Nothing Seperates Us

“Whatever suffering we experience will never separate us from the love that God has for us in Jesus Christ.” -Phil Ryken

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Perennial Dangers

“Both legalism and antinomianism are perennial dangers for the church and for individual Christians. When we begin to think of the Christian life primarily as a list of “do’s” and “don’ts,” we are under the sway of legalism. When we begin to think that it is okay for us to go ahead and sin, because God will forgive us anyway, we are feeling the temptation of antinomianism.” -Phil Ryken, introduction to The Marrow of Modern Divinity

We Need ‘Sickly’ Members in the Body of Christ

“Even ‘those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable’ (1 Cor. 12:22). The word used here for weakness is the Greek word asthenes, which means ‘sickly.’ Paul is not talking about physical weakness, but spiritual weakness. Some Christians are stronger than others. They are more gifted, or perhaps they have more faith, so that they are able to use their gifts more effectively. But even the gifts of weaker Christians are necessary. This is true in any organization: The general cannot fight unless he has foot soldiers to command; the architect cannot build without bricklayers; the law firm cannot try a case without a team of paralegals.

This principle–that every member is essential–has profound implications for life in the body of Christ. Think of the neediest member in your Bible study, or the church committee member who always opposes your motions, or the person in your ministry who has only one spiritual gift (at the most). Do not look down on that person! He or she belongs to the body of Christ, and, according to God’s word, deserves special honor.” -Phil Ryken, City on a Hill

Cultural Observation: ‘The Other’ That We Fear, Is ‘The Other’ That We Need

According to Christopher Lasch (in his book The Culture of Narcissism):

Our “best hope of emotional maturity [is]… a recognition of our need for and dependence on people who nevertheless remain separate from ourselves and refuse to submit to our whims. It lies in a recognition of others not as projections of our own desires but as independent beings with desires of their own. More broadly, it lies in acceptance of our limits. The world does not exist merely to satisfy our own desires.”

as quoted by Phil Ryken, City on a Hill.

Barriers to Christian Fellowship

“‘For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free’ (1 Cor. 12:13; cf. Gal. 3:28). Here the apostle refers to what are always two biggest barriers to social harmony: ethnicity and economics. Division by race and class hinders every attempt to establish human community. There are other barriers as well–for example, gender differences exacerbated by the battle of the sexes, social differences caused by physical handicaps, generational differences caused  by a gap in ages.” -Phil Ryken, City on a Hill

Cultural Observation: Our Problem with Community

Generation X identifies two attitudes, common among young Americans, that contribute to the present crisis of community. One is the ‘Cult of Aloneless,’ which Coupland defines as ‘the need for autonomy at all costs, usually at the expense of long-term relationships. Often brought about by overly high expectations of others.’ At the same time, the next generation suffers from what Coupland calls ‘Terminal Wanderlust: A condition common to people of transient middle-class upbringings. Unable to feel rooted in any one environment, they move continually in the hopes of finding an idealized sense of community in the next place.” -Phil Ryken, City on a Hill (pg. 74)