The Role of the Church Body

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A couple of weeks ago at church, our pastor showed this powerful video (edited to a much shorter version) that I thought perfectly epitomized the role of the church in the face of the sin of a believer.

First you see the little calf (the believer) wandering away from the herd.  That’s often what happens when a Christian is enticed by sin.  First, he starts to distance himself from the body.  This is often accompanied by lots of rationalization that makes it seem perfectly acceptable to wander away and to indulge in whatever sin might be tempting him.  He begins to ignore or rationalize away the truth of the Word.

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:25

The poor little calf has no idea what danger is lurking in the bushes as he wanders away from what he knows to be true, in this case, the fact that there is safety in numbers.  He has no idea that those lions (Satan) are just waiting to take him down.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8.

He’s blindsided when the lion attacks.  Then, to make matters worse, the crocodile grabs him, too.  Isn’t sin so often like that?  It seems innocent at first, but then, once you get in so deep, the enemy just begins to attack you on every side.  It seems there’s no hope, no way out of the circumstances in which you’ve found yourself.

But, then, look!  Here comes the rest of the herd (the church).  They’re not willing to let this little one go down without a fight!  They stand together and fight off the attacker.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom… – Colossians 3:16

And they win!  Not only does the herd rescue the little calf from a seemingly hopeless situation, but then they push him to the center of the herd and surround and protect him, daring the lions to attack again.   They willingly take him into their midst to protect him and give him time to heal.

Can you imagine what our world would be like if the Christian church functioned like this on a regular basis?

But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.  Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.  – 1 Corinthians 2:24-27
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5 Comments

  1. You know, this is a very good example… the herd fighting for the calf.

    Unfortunately, too often, the church (herd) is too busy scolding the Christian (calf) struggling to avoid devouring by the enemy to be any real help. By the time they get in there, the Christian (calf) is so battered down and wounded from the attack that they die anyway or never regain their health.

    And I'm just as guilty as the next person.

  2. Good point, Chautona. Even in this video, as I watched it I thought, "What's taking them (the herd) so long?" I imagine the little guy was in really bad shape by the time the herd got up the courage to act. I found myself wondering if he made it.

    Another picture of how the Church often responds — we think about it too long, wondering if we should step in, how we'll be received if we do step in, or hoping that someone else will step in so we don't have to.

    Guilty as charged.

  3. Could it be, the waiting that is, the allowing of the maturing process? I mean, if they jumped in the minute something started going wrong, the calf would never learn how to defend itself. Once it was clear that he couldn't do it, jumping in was clear.

    Of course, this shows too that judgment of when to go in and when to stay back praying can be flawed. You can think it's too early or late standing on the outside, but only the results will show when was the best time.

    It's kind of like with children. If mom jumps in to "protect her cub" for the entirety of the child's life, he'll be twenty and still running home to mommy when someone at work is "mean to him." You can't let a toddler be terrorized by another child, but if the kid never gets a chance to figure out how to stand up, walk away, and ignore a bully, he'll forever be the victim of them too.

    I think it works that way with Christians and Satan at times (not to mention our own flesh fighting against the Spirit within us. (Paul and his, "I do what I don't want to do, I don't do what I want to do… if Peter jumped in every time he saw Paul fumble and tried to "carry his brother" through the trial, Paul would never have learned to be content in whatever state… even if that state was the "thorn in his side."

    Ok, preaching/sermon over. I get excited about this stuff and start theorizing and putting people to sleep. Sorry!

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