In the World, but not of it

“Most Christians live in the world and go to church. God’s intention is that we live in the church and go to the world. . . . ”

“The church must be a counterculture where Christians live together and share their lives together, where biblical values are not only taught but are lived out as a way of life. . . . We are a counterculture. Our values are not the values of the culture around us. We do not embrace independence, but mutual submission and interdependence. We do not embrace privacy, but shared life, family, community. We do not embrace materialism, but Jesus Christ as owner and master over all we have and are.”

Clay Ford, Our Destiny is Fellowship in Love, 1977

3 thoughts on “In the World, but not of it

  1. hmmm… pondering this line “We do not embrace privacy, but shared life, family, community.” I disagree. We need privacy – it’s healthy, especially in family life. But isolationism, which seems to be the American norm, is unhealthy and not what we need in a community.

  2. I do not think that the type of privacy referred to is inclusive of neccessary propriety. For example, if a person is struggling with sin that, if confessed to the entire congregation, might cause moral decay through simple suggestion, it is best for that person to keep this private. However, this privacy should most defintely exclude a group of one to three trusted individuals with which to develop accountability. Likewise, if I am dealing with psychological illness such as depression, it might be appropriate in some cases to not broadcast this struggle to the congregation. I use the example of depression because it often requires the use of “modern means” such as medication. Many are not comfortable with the use of medication to treat depression. If I use medication, then you, having hypothetically never dealt with depression in yourself or a loved one, are at risk of judging me of having insufficient faith. So there are matters that are dealth with better in family privacy or in the context of a few trusted individuals.

    In the face, though, of Western individualism, a move toward biblical community ideals is going to seem odd and may be at times uncomfortable.

    my developing toughts…

  3. I’m glad you brought this up, Connie. I think it should be assumed that privacy is a basic component of propriety. However, I also think that what our American isolationism considers necessary privacy is probably warped.

    How much privacy did Yeshua have from his talmidim? Based on comments from other talmidim in the Mishnah, not much. I think that while we must maintain the boundaries of individual families, there is much that we assume in regard to our need for privacy that could stand to be challenged.

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