Nowadays, "Christian community" is a highly elastic term. It can refer to anything from a homeschool co-op to members of a dating website. Rather than recognizing Christian community as a gift from heaven created by word and sacrament, we tend to view it as a voluntary association created by like-minded individuals who share enthusiasm for a particular issue or practice. Valuing autonomy, personal choice, and the practical, we look for fellowship through our consumer preferences, cultural practices, and political convictions. No longer is the local church considered the primary agent of Christian community. In fact, today the local church is rivaled, if not overshadowed, by Internet ministries, parachurch organizations, and a variety of Christian movements, each offering its own version of fellowship. It has become more convenient than ever for believers to be spiritual drifters, living their lives detached from an ordinary congregation gathered together under the word.
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