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sermon: The Church, One Body

A Community Made Up of Individuals
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Given 12-Jun-16; Sermon #1327A; 79 minutes

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Richard Ritenbaugh, examining Thomas Seeley's analysis of the swarm instinct of bee cultures, and sociologists' attempt to link that wired-in animal instinct to human behavior (opting usually for collective groupthink), suggests that there is a balanced approach to applying community behavior to Christian living, especially when we apply Paul's body analogies in Romans 12 and I Corinthians 12 God's admonition that we learn from the ant does not teach us to yield to a hierarchical system but, rather, to unselfishly participate in a community, the final goal being its edification. Swarm behavior, flock behavior, and herd behavior, according to Tom Seeley is more democratic than authoritarian (as assumed in previous models). In the Body of Christ, we similarly work as an interdependent body of believers, serving one another, laboring for a common goal, as is rehearsed annually through God's appointed feasts and Holy days, all of which have unique qualities and lessons. On Pentecost, the priests baked loaves with leavening, representing those set apart before Christ's earthly ministry and those set apart after His ministry. We are obligated to be team players, looking after the needs of the entire body. Our rugged individualism must be tempered with the knowledge that we are part of a larger, interdependent body. Though God called us all individually, we need to think of ourselves as a part of the community, being just as protective of the flock as is our Elder Brother. Whether we are branches of a vine, God's field, God's building, God's flock, or the very bride of Christ, the common denominator is that God has designed us to serve one another. If we, as servants and fellow family members, all do our part, God will give the increase. There ought not be schisms in the Body; we will be living together eternally.

Topics: (show)

Church as an organism Church as a super-organism Christ as the builder of the house Christ as foundation Dance floor Decaying dance Ephesians 2:19-22 I Corinthians 3:5 Flashdance Flock metaphor god's building Gifts, skills, and talents God as the whole dynasty God's field Hive mind Honey bees Isaac Asimov John 10:1-4 Learning to get Learning a new song Leavening Leviticus Little flock Loaf baked as one loaf , not 144,000 Luke 12:42 Made from new wheat Moses as a servant in the house Paul's mixing of metaphor Proverbs 6:6-8 Queen bee Perormix Principles of-decision Purpose of plant to produce a crop Revelation 14 Robert Heinlein Romans 12:3-5 Science fiction Schisms in the body Scouts II Corinthians 5:9-10 Swarm mammals Swarm Intelligence with Tom Seeley Team player Tom Seeley | Bee Culture Tom Seeley, Honeybee Democracy Zigs zags Wags and wags Waveloaf Worker bee

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