By David A. Webb
What better illustration could be given to show the necessity of unity and cooperation among members within the Lord’s church than to compare that church, with its many members, with the human body. The illustration is used many times to stress the absolute importance of functioning as the head (Christ) directs.
We are all aware that the members of a body which is in perfect physical health will function only upon the receipt of a “message” sent from the brain through the central nervous system. When a “short circuit” develops in this delicate electrical system trouble occurs. This may result in the rather obvious involuntary movement of the various effected members of the body, causing a loss of proper “motor control.” Such a condition exists in every body to some extent, the twitching of an eye, or the sudden shiver from a blast of cold air. These minute, involuntary movements of various members of the body do not effect the overall ability of the body to function in an otherwise normal fashion.
The problem becomes serious when a member of the body involuntarily moves on a regular basis, and to such a degree that normal body functions are hampered.
Carl Ketcherside, unlike the apostle Paul, would have the body of Christ composed of members joined together but functioning independently from each other and independently from the brain itself. No body can function in unity unless each member functions the same way. ‘The sensory receptors in the right hand should react in the same manner as the sensory receptors in the left hand when they come in contact with a hot object. The hand that quickly reacts by withdrawing is functioning in harmony with impulses from the brain, but the hand that remains to be burned has a defect in its delicate system of nerves connecting it to the brain.
Carl Ketcherside’s “Body of Christ” is one that has its right hand functioning differently than its left. He apparently sees no problem in allowing one to withdraw from a harmful environment and allowing the other to burn, Obviously such a condition is not typical of a healthy body that functions together in harmony.
On the other hand, the apostle Paul pictures the body of Christ functioning together as one working unit for the benefit of every member. Every part of the body is guided by the same head, and they all operate in the same manner when suddenly introduced to a harmful environment.
Every person who is directed by all of the teachings of Christ will be united with every other person who is directed by those same teachings. They will be “perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10). This does not restrict some independent movement (Rom. 14), but will insure that such movement will never impair the function of the body of Christ.
Any other condition would be considered as unhealthy by the Great Physician Himself.
Truth Magazine XX: 27, p. 423
July 8, 1976