“For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” (1 Corinthians 12:14–26 ESV)
I have many “saved” but “unchurched” friends.
They have either been driven out of the “assembly” by abuse or have chosen to leave “organized religion” because they have rightly discerned that the Christian faith has little to do with attending a weekly religious lecture.
The church was created to be a community, a community empowered by the Spirit to be built up in the faith by the Spirit.
The church is a place where every one has a gift for the rest of the community and no one person or gift is to either take precedent or be ignored.
That hasn’t been the experience of many.
They have heard “I have no need of you” over and over again…except when it comes to the gift of giving.
The church is often divided between the leadership clique and those considered “unpresentable parts” that are dispensable if necessary.
That spits in the face of this passage where it is hoped that there is no division and that all are cared for equally.
Let me be clear…the division spoken of here isn’t doctrinal, it’s division over economic class, position, and authority.
The people who have suffered by the ignoring of this passage are often rebuked….it’s a sin not to “assemble together”.
I would suggest that it’s a greater sin to demand attendance where only one gift is valued and the members are not cared for as they should be.
I would say…that’s not what “assembling together” is supposed to be.
I know it’s broke, I don’t have a clue how to fix it.
I do know this, my friends in exile…Jesus says that He cares for you as much as He does for those who demand greater honor.
You’re indispensable to Him and the greater Body of Christ.
You are loved…even if some in the church think you to be an “unpresentable part”.
Like Steve Brown often says…He told me to tell you.