“But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.” (1 Corinthians 12:18-20, ESV)
“An autoimmune disease is a condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your body…. It releases proteins called autoantibodies that attack healthy cells.” There are many churches in the world today which have allowed differences of opinion, and personal preferences, to attack the Body of Christ like autoantibodies, weakening it one cell at a time. As a result, diseases like pride, selfishness, anger, gossip and bitterness have run roughshod throughout the Church, razing vision, purpose, and giftings to the ground.
No one is spared; from the least to the greatest, everyone is affected. And to one extent or another, everyone plays a part. Little things grow like cancer, and spread like gangrene, in the absence of objective truth, accountability, and the light of Christ.
“For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.” (Luke 8:17-18, ESV)
As with autoantibodies, surrounding cells sit idly by while others are destroyed. And by the time we recognize the problem, the damage is done. The Body is deeply wounded.
Our society is concerned primarily with the individual. Western culture promotes self-gratification, even deifies it. But that is not how Jesus taught us to live!
“And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, ‘If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.’” (Mark 9:35, ESV)
In our primary text, Paul explains that God designed us as a body. One body. Community. You know, “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.” God’s intent and desire is that each cell of the body provides structure and strength to the cells that surround it. When we fail in that task, the body is increasingly susceptible to infection. And, like falling dominoes, we each bring another down.
My point is this: When there are problems in our churches that are allowed to grow unchecked, the problem is systemic. We all share responsibility. It’s nobody’s fault; and it’s everybody’s fault. The Body will only be able to heal when we stop pointing fingers and start holding hands.
As always, these are the musings of a mindful disciple. Blessings on your week!
Photo by Karl Fredrickson on Unsplash