Interesting thought on community

Our friend, Curtis Sergeant, wrote this a few weeks ago in his metacamp blog, and it caught my attention.

Love can build or destroy community, depending on its object. One who loves the dream of an ideal community will destroy it; one who loves those around them will build it.

I will let you go to the original post to see how he builds on this.  But I really like it and think there is some gold in it.  He primarily focuses on those who judge, correct, and accuse others in a way that lacks love.

I think there is another aspect to this quote: How many of us have known people who love the dream of an ideal community but really only seek to serve themselves at the end of the day? One judges the community it will never find, and the other builds up and forms a community around it. It’s sort of like the difference between trying to find the perfect mate and be the perfect mate.  I honestly think that most christians are the former; we love the idea of finding a community more than we do the work of loving the people around us, and in so doing we make ourselves instruments of community wreckage.  In our vain search for the perfect church or “authentic community,” we will see what’s wrong with everyone else along the way.  We will not own the personal responsibility needed to help make it happen around us. Loving others is unnatural and difficult work.  Most of us stink at it.  It’s easier to sit in judgment of others and find fault with them.   Anyone who’s ever been married knows the truth of this. This self-blindness or inability to see the log in our own eye wrecks marriages and wrecks communities as well. Love builds up, but so-called [judgmental] “knowledge” puffs up (I Cor. 8).

In Christian subculture, it is viewed as a good thing to long for community.  If Curtis is right, and I believe he is, then these are the very people we need to be careful about letting in.  They are focusing on the wrong thing and likely to become accusers among us.


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