On Wednesday nights, I get together with other men from the body of believers I worship with at The Chapel. We have been having wonderful times together. We have challenged one another, confessed to one another, trust is being built between one another... it's really a beautiful thing.
Last week we were discussing a topic that has stemmed from the sermons that Tom Zurowski has been sharing on for the past couple of weeks. We got into commitment to the body. Commitment to one another.
My mind and heart is in turmoil and unrest over this idea of commitment. It feels as if never before in my years as a Christian have I considered commitment to the body (church) like I am going through now. It's possible I have been challenged in this area in the past at other church fellowships, but it has never hit me like it is now.
The thought of committing to a "church" is almost disgusting to me. I'm not sure why. I guess the thought of committing to an institution has no life in it, at least that is how it seems to me. I guess I have the misconception such that when I hear "church," I hear "building," or "programs," or "institution." And I have no desire to commit to that.
Commitment to a person, or a people... now that's a different story. There is life in that to me. Of course, "church" is people. I've heard it said before that we live in a generation where little Jimmy and Susie were dragged to "church" when they were young, and so this generation of Christians think church is something you go to rather than something you are.
And so we discussed commitment to one another. What does that commitment look like? What does Jesus require? What is God's command in terms of commitment to one another? As I looked at my brother's last night I inquired, "What does Christ command in our commitment to one another?"
I understand commitment in marriage, and then there is commitment to family. Maybe even commitment to friends. But commitment to those I worship with?
The model I am used to seeing in many ways is if I don't like a church, if I get hurt or offended, it's OK, I'll just pack my bags and head to a new "church" until it happens all over again there. It seems we can leave at the drop of a hat these days when it comes to church. Oh yea, I'm committed, until... someone hurts my feelings, or, doesn't do things my way, or the pastor doesn't give my family or I enough attention...
All the while "church" is more an institution, and a place where I come and get what I want, as opposed to giving my life away.
And, so, commitment to brothers? Commitment to the body? What does it look like? What does God require?
But wait. Maybe. Just maybe...
...the question or turmoil goes deeper than that. Maybe the question isn't regarding what God requires in terms of commitment to others in the body.
Maybe... Maybe it's more about what God requires concerning love.
Maybe commitment is implied in love, stems from love, flows from love...
By John Follman (The Chapel)