Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head — Christ. From Him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part. — Ephesians 4:14-16
His head, however, was by no means cherubic in the sense of being without a body. On the contrary, on his vast shoulders and shape generally gigantesque, his head looked oddly and unnaturally small. This gave rise to a scientific theory (which his conduct fully supported) that he was an idiot. "Manalive" — G.K. Chesterton
On the high, dry ridges of the Central Plateau in the heart of summer, last fall's leaves are an unavoidable crunch and crackle underfoot. I was fascinated by the thought that skilled woodsmen like Kenton, Boone, Crockett, or their native counterparts could move in absolute silence. After much effort and experimentation, I concluded that the woods those worthy souls moved in were pine. My endeavors, though, were not entirely in vain. I learned that there is a rhythm to advancement under the worst of conditions, that the very nature of a hardwood forest floor is a camouflage of sorts. I learned that the way to a relative silence was to move slowly. This is no sidewalk and I'm not so much going somewhere as being somewhere. What I'm hunting is a lot more likely to come to me than I am to find it.
Hunting truth is the same way. In fact, I'm not sure that stalking squirrels isn't as much a hunt for truth as reading Ephesians or Aristotle.
The "winds of teaching" — now there's a complicating factor. Is that stirring of the leaves a six-point buck? Is that bouncing branch a bushy-tail? Or, is it just the wind? I could say the more teaching the less truth, but a wise and silent hunter can detect the true from the false. Again, it is the rhythm or perhaps the aroma of it.
For a time I thought I had a "sixth sense" when it came to finding deer. I would be moving along, and I would suddenly think that a deer was close at hand. Almost invariably when I had that spidey-sense alarm, I would jump one or more, or they would walk out in front of me. One day I was walking slowly with the wind in my face up a steep hill. I caught a whiff of something. It turns out my sixth sense was just the subliminal work of one of the original five.
Just because our ancestors had their noses full of tobacco and woodsmoke — not to mention less pleasant scents, doesn't mean that our modern, more open olfactory organs lack discernment — once we get away from the smell of exhausts for a day or two. So, too, if the Church at various points along its path of growth was dulled in its senses, it doesn't mean it will not regain them — sharper and more discerning than ever.
The Body of Christ is growing, from the Head to the Head, and we are growing together. More and more we see ourselves in unity. I'm not a Roman Catholic, but when someone attacks the Pope, I am attacked. I've never had my left foot say "Thank God it wasn't me" when I stubbed a toe on the right foot. In Christ, the pain of one is the pain of all, and it is the Head who understands that pain most thoroughly, communicating it to the other parts that appropriate action might be taken.
What is true of our pain is true of our joy. We all dance together or we don't dance at all.