the weblog of Alan Knox

It’s about life in Christ, not ideologies about Christ

Posted by on Jul 9, 2012 in community, discipleship, fellowship, unity | 6 comments

It’s about life in Christ, not ideologies about Christ

I often write about different concepts and ideas related to being in Christ and part of the body of Christ, that is, the church. However, being in Christ is not about concepts and ideas. Being in Christ is about living.

When I first started this blog, I wrote about things that I was investigating in my PhD studies. However, I soon realized that I could not discuss ideas on a purely conceptual basis. So, almost everything that I write hear began with a real-life conversation or a real-life struggle or problem.

I was reminded of this last week when I had coffee with a good friend. We talked about the series that I wrote last week on the topic of unity. (See the introductory post called “Unity: The Series.”)

We quickly moved from discussing the concepts related to unity to talking about real life situations related to unity among the body of Christ. Then, our discussion moved from focusing on unity to focusing on our life in Christ in general. We talked about some of our recent struggles and some recent areas of growth and encouragement.

My friend made an observation: it is easier to live in unity if we actually share our lives with one another. Disunity pops up when we argue and disagree about concepts and ideologies, but we don’t share our lives with one another. My friend and I have seen this in our own lives, because we are able to live in unity with one another in Christ in spite of our differences.

His observation also reminded me of something my family experienced a couple of weeks ago when we spent a week in Virginia serving some people in the Norfolk area with other believers. We spent the week working together, not talking about issues of disagreement. And, there were disagreements – the kind of disagreements that have often caused followers of Jesus Christ to separate from one another. But, there was also real unity, in spite of those disagreements.

Our life in Christ is just that: life. It’s not simply concepts or ideologies about Christ. Instead, as John said in his first letter, it’s about sharing our lives with one another (fellowship) which is also sharing our lives with God the Father and with his son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3)

Perhaps, our struggles with unity would not be as difficult if we truly shared our lives with one another instead of spending as much time discussing issues, topics of theology, concepts, or other ideologies.

What do you think?


6 Comments

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  1. 7-9-2012

    I think in reality there are tares amongst the wheat, and what fellowship does evil have with good. does Christ and Lucifer have fellowship? We are to discern and discernment comes from God. God sometimes says come out of her my people. God did not want the Israelites to mix in marriages have felowship with unbelievers.
    Today though yes for we are redeemed in him, forgiven and loved. Just most of us are fighting trying to discern between flesh attitude and Spirit of God. And how can one help their neighbor unless their own board in their own eye is removed?
    Even the flesh as a whole is fighting today against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh.
    I shall say it again unless one dies to their flesh in the Spirit of their mind, and finalizes this as so,Romans 6:11 the fight continues on, between flesh and Spirit. But when you have finalized this the Spirit takes over and the world of disagreements is no longer a hastle to you as a child of the living God, for even if you have nothing to do with others because of, There is no more because of, justification, it just is: for you know from God the spirit that now lives through you, not just in you anymore. Oh and what fellowship did Christ have with the religous leaders of his day? So i say watch out for the one’s that go after the pre-eminence in all things as there are many of this attitude of control in this world today. It is wrotten all over in the word to watch out for these type of people, you will know them by their vain words of man’s wisdom.

  2. 7-9-2012

    Alan,
    Sharing our lives with one another is a lost art so to speak in our western culture. I think there is a great need for more practical examples of what it looks like as well as what barriers in lifestyles hinder it. I see this as a need in the body of Christ and for those not even in Christ yet.

  3. 7-9-2012

    Absolutely. I’ve only recently begun to see how much I really just talk about Christ and the life I have in rather than live in that life! We have reduced Christ to concepts instead of following Him as the living Christ who gives us life. What a difference!

  4. 7-9-2012

    Lack of unity is also the result of our “own self sufficiency”. I do a lot of geneology – especially colonial and post colonial America. Many of my ancestors were before 1700. Those people needed each other and knew it. We need each other today…we just don’t know it. That is one reason we have become so me first. That carries over into the church – and is what will ultimately close the doors of the traditional church.

  5. 7-9-2012

    Are you sure this seperation is not from selfishness of self and others. I do not find it anywhere were we are talking much about us dying to our flesh and being alive in the Spirit of God. i do not hear much discernment here and or agreement as this being truth. for it is our fleshly desires that seperate us and join us, depending on whether we agree or not, is not this how there are so many denominations? and non-denominations, groups and cults. Look if God is love and we have received this love, Then why are we all so emotional? 1Cor 13 shows and says what love is and it is not emotional at all go there read it, never envious, never proud, never boastful, holds no records of wrongs where is the emotion you all, Flesh is emotion that derails us into sin brothers and sisters. We only need each other in the flesh, in the Spirit we are with each other no need, all is filled, Spirit makes no mistakes so practice each and every day to be in the Spirit of God and reckon self dead to the spirit of error

  6. 7-10-2012

    Howard,

    As far as the tares and wheat go, Jesus was pretty clear that that was his problem. In his, we love one another and share our lives together.

    Dori,

    Thanks for asking for practical examples. I try to share those here, and will continue to do so. But, my practical examples will be different than your practical examples. Fellowship is about sharing your life – what you are doing where you are doing it – with the people around you. And, I believe that Jesus is calling each one of us to do that right where we are with the people that he brings into our life.

    Scot,

    Yes, there is a huge difference between talking about Christ and sharing him through our lives with the people around us.

    Jon,

    You’re right. Many of us have been taught that we don’t need one another. That shows up even when we are following Jesus. It takes discipleship to us learn from one another that we need each other in Christ.

    -Alan