Does a person need to be involved in a religious community in order to truly live the Christian life? I find it interesting that our “meism” has become so dominant that we think we can live the Jesus movement alone. We think we don’t need to be in a church to be a christian. Christianity has become so focused on the individual and “salvation,” “me and Jesus don’t need anyone else” that it is completely distorted.
I can understand this to some degree due to right-wing fundmentalism totally taking over the Jesus movement over the last 100 years or more, but it still is not faithful to the Jesus movement.
Now I am not saying that God doesn’t love us or won’t accept us if we do not attend church. That is silly. What I am saying is to fully live the Jesus way, to fully understand the Jesus movement ONE HAS TO BE IN A JESUS COMMUNITY! We hear the Jesus words in community. It is the only way those words truly makes sense and being in a Jesus community truly does transform us.
Sure I can be a great Christian alone because there is no one there for me to learn to love except ME! I can be a great Christian alone because I don’t have to deal with the “other.” Ya know that person who disagrees with me or believes differently than me or isn’t like me. “ME” “ME” “ME” (Maybe it quite simply isn’t about “me.”)
But learning to live among people, among the people of the great Banquet, those sinners, those poor, those diseased, now that’s a bit tougher. But thats what the Jesus movement is about. The great Banquet. Not eating alone.