Our individualistic culture is shown best in the incessant narcissism of the people. We are so focused on our own problems, concerns, and preferences that we “literally” have no time to turn our focus outward. Just to give you an example I personally have three websites (social media) devoted specifically to “me” and I don’t consider myself overly indulged in this practice compared to my counterparts. Another tell tale sign of this is the “American Dream” which (more or less) began as an inspiring form of American idealism where someone (if they worked hard enough) could own land/property and move up in society; which was previously only left for social elites. Currently our idealism is more about how much money and fame we can achieve in our lifetime with the least amount of work. You go from the ultimate underdog story to a binge for power, money, and notoriety without even wanting to pay for it. The most dangerous concoction that this idea creates for the Church is indifference. We are so focused on ourselves that we forget that God kingdom is “one” and we have a duty to serve others and spread the good news. We have invested so much of our meaning, joy, and passion into our own liberties that we are numb to the needs of our brothers and sisters. The question that I hear asked frequently among new Christians or non believers is “what can I and can’t I do according to God or the Bible?”. My answer is simply “you’re asking the wrong question”. The right question is what “should” I do; not what “can” I do? This poses a problem for the individualistic mindset. It forces one to accept that another’s behavior, yes I said “another’s” could and should mold how we act. This is shown best in 1 Corinthians 8:12-13.
12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.
God has orchestrated a divine plan; which is to reveal to someone his power, grace, mercy, and love and have that person so foundationally moved that he must see it shown to others. This desire is destined to be so infectious that ones own claim on life, liberty, and meaning is forfeited for a higher purpose. Salvation is not a “deal” where I choose to give my life in exchange for an avoidance of hell. Salvation is a revelation into the divine splendor of God so great that out of sheer awe I succumb to the captivity of his will.