Substitute Community

00I was fascinated by the elements of the Manti Te’o drama. In January 2013 this young football player was hoaxed as his online girlfriend faked her death. An acquaintance of Te’o confessed to orchestrating a hoax that lured Te’o into an online relationship with a nonexistent woman. How did a young man build a strong emotional attachment with someone that was not physically in his life? How did he develop a perceived relationship with someone who was not actively present? Something about this story symbolizes a cultural shift in how we’ve begun to quantify relationships. The psychological issues around this story had me buzzing as it relates to the formation of community. Modern Symbolism We face complications around the symbolism of community. What is it? What does our popular imagination say it is? What ideals do we harbor? What expectations do we import? Personally, my laser focus on community is directly tied to my take-away from the narrative of the New Testament church. If the temple is no longer the space that contains God, what is?  The landscape of the New Testament letters exposes that community is the container for carrying the message of Jesus. Biblically informed community and American popular ideas of community are not the same. Time and time […]