that "they" (two distinct individuals) "become
one flesh" (community) through, as the Hebrew text implies, the
gluing process of marriage. It's
called diversity within unity - one distinct man, uniting with one
distinct woman, giving birth to the family community.
When family grows into the extended family, it eventually evolves
into a civilization. This
being true, when the family disintegrates, the civilization disintegrates.
The communal family fell
apart in Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve chose to exert themselves over their
communal relationship with God. This
is seen when Adam and Eve hid from God, hid their nakedness from each
other, and shifted the blame rightly due them.
Since then, attempts at creating any kind of
diversity within a unified community have been an ongoing struggle.
For centuries, the two
primary world-views, that of the East and that of the West, have failed to
create diversity within one unified community.
The East's emphases on community has produced a "shame/honour"
culture that protects the community at all costs, resulting in the
individual losing his identity as he becomes a generic version of the
community. On the other hand,
the West's emphasis on individualism, with its "me first"
mentality, inhibits the creation of a balanced community where both the
individual and the community effectively interact for the well-being of
As Christians living in
the West, we are saturated with this self-serving spirit of individual
independence. This makes
Biblical-based community next to impossible because of our tendency to
exert ourselves over the Community of Christ.
Self-promotion and lack of covenantal community commitment destroy diversity
within unity which is central to church.
Church being a
counter-cultural, diversely populated, unified community of believers, is
vital in our anti-Christ cultural environment.
As the Prophetic Futurist view of history states, this age ends
with a one-world, dictatorial, government that will force the individual
to become a generic modification of itself.
As that day approaches, the true church will be forced to become a
balanced community where both the individual and the community effectively
interact for the well-being of both.
Here, in May, 2020, CNN
reports that forty percent of American churches may permanently close
due to lack of funds during the Covid 19 crisis.
One pastor interviewed said his church is a business, and when the business of
church loses its income, as his is, church dies.
This pastor's assessment is correct when church is not a community
of diverse believers working together for the benefit of both the
individual and the community.