Home: The Most Dangerous
I recently told the story of the Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, who came to the U.S. in 1831 to study our prisons. His interests went beyond prison reform and included the open freedoms of the individual in America. His well known, 2-volume work, Democracy in America, raised a question: Can people so free unto themselves actually do anything great together? He warned of a persons temptation to be shut up in the solitude of his own heart. He could have added, shut up in the solitude of his own TV room.
What he speaks to is the nations great belief in the power of the individual in a democracy. The freedoms he observed in our nation were still relatively new and, for him, maybe a little unnerving. We believe in the I of life, of course, rightly guaranteeing human rights and fighting prejudice wherever we can. We also believe that each person responds to God as an individual and stands unto God alone at judgment individually.
Individualismwhat he warned againstis another issue. Websters defines it as the conception that all values, rights, and duties originate in individuals. In the most severe sense, it means that nothing outside of me has authority over anything inside of me. To include even God, I suppose. And if I measure me solely by me and set my goals based only on my interests and needs, individualism is a life philosophy in conflict with the gospel. God wills to be Lord over my life, not a hobby in my life.
On a more practical level, individualism can be a retreat into corners that remove us from God. Me, Myself, and My Convictions may very well remove me from the needs of others and the help of othersI dont wash feet and I dont need help, thank you very much. It effectively blocks me from the grace I need to give and the grace I need to receive. God calls us to Himself through a wider world than our own brain and feelings. He calls us to worship Him as a church and through our gatherings as a church. He calls us to seek Him through the Scriptures. And He calls us to cross the street and risk the complications of other people.
Need a jolt? The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) is a great spot for considering how faith can be pure to an individual but corrupt before God. Read this familiar story with an eye to the righteous individuals who, in being true to self, prove untrue to God. Hard stuff.
Vacation Bible School
July 15-19 5:30-8:15 PM
Dinner @ 5:30 PM VBS begins @ 6 PM
All interested persons are invited to join the great wave of children and our celebration of Christ. This years theme is
Amazing Wonders Aviation.
As in the past, well sing, dance, study, construct, and lean closer to grace. There is a place for everyone. Donations of food are welcome: cookies, macaroni & cheese, hot dogs & buns.
Lords Supper: Sunday, July 1
Please join us in the celebration of Christs Table.
Exploring the corners of God
On the first day of August we embark on a years study of Scripture. Enclosed is the first schedule of readings. For those of you who want a head-start, heres your chance. This plan is called 4+1 from George Guthrie. The arrangement gives you four readings plus a psalm each day. The readings in OT and NT are often chronological, allowing a match in content of readings. Six days a week are given for reading with a day for either rest if you kept the schedule or catch-up if youre behind (or catsup, whatever). The sermon Scripture passages and Wednesday eve studies will also follow the order of our readings. We hope youll join us.
An October Reminder
Our Fall Revival is October 14-17 with Chris Platte (Crestwood Baptist Church). The week before the revival is fall break for the public school and a great time to do some service work in CHICAGO! Well leave on Sunday the 7th and return Wednesday the 10th. Please consider this opportunity, especially if youve never been on a mission trip or to Chicago. Well work to make it very affordable. Well also make time for families to see the museum campus and Michigan Avenue and the like.
Community Hymn Sing July 29
Worthville Baptist Church 6 PM