Are We Too Individualistic?

I’ve begun prepping for an upcoming series on the Nicene Creed, which begins “We believe…”  One of the books I’m reading emphasizes the “we” aspect to the Christian faith.  As Christians, we are called to be interconnected to each other, and to fully admit our complete dependance upon God through Jesus Christ.

So often we hear people talk about faith being “personal”… and it is!  But our faith must not be “private” so that we keep it all to ourselves and either a) Withdraw from the world (or else how will we be the “light of the world”) or b) Disconnect our faith from our daily lives (so that way our faith would have no affect on our daily actions… what good is faith then?!).

Here’s a great quote I read from author Alexis de Tocqueville’s work Democracy in America (which was quoted in the book I’m reading):

“Individualism is a calm and considered feeling which disposes each citizen to isolate himself from the mass of his fellows and withdraw into the circle of family and friends; with this little society formed to his tastes, he gladly leaves the greater society to look after itself…. They form the habit of thinking of themselves in isolation and imagine that their whole destiny is in their hands…. Each man is forever thrown back on himself alone, and there is a danger that he may be shut up in the solitude of his own heart.”

Read that a few times, and then take a look at what the Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 2:3-8:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!”

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