Thursday, February 26, 2009

Moral Decisions: Individualist or Collectivist?

Scot McKnight asked an interesting question about moral decision making being individualist or collectivist -- read the brief post here.

This was my comment:

Interesting, Scot...what's the name of the book?

I think this is the problem folks have when they don't understand covenant (and I mean the NT covenant in Jesus). Covenant is all about collective, or community as we say. (Collective makes me think about the Borg Queen, resistance is futile and all that....)

The strength of the individual position must always derive from the strength of the community. Hence, we are one body made up of many parts. Listen to the Shema ... the LORD (the eternal three) is ONE. There is no focus on the individual that does not intertwine with the ONE.

It cannot be either/or; it must be both/and. Individuals must become part of the community in order for the individual benefits of the community to be received. Privilege always has a purpose -- and it is other-oriented, not self-oriented.

The important distinction in the New Covenant is that this is to be a community where each are connected to and looking out for the best interest of the others to whom they are connected (hesed). That's where our American Rugged Individualism has often not served the Church particularly well, imo.

Take a read through the New Testament...ponder the 50+ "one another" texts. The life of the Jesus-follower is definitely to be "other" oriented.

Very timely concerning our series. The HESED surely is a collective ... and I'm not talking Borg. ;^)


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