Monday, July 5, 2010

Quotes: On Christian Community

The quotes are from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Life Together.

They are taken from Tim Chester's blog post.

I have this book and dwell on one chapter while I was in Australia.  It was ironic during the time I was backpacking and alone where I realize what it meant to be part of a Christian community.  Granted to realize and to live it out are often two distant thing...

A Christian community either lives by the intercessory prayers of its members for one another, or the community will be destroyed. I can no longer condemn or hate other Christians for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble they cause me. In intercessory prayer the face that may have been strange and intolerable to me is transformed into the face of one for whom Christ died, the face of a pardoned sinner. That is a blessed discovery for the Christian who is beginning to offer intercessory prayer for others. As far as we are concerned, there is no dislike, no personal tension, no disunity or strife, that cannot be overcome by intercessory prayer. Intercessory prayer is the purifying bath into which the individual and the community must enter every day.’ (90)
‘Those who take refuge in community while fleeing from themselves are misusing it to indulge in empty talk and distraction, no matter how spiritual this idle talk and distraction may appear.’ (82)
‘Whoever cannot be alone should beware of community … But the reverse is also true. Whoever cannot stand being in community should beware of being alone.’ (82)

Reading these quotes conjured up an image of two murderers in the jail contesting who is guilty and should deserve punishment.  The reality is that both are condemned and should be punished.  The hope from following Christ  is that we have an innocent Man willing to take up the punishment for us to clear our guilt.  It would be quite silly for these two murderers to fight anymore....they should be rejoicing (and be grateful) for the freedom that was purchased.

Gotta figure out what's an intercessory prayer.....

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