Wednesday, August 16, 2006

individualism kills the church

Maggi Dawn has a quote from Desert Pastor's interview with Sarah Cunningham, author of a new book on the church and the twenty-something: Dear Church.
What role do the tenants of individualism play in creating and/or nurturing disillusionment with one's church?

In the church, individualism is a serial killer. Individualism lures us in with promise of positives, nurturing an exaggerated sense of self-importance and personal rights. But, if we become too immersed in it, individualism eventually tricks us into detaching from human community and worse yet, Christ himself. In effect, individualism dismembers the Church.

Especially in America, we are surrounded by encouragement to protect our individualism at all costs. However, equal weight is rarely placed on discerning healthy boundaries as we pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. For example, our own pursuits of happiness or accumulation of wealth etc. should not deplete another person or group's well-being. Our fullness should not be derived from emptying others.

But it is more difficult, internationally and in the church, to see the flip side of the coin, which suggests that sometimes I must allow my personal preferences to fade in order to benefit the whole.

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