The Spirit of organic community is grace, not law; “edit-ability,” not accountability…This is how a good author-editor relationship works: The author submits a rough draft. The editor makes suggestions, even disagrees at times with the author. The author considers the editor’s suggestions, and will often make adjustments. The author and editor continue to go back and forth until the project is complete. The entire process is one of give and take collaboration.When presented with the option, most people prefer an author-editor relationship…We want someone to confide in, pray with, and listen to us. We do not hope for someone to keep a record and reconcile us to the rules. We hope our friends will help us to be reconciled to life, to community, to ourselves, and to God.
-Joseph Myers, Organic Community: Creating a Place Where People Naturally Connect, 138-140.
The story Christians tell of God exposes the unwelcome fact that I am a sinner. For without such a narrative the fact and nature of my sin cannot help but remain hidden in self-deception. Only a narrative that helps me place myself as a creature of a gracious God can provide the skills to help me locate my sin as fundamentally infidelity and rebellion. As a creature I have been created for loyalty–loyalty to the truth, to the love that moves the sun and the stars and yet is found on a cross–but I find myself serving any powers but the true one in the hopes of being my own lord…Christian tradition has at various times and places characterized this fundamental sin in quite different ways…I doubt, however, whether there is any one term sufficient to suggest the complex nature of our sin. This is exactly why we see we need the set of stories we find in Scripture and displayed by the church to recognize our sin. As narrative-determined creatures we must learn to locate our lives in God’s life if we are to have the means to face, as well as do something about, our infidelity and rebellion against our true creator.
Just to the extent I refuse to be faithful to God’s way, to live as part of God’s life, my life assumes the character of rebellion. Our sin is not merely an error in overestimating our capacities. Rather it is the active and willful attempt to overreach our powers. It is the attempt to live sui generis, to live as if we are or can be the authors of our own stories. Our sin is, thus, a challenge to God’s authorship and a denial that we are characters in the drama of the kingdom.
-Stanley Hauerwas, The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer in Christian Ethics, 31