“The Bible knows nothing of solitary religion.”
There isn’t really a place for the individual in our walk of discipleship. This is a most exceptional truth. You might say that our society here in the U.S. is expressed in the ‘Marlboro Man’ who rides alone. “High Noon,” (my favorite Western) is based on a solitary man who stands when other won’t. The message of individualism saturates this movie. Like Gary Cooper, I think I have to face the bad guys alone.
But I think we need to understand that we are connected to other believers. In fact, I believe that the Holy Spirit works quite distinctly in ‘generations.’ Whether we like it or not, each of us is connected to our generation. We are responsible for our own time and place. I’m a child of the Sixties, it’s what makes me tick.
Stellar individuals like Charles Spurgeon and D.L. Moody spoke directly to their generation. They were voices in the late 1800s. They connected to their particular milieu, but were surrounded by many praying believers. Their ministries and sermons, were founded upon the prayers of many saints. Their ministries were an extension of many people. They were surrounded by other believers.
We are connected with others who are also connected. We are organically related and that needs to be understood. It’s funny about that, we are called a “body.” This is a difficult concept for us to understand. But we need to know that you are not so much solitary, but woven into the life of others. The Church is plural and it happens when believers join together.
We need to understand that the Christian life is not solitary.
If this makes you curious, check out the word “together” in New Testament. We can reflect on this, and think out what that really means. Just a few scriptures:
“From whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
Ephesians 4:16, ESV
“For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part.”
1 Corinthians 11:17-19
“Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
And there is at least a dozen or so more. The idea– ‘together,’ is only a start, and we need to understand that the Christian life is not solitary. The Father melts our independence, and then molds us with each other to make us into something new. Whether we like it or not, we are “together.”