Hal wrote this in a comment on my last post, “Peterson on Edification“. It is much too good to leave in a comment:
Edification involves bearing one another’s burdens. It is building the house of God with different shaped stones. If we don’t care about or love one another enough to get to know each other and then be able to bear those burdens, or meet those spiritual needs through the differing gifts available to the church, then we have to revert to building with uniform, one size fits all blocks. We then have to make an assumption of what it is the body needs.”Well everybody needs food, so lets supply some milk, or some creamed carrots, or some steak.” Because it involves things which don’t come naturally to us, like patience, humility, or transparency, building the church up and meeting together can easily be reduced to just preaching, or just feeding the poor, or just whatever. We want the easiest, most efficient way to “do” church. Most of us know full well the quality of our fellowship together on Sunday, will in large part, be determined during the week, by our obedience to the Holy Spirit in living not just for ourselves, but for the local body of believers He has placed us in. We must move from adhering to an outward form of Christian principles which will benefit our “personal growth” and reputation, to a life abandoned to building and edifying God’s kingdom, house and table, i.e. the people of God! His glorious body! Do we really want more of Christ? If so, then we don’t need to search very far, because we are surrounded by his body. “As you have done to the least of these…..