Monday, January 5, 2009

Relational Isolation

Have you considered how our American culture is an amazing agent for the furtherance of isolation in relationships? I'm reminded of this all the time. Even as a teen, i can remember many evenings where everyone is in their own room, eating dinner watching 'their' own shows or on 'their' computer. In fact as a Christian i remember reading a Calvin and Hobbes comic (i probably have read them all) where the father is rebuking Calvin's attitude about wanting to watch TV rather than be outside with his family and the dad makes a remark about the memories they can have together. This is fact make me think hard, because most of my memories with my family revolve almost exclusively around movies, not many shared 'experiences'. No this isn't an drive for 'camping trips', i just want to stir your thoughts concerning these things. Our culture is all about choice, all about personal preference and nothing about family, about relationships.
What's a soccer mom? The typical mom that drives her children all over town night after night, so her children can have all these so-called character building opportunities. Yet what is really happening is only more distance, more separation, more disconnect.
Top all that off with music choices, how sad it is to see kids with ipods in their ears in the car and out and about with their family- total separation!
How terrible it is in many churches where there's no real family involvement, no family teaching, everything separated. I've often been puzzled at churches that would encourage family devotions, yet they don't model that in how they teach the church. How's the average family supposed to lead their spouses and children in worship, in prayer, in reading of the scriptures when they've never done it in church?!
There is nothing more healthy for children then to be around their family a lot!
This is the same with the church, in order for church to fulfill it's purpose, in order for the local church to be what it's called to be, it needs community. The church is unique in it's calling, unique in it's blessing and purpose in the life of the believer. Without the church, it will be impossible to carry out much of the admonitions of the scriptures. The supporting of the brethren, the carrying of another's burden, the stirring up of one another to do good works, the encouraging one another to press on, the confessing of faults to one another, the submitting to one another, the weeping with the weepers, the rejoicing with the rejoicers, the honoring of good teachers (pastors), the acknowledge of God equipped leaders, the administration of the Lords supper, the ordinance of baptism, the teaching of the older to the younger, the supporting of the godly widows, fulfillment of the great commission 'teaching them all things...", the proper use of the word to rebuke, teach, and encourage, true church discipline....etc. Yet most churches can NOT fulfill these things because they aren't nurturing 'community', this above all else is my lack of hope in mega-churches.. Each church must be intentional about encouraging community, whether that has more to do with what they 'put into place' or what they 'refuse to put in place'.
Personal contact is a humbling grace that God has provided and prescribed, we are a peculiar 'people'! Without a doubt, personal interaction is much more profitable than the best blogs, message boards, myspace, facebooks, penpals, webcasts, etc..

If this is hard to follow, forgive me I'm really tired!


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