Being a golf fan, I love watching the Ryder Cup and President's Cup. These events take place in alternating years, and match the best American golfers against the best Europeans (Ryder Cup) and best international players (President's Cup). The first 3 days are team events, and then Sunday each golfer is matched against an opponent -- one on one.
Interestingly, the Americans excel in Sunday's individual matches, but struggle big-time in the team matches. And this is a pattern that goes back several years. What's up with this? Is it because American athletes are more selfish? Or could it be symptomatic of our society -- in which we exalt rugged individualism? I don't know the answer for sure. In fact, the two may be one.
What is unfortunate about it is this: I see the same thing in our churches. American Christians struggle with living in community. We honor the lone wolf who has his / her own agenda / purpose. We tend to respect (especially in the recent past) that person who is in everyone's face -- defending "soundness." Wow!
Result: Fractured fellowships. Lack of trust. Lots of individual efforts with no common goal (or vague, at best).
Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12: "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! ALso, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
American golfers: LEARN THE LESSON! But also, I pray that God's church will learn it, too.