By Tina Huang
I live in a bubble. Most people do.
In high school, I lived in a southern, prominently faith-based city. I could discuss with my teachers which passage I studied during Bible study that morning, cross necklaces could be found around many necks, and you could see a good amount of the community at church on Sunday mornings. In my town, Christians were not often persecuted for their faith. Attending school at SMU made me realize how insulated I was from other lifestyles. While having a great Christian community is something everyone needs, staying in a Christian bubble can lead to spiritual laziness, group-think, and a lack of persecution and obedience.
Spiritual laziness: When you are surrounded by a Christian bubble, you are reminded that you have the Christian label and can convince yourself you’re doing alright. This is religion, not the intimate love relationship Jesus calls us to. When you step into the darkness, you are reminded that you need to constantly equip yourself with the armor of God, so that you can go out and love radically (Check out Hebrews 6:12 and Ephesians 10:6-8).
Group-think: Group-think is the pattern of thought characterized by self-deception, forced manufacture of consent, and conformity to group values and ethics. This is faith by community. Faith is something you have to come to terms with yourself. When you have this type of faith, it can be easily lost because it was not completely on your own terms. This comes from conformity rather than belief (Romans 12:2).
Lack of persecution: This may sound like a great thing, but in fact, if you truly live a life for the Lord, you will face persecution. In fact, the Bible says, “Everyone who desires to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). And Jesus said, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:20). Persecution is a sign of becoming more like Jesus. The only way we can become more like Him is through growth, which takes change and new experiences.
Lack of Obedience: If we get caught in a community where we are not actively in pursuit of knowing God, we begin to assume that everyone is a believer and convince ourselves that we do not need to be making disciples. First of all, not everyone is going to be Christian. Secondly, if they all are then you should be making disciples outside of your comfort bubble (Matthew 28:29).
Once again, community is so important. You need it because man does not fare well alone (1 Corinthians 12:25). But you should see your community as your foundation to be able to go and “make disciples of all nations.”