Monday, 1 February 2010

God, Humans, and Community: a few thoughts

God is infinite, and completely self-sufficient. God is in need of nothing. He is. He is and called Himself "I Am that I Am". He told Moses to tell the people "I Am has sent you". He is Jehovah. God is. God is one, but also three. Although one God, there are three persons in the trinitary Godhead. God sometimes refers to Himself as Elohim, a plural word, but used in the Tanakh in a grammatically singular context, showing that God is one trinity. The Holy Trinity consists of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In John chapter 5, Jesus explains that the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father doing, but also that the Son does as He wills and has life in Himself, as the Father has life in Himself, and all men should honour the Son as they honour the Father. In John chapter 14 Jesus explains that if you have seen the Son you have seen the Father, and if you know the Son you know the Father. God has perfect community in Himself. God is tri-communal.

God has perfect community and fellowship within Himself. In Eden, the garden before sin, when everything was perfect, God and man had perfect community and fellowship. When God made the world, He looked upon it and said that it was good. In the beginning of the book of Genesis, God said that His creation was good, complete, whole, proper, as it should be; but after He made Adam, the first man, He said it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 3:18). In Eden, the garden of perfection, heaven on earth, when God and man were in harmony, God said it was not good for man to be alone. God, by design and decree, made mankind for community and marriage. Mankind needs fellowship and community because of God's design and decree.

God made His creation to function with certain needs. Humans have need of food, water, shelter from harmful atmospheric conditions, protection from radiation, and a breathable oxygenated ambience. Humans not only have physical nutritional needs and physical protection needs, but also have emotional needs. God created humans as relational beings. God created man and women for each-other and designed them to need and desire each other. God created and designed family, and it is important and necessary. Mankind needs community, fellowship, and relationship. Monasticism and hermithood are unbiblical practices that lead to problems. Christians are not to forsake the assembling of themselves together (Hebrews 10:25). Christians are to encourage and edify each other, building up the Body of Christ. As believers, Christians have Jesus, but God says they also need other believers. God is a god of community and fellowship, and designed His creation to also be a creation of community and fellowship. Relationships are an essential ingredient of God's creation.

Relationships and marriage are God's making. Needing and desiring it is how God made humans, and it is obedience to possess such needs and desires. God said that from the beginning He made them male and female, and they are to leave their parents and be joined together (Mark 10:5-9). What God has joined together do not separate. Romans 1 describes evil people and their sins, including rebellion against and perversion of the natural design of marriage. 1 Corinthians 7 says that it is better to marry than to burn. God has designed humans for relationship. It is unbiblical and wrong to belittle the need for intimate relationship. Division between men and woman is a form of attacking God's design, attempting to separate what God has decreed is to go together. One can serve God and follow Him best when one is obeying the intention and design of the Almighty, and therefore one who is not called to singleness does not reach full potential, nor pursues God best, when single. God intended man and women to work together in a romantic relationship, and humans function best and pursue God best when following God and His design.

When a communal, relational being is forced to be alone, it rends the soul and mind. Loneliness will drive you insane.

(A little note of interest.: The Bible says that a man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife. In Hebrew culture, the man stayed at his father's estate and added to the family house, therefore leaving his parents to join his wife is important, for the family is still residing in close proximity. The woman left her family estate to live with her husband on his dynastic estate, and so was naturally distanced from her parents by the physical geography. The man did not have the same physical distancing, and so needed to make sure that his new family unit was distinct from his old.)