While talking youths physically injuring themselves to ease mental plain, Paster Bolsinger writes
In my book, It Takes a Church to Raise a Christian, I quote extensively from Emil Brunnerâ€™s book, The Misunderstanding of the Church. This book written over half-century ago remains the most profound theological work on what the church is and how we have relegated to nothing more than a â€œmeans of graceâ€. What is in fact, the very presence of God on earth has become for many of us a â€œhelpfulâ€ yet optional part of the Christian life.
Brunner writes, The â€œtogetherness of Christians is…not secondary or contingent: it is integral to their life just as is their abiding in Christ.â€ Did you get that? â€œJUST AS IS their abiding in Christ.â€ â€œThe fellowship of Christians is just as much an end in itself as is their fellowship with Christ. â€œ Did you get that? â€œJUST AS MUCH an end in itselfâ€¦â€
Brunner is pointing to the biblical notion that if we are IN FACT, the body of Christ with Jesus as our head, then BEING the church and loving, caring and forgiving each other is just as important as the way that a healthy person takes care of his body.
I wrote earlier about religions and loneliness. As I wrote then, the two themes of the New Testament are Follow Christ and Love Your Neighbor The early Church was combining the two most powerful messages in the world: We can do it. You can help and I love you.
An ideological network that effectively combines both messages is almost impossible. That is a major reason for the success of Christianity.