Chapter 14: Fellowship with Focus

Humans, like animals, need others with whom to identify for security reasons. The Tower of Babel story reveals a bad precedent––associated with succumbing to grouping ideas (Gen. 11:4-8). Jesus projected the opposite consideration of what a group entails, as He declared:

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28 NIV).

What Jesus said invalidates any need to identify with a group for the purpose of survival. True Christians reflect a similar attitude––being a cause for goodness in societies––rather than focusing on personal advantages, that encourage groping arrangements.

Unity promotes security, yet one’s security is when drawn closer to God. The purpose of the tower of Babel included making a name—without checking how that aligns with God’s ideas.

The grouping idea incapacitates individual reasoning, so that anything adopted by the majority becomes sacrosanct, even when not Godly. The grouping idea facilitates introversion, leading to death.

The larger a group, the less affectionate the people become, due to survival resource limitations. The most important component in human survival is love—applicable when providing for other people. Nevertheless, fellowship is cordially encouraged (Heb. 10:25).

Benefits accrue from people of diverse backgrounds, learning to tolerate and encourage one another to remain focused. Most challenges, otherwise, not possible to handle individually, become easily handled, when shared among people whose common objective is to survive.

However, coming from a self-centred civilization, adopting altruism becomes difficult, under a grouping arrangement. The Holy Spirit equips members with altruistic principles. Christian relationships, no matter how challenging, forbid separation.

A church organization is a miniature of God’s Kingdom. Its foundation comprised twelve disciples, from diverse backgrounds, but unified by Christ. Being in God’s church just for the sake of belonging should not be the aim.

The authority of Jesus cannot be replaced by denominational doctrines. True Christians think more in terms of giving—including listening and positively appreciating other people’s talents and praising God. No one takes credit for Godly principles.

Christianity allows diversity among believers, who are expected to tolerate one another in peaceful co-existence. Those not appreciating tolerance and unconditional love are the ones expected to leave, as darkness disappears from the brilliance of light (1 John 2:19).

Christianity is not grounded on self-centeredness, as displayed in secular organizations. The ability to understand doctrinal issues ahead of others does not invite separation. This is what has haunted Christianity ever since Christ left the scene.

Jesus sought to have an impact on the Jewish community, without separating from them. That principle is what led to His crucifixion. Those with understanding should be causative, rather than being effect. They have to develop patience, and constantly praying for fellow believers to also understand God’s revelations.

One naturally becomes a blessing for the group without feeling conceited. However, praying for other believers does not imply being part of their confusion, but implies taking full responsibility for their misunderstanding. Christ did just that for the sinful humanity.

Understanding carries full responsibility for the failures of one’s friends (1 John 3:16). Keeping to oneself what God reveals, due to fearing backlash, demonstrates cowardice, which invalidates the purpose of associating with others. Otherwise, there is no fear in love.

A Christian cannot fear or be dictated to, by pain or suffering. The error could grip the person assuming to be holding a new revelation, without realising the inaccuracy. Humility helps in avoiding feeling awkward when proven to be wrong. Only the cowards are the ones who feel uncomfortable when proven to be wrong in what they would have stood for.

A true Christian does not feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable, after making mistakes. A Christian would willingly change when proven to be in error, without feeling embarrassed. Only the proud people evade the truth when displaying the fear of being discovered to be in error.

The Holy Spirit tolerates and empathises with people on matters of comprehension. In law, good Advocates take time to listen and understand clients––regardless of the intensity of crimes committed. Hence, true Christians tolerate each other’s shortcomings.

There is power in people working together with common objectives. Unity has strengths, facilitating greater objectives, but also carrying outweighing disadvantages. This is what God foresaw with those advocating for the construction of the tower of Babel.

“Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the earth’…The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other. So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city” (Gen. 11:4-8 NIV).

Why did God not subscribe to the idea of making a name, as desired by the Tower of Babel proponents? What was wrong with innocently doing what identified with our current civilizations? Nations uphold identities, endeavouring to be competitively superior.

We have superpowers, in comparison with third-world, or poor countries. What could have been positive about scattering people across the earth? Instead of remaining in solidified unity, improving relational bonds among like-minded compatriots?

Nevertheless, it should be noted that Godlessness abounds in such, apparently, secure groupings. The idea of domineering is worldly, as typified in animal kingdoms. Disadvantages can include the spread of infectious diseases. But the clear disadvantage is encouraging favouritism among groupings or ethnicities, ahead of others.

This prescribes the origin of wars, as characteristic of human societies across the world. A group from where one belongs can be loved more than others. However, that behaviour is what causes conflicts as existing today. Wars are instigated by a desire to protect one’s grouping. Hard work should be encouraged, when inclusive of the entire humanity, regardless of origin.

Jesus came to reverse the civilization that identifies with the Tower of Babel (self-centeredness). Humans, as inherent with grouping instinct, get easily misled. Groups rarely consider negative effects like possible infectious diseases and resource limitations. However, the greatest limitation of grouping ideas is alienating other groupings.

Unlike God, making something out of nothing, humans are caught up desiring something out of nothing. For survival purposes, something has to die—a condition with all created species of this world. The survival of one species is a threat to another. Yet the survival of a threatened species would be providential to the threatening one.

Nothing survives without being a threat to another species’ survival––though also in need of survival. This leads towards the eventual demise of everything physical. Humans scramble for limited resources, killing other species for survival purposes. A human being was created to be different from that arrangement.

The animalistic behaviour is not God’s nature, whose attribute is creation. Squabbles arise, due to resource limitations, contrasting God’s nature. Loving our enemies is making something out of nothing, projecting the idea of identifying with God who then calls us His children.

Christians must go out and preach the gospel to all nations (Mark 16:15). All evil that exists in the world reveals that the gospel is not effectively being preached, as evil exists, even among Christians still practising self-centeredness. The grouping idea appears as the main culprit.

However, Christians are advised not to neglect regular meetings, sharing ideas in advancing the gospel (Heb. 10:25). The group could comprise two or three people––as long as avoiding inward looking––like constantly preaching among themselves (Matt. 18:20).

The aim should be to avoid making a name for a denominational institution—as fortifying the current civilization. Constructing an elaborately beautiful church building for those of the same fellowship appears noble and innocent. But there is a hidden danger––subscribing to the mind pattern of the Tower of Babel proponents.

Worshippers begin to favourably compare themselves with those other groupings without such ornamental meeting places. Such buildings could be strategically effective, as long as avoiding the inclination towards making a name for the concerned institution.

When one feels proud, belonging to a group, the Tower of Babel mentality grips that person. Jesus also died for those being disdainfully viewed as aliens. Ideally, one is needed more to those bizarre groups, than taking comfort with those considered enlightened.

Light is more effective where there would be darkness and not where there would be sunlight. This is what necessitates the principle of going out. The terrible mistake is to gleefully despise those struggling in sin, without coming up with programmes to change their awful conditions.

God’s will is senior to the idea of belonging to particular denominations––that encourage pride. The first call of fellowship is to be with God, as David craved;

“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord and to seek him in his temple” (Ps. 27:4-5 NIV).

Christian fellowship should be nurtured, without forgetting that each Christian mysteriously represents the higher authority. God intends to bring all humans into one fellowship with Him. Embracing and tolerating everyone regardless of background should be the aim of every Christian. Promoting the prescribed New Civilization ideas is what makes a difference.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.

The Print copy is now available at for $13.99

Also available as an e-copy at  for $6.99