Live Poorly, Live Alone

Live Poorly, Live Alone
January 10th

Scripture References:
Genesis 2:18
1 Corinthians 12:12-27
The Sandlot – Did you have a community like this?  Did your kids?  Do you have a sandlot community today?
Two concepts:

  1. Our joy, purpose and identity are profoundly rooted in our relationships.
  2. Isolation from relationships removes our joy, purpose and identity.

Genesis 1:27 – we are made in the image of the communal God.  Genesis 2:18 – It is not good for man to be alone.  Yet our society is painfully and radically individualistic.
What is happening to cause this shift?
1.  Spiritual Component
- Sin, Satan, World – Good Omens and M25 London Motorway.
- All three cause us to drift apart, given the opportunity.  The Great Divorce by CS Lewis.
2.  System Component
- Agricultural and industrial advancements which lead to individual accumulation and make us no longer dependent upon one another.  Luke 12:13-21.
Death of the neighborhood via technological advancement – freedom at the cost of community.
Kids raised without a consistent community – multiple identity disorder.
Modern technology is not a cause but an accelerant.  Pace of technological advancement continues to exacerbate our isolation.
God’s design for us - 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
Comparing the cost of community vs. the cost of isolation.
According to the World Health Organization, people in wealthy countries suffer depression at as much as eight times the rate they do in poor countries.
Financial independence leads to isolation, isolation to increased risk of depression.
We have shifted from intrinsic values (competence, authenticity, connection) to extrinsic values (wealth, mobility, independence).  We have exchanged the things of God for the things of this world.  Maybe this is at the core of the camel and the needle!
Changes starts with a philosophical shift; we are NOT designed to be alone.  We must explore what it means to be a body again.
Conversation: Discussion Questions
1.  Jim talked about the creeping isolation of “radical individualism” in our secular culture.  Name some examples you see, noting that these might not all be “bad” in themselves.

2.  When and where do you feel most isolated?  When and where do you feel most connected or needed?

3.  We talked about the revivalism movement in the American church and it’s resulting de-emphasis on church and community.  What aspects of the revivalist movement do we want to affirm?  What aspects are (unintentionally) destructive? 

4.  What is the church’s role in your spiritual life?  In what ways is the church your family, your tribe, or your spiritual shop?

5.  Share a time when you experienced deep community.  This could be anything from a week-long trip to a life-long relationship.

6.  Jesus came to proclaim the Kingdom of God.  If a child asked you to describe the kingdom of God, how would you describe it to him/her?

7.  What does it mean to participate in the kingdom of God, or the tribe of Jesus?  Is this more or less than showing up on Sunday mornings?