Christianity Means Community

I am preparing to speak at the OCF West Coast Winter Retreat December 28-31. The topic for all three OCF conferences this winter is Community. One of my assignments as the North American Chaplain for OCF was to help choose the conference topic. To prepare for the talks I am looking almost entirely at Scripture, the Desert Fathers and the Ladder of Divine Ascent. But, I will most definitely be including this quote from Life Together by Bonhoeffer.

Christianity means community through Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ.  No Christian community is more or less than this.  Whether it be a brief, single encounter or the daily fellowship of years, Christian community is only this.  We belong to one another only through Jesus Christ.  What does this mean?  It means, first, that a Christian needs others because of Jesus Christ.  It means, second, that a Christian comes to others only through Jesus Christ. It means, third, that in Jesus Christ we have been chosen from eternity, accepted in time, and united for eternity. from Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1954

Bonhoeffer Bio: Dietrich and his twin sister Sabine were born on February 4 1906 in Breslau, Silesia. Educated at Tubingen University and the University of Berlin, he taught at Union Theological Seminary before becoming an ordained Lutheran Pastor in 1931. Frustrated with much of the Liberal Theology within the Lutheran church, Bonhoeffer formed close ties with Karl Barth and became one of the leading figures of the neo-orthodox movement of the early 20th century. A strong supporter of racial justice in America, he was also a participant in the German Resistance movement against Nazism, and a founding member of the Confessing Church. He was involved in plots to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Bonhoeffer was arrested in March 1943, imprisoned, and eventually executed.

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4 Comments

Filed under Flames of Wisdom

4 responses to “Christianity Means Community

  1. I think you are on the right path here. As Christians we do not live an isolated life we need each other and we need community. The community is where we work out our salvation and as in the quote above we need each other for our own salvation.

    Great post, please post your talks after you give them.

  2. Our call is to live as the one Body of Christ not as a body of Christians. Blessings on the conference and the words you will offer. Peace, Mike+

  3. Chris

    The ultimate and true sense of security that we all yearn for. Community in Christ!

  4. When i look around many denominations of christianity, is it community and spiritual growth most people are seeking? or is it simply a place to go for social interaction and traditions – ie- hurry up and get the service over so we can go to coffee and have donuts?

    I realize evil probably works the hardest in church to keep people from growing in christ… but how much does man himself keep the holy spirit from working inside the church community? It is amazing the wide variance between warmth and cold that is shown to a stranger visiting a church across america – and this planet. even if it is within the same denomination.

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