Privatized spirituality. It is a condition when a person’s spiritual life is all about them. It is a spiritual disease that views Christian community as an option to be partaken of when it is convenient for them. The infection blinds the person to the Bible’s emphasis on a body life, resulting in spiritual deterioration of the individual and a withholding of care for the other members of the church.
So subtle is the sickness and so common is the disease, especially in Western culture, that most people don’t recognize the symptoms or consider it the “normal” way of life. Yet, it is not the norm. Rather, it is the “typical” spiritual life of many Christians. The Bible describes and prescribes what is “normal” and thus healthy. A community life filled with care one for the other. A life of loving and serving one another, even if it requires sacrifice at times, is the spiritual definition of health in the Scriptures.
Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll uses Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a great example of someone who lived this normal community life. His comparison of Mary’s sacrifice for community versus our own “community of convenience” is humorous, pointed, and is well worth consideration.