The history of the Medal of Honor is the history of men and women who have acted bravely on the belief that the need of the many outweighed the need of the one. They sacrificed themselves to save the lives of their fellow soldiers.
However, our Constitution also acknowledges the importance of the one when it protects individual liberties and makes it possible for someone to maintain his or her individuality even if it seems contradictory to our national values.
In the Church we are taught to restore someone “caught in a sin” (Galatians 6:1) but also to watch ourselves or we might also be tempted. And if such who sin continue in their disobedience we should take note that “a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough” (1 Corinthians 5:6) and “get rid of the old yeast” (v.7).
We see a constant interplay between the individual and the community. Which is more important? If we regard the Trinity as our model we must argue that both are equally important. God is one God, but three persons. Each individual, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is vitally important, but they are also a community that must be valued as a community.
If one of our own church members is in disagreement with a direction we are going, we cannot dismiss him and exclude him as if he doesn’t matter. We must seek to examine ourselves and make sure that we have not missed something important and, if necessary, change. But if the community is threatened, it’s unity disturbed, we must strive to keep the unity of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:3). One member cannot determine the direction of the church by his concerns if they go contrary to the way the Lord is leading.
We need the wisdom and example of the Trinity to know how to make decisions that affect both individuals and the community. We must imitate the model of the Trinity. This means careful listening to all viewpoints, careful weighing of everyone’s needs, but finally, it also means implementation of what will bring the most benefit to the body.