My friends and I have finished reading and discussing The Prodigal God, and it has taken a little while to digest it all…Here’s what I see:
Community. That’s what it all comes down to. Though the born-again experience is an individual one, the living out of this life in Christ was designed by God to happen in community. How would I know if I had an elder brother attitude if I closed myself off to community? How would I GET the whole idea of redemption without opportunities to love my neighbor as Christ has loved me?
Who are we kidding? If our faith has nothing to do with our community, with our neighbors–with those people who are difficult to love as well as those easy to love, then we are no more than Christian culturalists, and have no idea what redemption means.
A Christian culturalist, by the way, is someone enamored with the niceness of Christian culture, and who believes they are Christian because of their adherence to expected cultural norms. The strength of their faith, they would say, is equal to their disdain or discomfort with things or people that do not conform to that culture.
Where does that fit with the idea of community?
Perhaps YOU can tell me.