Community Bible Church

“In The Journey Together”

“…until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God…” Eph. 4:13

    I once read an article about a special group of people known as the Hopi’s, a Native American tribe largely situated in Arizona. Not long after the I.Q. (Intelligence Quotient) test was developed, several studies were conducted to find out how different groups of people scored on the test. The researcher’s interest was on the results of the group as a whole based on individual results. The test was administered to men and women, rich and poor, and a broad base of ethnic diversity. It was in this context that the test was given to a group of Hopi Indians.

When the Hopi received the test, they immediately started to ask one another questions and were comparing their answers. The instructor saw this happening, and quickly intervened, telling them that they each had to take the test alone, that the intent was to see how they scored individually in comparison with the rest of the group. He told them, “You are not permitted to help each other or share your answers among yourselves.”

Unexpectedly, the Hopi’s became outraged and refused to take the test. Their reasoning was stated like this: “It is not important that I am smarter than my brother or that my sister is smarter than me. It is only important what we can do together.” (Adapted from Wayne Rice, Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks, vol 2).

That is quite a powerful observation. One that fits very well with the New Testament expressions of Christianity. One of the challenges of being born and raised in the West is that we see Christian faith through the lens of our culture which is predominantly individualistic based. That is, it is more likely to think of how commands and instructions contained in the pages of scripture apply to us individually before we consider how they are applied collectively, as a group of believers.

The Eastern segment of Christianity is quite the opposite—they are concerned first and foremost with how scripture relates to the entire group, similar to the Hopi’s taking the I.Q. test. A deeper observation of details and nuances of the New Testament reveal that most of the commands and instructions are written in the plural pronoun form, meaning that the journey of faith, while it is intensely personal, was never to be lived out in solitude. Instead, believers are meant to find strength and encouragement in the journey to becoming a whole-hearted follower of Christ through and with other believers.

This is no more clearly spelled out that in the writings of the Apostle Paul, specifically I Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4. In these two passages he uses a body metaphor to describe how the Christian faith is to be nurtured and developed. While the parts of a body are distinctly unique and individual, they cannot operate without the assistance of the other parts of the body. That is the reason being called the Body of Christ is so fitting—each individual part doing its job so that “we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).”

That is who we are, and that is what CBC is all about. Journeying together so that we can all grow in the faith and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I look forward to what God is going to do in and among us this coming year. Hope that you are on board with us, because remember that it is incredibly important what we can do together!

Blessing on the Journey, Pastor Dewayne