This is actually a conglomeration of thoughts from two classes this week.
In the first class, the topic of community and individualism came up. To think that we have always seen a push towards individualism is to not know the history of either civilization of Christianity. Just the opposite is true, which is why we read ‘body of Christ’, ‘we all’, and ‘We the People…’. (Although, in reality, the ‘People’ of that last document was only white, land owning males.’) The sense of corporate direction is present throughout human civilization and thought.
But, the press towards individualism came up again in the first class this week. My response was that from the very beginning, we were made for community, and depending on the Creation account, in community:
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Gen 1:27 NLT)
In the second account, man was created first and then woman. But, why? When Adam was created, he was alone. Nothing, no plant made for him, no animal made for him and all of Creation could not feel that gap in his humanity. So, God created Ishshah. Why? Because without another, a human is lonely.
And then, reading last night in Romans, someone brought up Romans 14 as a standout in which we read about the community of the Saints. (Or Romans 16, for that matter). If we are all one in Christ –
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. (Romans 12:4-5 NLT)
There was a community in the beginning which was purposed to commune with God; and now, we have a community of one another, to commune with God through Christ.