I keep waiting for Apple to introduce a new online collaborative platform called iTeam. It would be a place where you can collaborate, work together, allow everyone to have input on a project…and then with the click of one button…ignore everyone else’s advice and opinions and produce what you thought the project should be in the first place. Apple: Putting the I in Team.
We are so individualistic in our culture today that this would be a tremendous success. Everyone is on their own personal journey. Everyone has their own ideas of what is right and wrong. And everything is subject to customization for a personal experience that is tailored to an audience of one–me.
This attitude has gained tremendous momentum with modern technology, but it has been around for quite some time. There is an old joke, “What’s the difference between a Protestant and a Catholic? A Protestant thinks everyone but the Pope is infallible.” In other words, I know what is true, and don’t tell me any different. And if you persist in telling me something that is different from what I know to be true, I will leave and find a fellowship that confirms to me what I already know to be true.
The inherent problem for the church is that Jesus did not come to earth and create a group of independent believers, He created a Church. Jesus created a group of people who are supposed to be mutually interdependent on one another. The Church together is the force against which the gates of hell will not be able to stand. And different individuals in the Church have been given different gifts and roles to accomplish that mission.
Being a part of the Church is being a part of the Body of Christ. When we are a part of the Body we have to remember that no one is the appendix. We all have something to contribute. If God wanted to accomplish His mission of redemption and recreation with just a few individuals, He would not have created a Church in which no one person has all the gifts and abilities necessary.
The Church is our support for the ups and downs of life. It is also our training ground for living a grace-filled and holy life. It is also our place of teaching and correction of ideas and beliefs.
Of course, there are some within the Church that have radically diverse opinions and theologies. The question then becomes: “Who gets to decide what is right and what is wrong?” Two things to remember when trying to answer this question. 1. The Church is much larger than any one denomination. 2. There is no I in Church either.