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I'm a libertarian, therefore, as the principle and value of liberty I value the individual not the collective. The individual can be developed in different ways depending on their gifting, this s true, but that has little to do with Church functioning, "body life" or being a part of a collective. In fact because liberty is a principle, the individual must choose for himself what, where and how he will develop his innate nature. That is NOT to say that individuals do not need help/education or structure to accomplish such goals. And of course, where one chooses to use their expertise is a matter, too, of choice, and value!
Except that the church is a community, not a random collection of individuals. Gifts surely exist to enable the community to function as it ought; when a gaift - like tongues - fails to build up the community, Paul thinks you should practice it at home. There's no way, surely, that gifts of prophecy are there for the benefit of the individual who is given them!
As I've said before, Robert, I believe that everything boils down to one's politics (greatest value) and political philosophy (how one understands how things work/function). Values and understandings differ from person to person. Am I to impose "God" or "the Church" as the greatest value upon another indivdual, because it is yours? Not in a free society? Or do you value and agree with the Foundng Fathers that liberty of conscience as to values was of ultimate importance in maintaining a free society?There are also differences in how one thinks things do/should work. That is a matter of political philosophy/theory. And that has to do with abstract principles that underwrite political policies.
A collective does stategize and that is where "think tanks" do their business in Washington! The moral principle to be valued is human choice (the value of liberty), otherwise one lives in a State, whether religious or secular, that does NOT value liberty of conscience. The Founders understood this to be tyranny!
Thanks for the link!
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