Monday, August 17, 2015
Not What You Think
This simple injunction reveals a radically different vision of community than anything that would have been known in the first century A.D. It also differs from the way most of us think about our relationships and institutions. Whatever it means to submit to one another or to subordinate ourselves to each other, this is not something we do or aspire to do. Many of us want to get ahead, to be in charge, to lead, to command. We don’t want to submit. Others of us take for granted that we’ll always be under the thumb of “the Man.” We can’t imagine a community of genuine mutual submission where all members are committed to subordinating themselves to one another."Genuine mutual submission." That I will accept, but it is so rare. Too often those you are in community with tend to take advantage of such submission, as I am sure I have, even if unwittingly, in the past. The questions is always how to react when abused by Christian community.
I have seen it happen too many times. Demands for submission that are really abusive, submission that is other that mutual, submission that feeds the power mad desires of one party. I long for such genuine mutual submission, yet I find it so difficult to come by. And each time it goes wrong, trust in the next time becomes so much harder.
In this way, the church is its own worst enemy. There is no way to overcome it, it is a result of our being yet sinners. If only the church could bring itself to confront this issue with humility and directness.
church confession submission trust