Just between me and God? Not so fast…
One of the biggest fallacies in the Christian Church in the United States is the idea that faith is an individual thing that takes place just between me and God. It’s a prevalent idea, but it’s not biblical and it’s not healthy.
American individualism has its place and its strengths. There’s nothing wrong with pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. There’s nothing wrong with looking out for yourself. There’s nothing wrong with living a unique life because there’s only one you. The problem arises when we begin to look at FAITH as an individual pursuit.
Faith is not only about what takes place in the quiet moments of life, in prayer and devotion, and in the depths of my soul. Faith isn’t only about the conversations that I have with God, but faith is also about the conversations I have with others. Faith is also about how I use my body, my role in the family and workplace, and the busyness of life. My personal faith in God plays itself out in the context of daily life.
Jesus said, “Whatever you have done to the least of these, you’ve done to me.” James said, “Faith without works is dead.” Paul gave many instructions to the Church in the vein of, “keep on meeting together.” The consensus of the writings of the New Testament Church is clear that Faith is not an individual, but a team sport.
Over the next few days we’ll look at the communal nature of the Christian Faith from different angles. Each day we’ll look at one of the Six Chief Parts of Luther’s Small Catechism and see how it informs our view of the Faith as Life in Community. Tomorrow we’ll start with the Ten Commandments. Grab your catechism, dust it off, and look through the Ten Commandments to see how they point to living out the Faith in community.