The amputation of a body part is at best an unpleasant consideration. Just imagining having an arm or leg cut off probably makes most of us feel a little squeamish. No one wants to have a part of their body permanently severed. Amputation invariably handicaps the body and destroys the part that is amputated. Our body parts must stay connected to our bodies for the benefit of the body and the life of the parts!
The church is a body. The body parts are the church members. “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.” (1 Cor. 12:12). But some members think, act, and speak as if they’ve been amputated.
They think that their presence isn’t necessary in assemblies. A church functions as a body in its assemblies. It worships, it edifies and it communes (1 Cor. 10:17; 14:26). What if all the parts of the body felt that they didn’t need to assemble? Would the body be able to function without all of its parts coming together? Would it not be more like some lifeless carcass, mutilated in a chain saw massacre, with its parts now strewn all over? The body is made up of parts, and every part must maintain its connection to the body! “For in fact the body is not one member but many” (1 Cor. 12:14).
They talk as if they are not part of the church. They’ll refer to the church that they are supposed to be a member of in the third person. Instead of saying “We had a gospel meeting” or “Our attendance was good” or “Here’s something we’re doing to spread the gospel,” they’ll say, “They had a meeting” and “Their attendance was good.” Instead of focusing on what they are to be doing, they’ll begrudge what others get to do and focus on that. But just because a member talks like he is detached from the body, doesn’t mean that he is. “If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body?” (1 Cor. 12:15-16).
They act as if the church can do just as well without them. Every part of the body has some function. Some parts may appear to be more important than others, but EVERY PART has a role to play if the body is to be at its best. “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.’ No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary” (1 Cor. 12:21-22).
These things being true, why would any Christian continue to think, talk and act as if he is “detached” from the church? Could it be that some just don’t see that their usefulness to the Lord and their own spiritual lives depend on their attachment to the body? Are you attached?