Monday, November 07, 2005

The Hindrances

aka Community part 3

We have a hard time defining an “ideal Christian fellowhip” because we recognise that this world is a mess. It has been ingrained in our minds that we can not obtain “perfection”…it is impossible (at least this on this side of life). What hinders us from having deep, honest, trusting fellowship? The Fall? The fact that sin entered the world and marred everything that was good. The world is not as it should be therefore our relationships are not what they were meant to be.

It is true…but it is such a broad sweeping statement. Is it possible to go deeper? What hinders good fellowship? I realise as I ask this it might be painful, because I must look in the mirror to see what keeps me from reaching out in love.

The great hindrances are: my own fears. Fear hinders me back from trusting. Fear to impress hinders me from admitting weaknesses and areas I struggle in. Fear keeps me from reaching out to others because it is a risk; there is a chance that I could be hurt. The heart of all my fears is selfishness. What do you think are the greatest hindrances…or could add?


Anna said...

I think fear is a huge one, you're right about that. Fear of being hurt, of being rejected, of vulnerability. (Those might all sound like the same thing, but if you think about it, they're not necessarily.)
I think something that keeps people from reaching out sometimes is simply time and energy. These are limited resources, and maybe we don't have enough of either to continuously be reaching out. Or maybe our priorities are just whacked.

Warrior said...

For me...selfishness.

Combs said...

Can't be perfect in this world? Your Wesleyan teachers would be disapointed. Anyway, I would have to add pride to the list. Pride brought down Satan, who in stilled it in man. Pride cause the first murder, and for ever seperated man from man. It's hard when we don't thing we are getting our due. We often fight and scratch just to prove we are right. We look for graciousness in other people all the while not thinking about being gracious ourselves. I know this happens to me. Pride has always been my biggest down fall, my greatest hang up.

Steph said...

I think you're right, it is selfishness, which is realy just pride. We don't love others more than we love ourselves because we don't want to risk not being loved the way we think we should. We work so hard at meeting our own needs that we don't truly have the time to meet the needs of others. Well, most of us that is...

I do think it's possible to have true genuine community - even if it is just one sided. I guess what I'm saying is that we can offer true genuine community. We can get ourselves out of the picture of we choose. Other's have done it - it's not an impossible act, just one that brings us discomfort and all those other things that in our pride we try desperately to avoid

matthew said...

I agree with what has been said and add that I think in Scripture fellowship was often illustrated by the concept of the meal. When we read the NT we hear about 'the leaven of the...' These were things that destroy fellowship. So what were they?

The leaven of the Pharisees- (Luke 12:1) This was hypocrisy. Hypocrisy destroys fellowship. It stops a church from growing and creates an atmosphere of mistrust.

The leaven of the Sadducees- (Matthew 16:6-12) This was doubt. More specifically doubting God's realness and ability. Spiritual doubt destroys fellowship because it slows movement and stagnet churches break apart.

The leaven of Herod- (Mark 8:15) This was greed. Selfishness breaks down fellowship. Power and wealth becomes the goal instead of love and unity.

The leaven of the law- (Galatians 5:1-9). Legalism destroys fellowship because it limits freedom. It destroys openness by focusing on the external instead of the internal.

The old leaven- (1 Corinthians 5:1-8) This is immorality. Sin in the church destroys fellowship too. Sin always breaks people apart.

God warned us to beware of these things that break up fellowship and destroy the ideal christian community

matthew said...

Also, if you take a look at the opposite of those 5 things, you get....Sincerity, Awe, Charity/giving, purity, and grace.

Which was pretty much exactly what was going on in the early chapters of Acts.

Rachael said...

IF you think about it (I'm commenting on selfishness here)did we not turn to Christ and become Christians due to our "need". We are always looking out for ourselves. To change this is tough. Sometimes I can trick myself into thinking I'm doing something unselfishly but when I get down to it ..its all about MOI. Drives me NUTS. Sometimes we become 'genuine' and 'authentic' in community only to recieve the attention of others too..which in turn is selfish isn't it? Anyways..its a big conundrum, but I believe that the Christian community today does need to become more authentic and genuine..despite how hard it may be.

Kate said...

Hey Liz, it is Kate... I so have a friend in Japan who is a 'JET' or something teaching english. I can't remembe where he is around but maybe you two are close... he is a strong chrstian. Anyways ywa