Do we REALLY want community?

Community. It's practically a mantra these days, especially among reformers and within Emerging Church circles. We say we want authentic community, but we we're not quite sure how to experience it or even what it should really look like. Some blame decades of institutionalized Christianity, devoid of true community, for getting us into this quandary. Others point to the evils of individualism which continues to segregate and distance us from one another.

Scripture may offer another perspective:

"The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9 (NLT)

Here are some sobering thoughts from Jean Vanier:

Community is a terrible place, a place where our limitations are egoisms are revealed to us. When we begin to live full time with others we discover our poverty and our weaknesses, our inability to get on with others... our mental and emotional blocks; our affective and sexual disturbances, our frustrations and jealousies... and our hatred and desire to destroy.

If Vanier is right -- and I suspect that's the case -- then I honestly wonder how many of us REALLY want community? Are we truly ready to make the sacrifices and pay the price necessary to live in community as the body of Christ?

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