By our GUEST BLOGGER
… that we … may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
God’s Word commands us to join ourselves to a local fellowship of believers, to submit ourselves to elders and to obey God’s commands to live out the Christian life in relation to one another. God commands this for His glory, for our good, and for the effectiveness, growth and building up of His Church.
One of the dangers of disobeying this command is a tendency to become an onlooker. I know because I’ve done it myself. Rather than taking my God-ordained position within the body, under the authority and care of elders, at times I have remained on the edge, looking in from the outside. From this vantage point I have had a clear perspective from which to observe flaws and failings, theological errors and practical mistakes, the shortcomings of the people and the weaknesses of the leaders.
By placing myself outside of the body, and beyond the authority of elders, there was nothing constructive about my observations - even when they were accurate they benefited no one, because I was not a fellow builder, merely an onlooker commenting on the weaknesses of those who were doing the work.