These days it seems to be all over: “Christians against abortion’, ‘Christians against marriage equality’, ‘Christians against Starbucks’, ‘Christians against J.C. Penney’… Then I read this somewhere yesterday: “If you’re in the “boycotting because they support marriage equality” mood, turn off your computer and cell phone. Apple, Microsoft, Dell, & Google all support marriage equality through words and money. Try using a computer or smart phone without any of their products. Have a happy boycott!” SO true! In fact, this world is “…dead in trespasses and sins… according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience… we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” Ephesians 2:1-3
There is no biblical advice for Christians to find a comfortable spot in this world, some place not tainted by sin, a refuge to live our ‘holy’ lives. There is neither any biblical advice to pursue political action when something goes against ‘our values’ or when we feel ‘offended by a sinful lifestyle.’ There is, on the contrary, plenty of biblical revelation about suffering for the name of Christ: “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3:12.
“ONLY those who live committed in full to the life of Christ will suffer at the hands of scoffers. Pleasure seeking, compromising and luke warm carnal Christians will rarely suffer persecution. “Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.” 1 John 3:13. Live the truth, speak the truth, share the truth in the fullness of the Spirit… persecution is a guarantee. It is part of the yoke of being a servant in the Kingdom of light, when the whole fallen world, its inhabitants and systems belong to darkness.” S.E. Ray.
So why is it that many Christians make it a point these days to kick and scream when they feel their rights violated or to proclaim moral righteousness to the world? Have we forgotten what the apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 5:12, “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?” And yet in our churches we allow lack of reverence, sinful members, proud preachers to abide in armony and do not even dare to ‘clean house’ or even just speak the biblical truth plainly – for fear of offense. 1 Peter 4:17a encapsulates this understanding, “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God…”
How different the scenario would be if we as Christians were quicker to judge our own lives! A quick assessment of our churches and our personal budgets and lifestyle would give us a true picture of what we pursue in life, how un-righteous we are when we say we live for Christ but instead spend our energy, money and efforts in entertainment, sports, family, money, etc. Examining ourselves becomes, thus, a pivotal aspect of our walk with Christ and will give us a balanced perspective of the world around us. It is time to talk more about the good news of Christ than our moral values! This means we will focus on the message of the cross instead of the many sins of the world; Jesus living in us means we will be quick to share his good news with a hurting world instead of focusing on their own rightful condemnation; then we have “faith, hope and love, but the biggest of all is love.”
“Jesus, friend of sinners, the one who’s writing in the sand
Made the righteous turn away
and the stones fall from their hands
Help us to remember we are all the least of these
Let the memory of Your mercy bring Your people to their knees
Nobody knows what we’re for only what we’re against
when we judge the wounded
What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines
and loved like You did”
(Complete song below by Casting Crowns)
A quick conclusion then:
- Live for Christ – truly. If you have no idea what this means in your own specific life, ask for godly advice. Let Christ transform your heart and then, and only then, allow moral issues come up in conversation, in love, with a hurting world. Remember you are not called to ‘uphold moral convictions’ but follow Christ. The rest, all the rest is a by-product of a live devoted to Christ. Keep the focus in Christ!
- Do not judge the world. “A Christian is never supposed to place on the balance of morality the choices of those who do not genuinely have God, for they are naturally living according to the base powers that control the world.” S.E. Ray. People in the world have not been transformed by the power of God, so they will not -in fact they cannot- behave morally or Christ-like, so don’t expect it!
- Beware, Christians will be persecuted. Do not be quick to shout “evil world” to your neighbors who are gay or are choosing an abortion. If you have already shared the truth of Christ with them, let them be. If they hate you because of Christ in you (not because of your moral standards) you are blessed! AND you are gaining patience in the walk with the Lord. All to your advantage!
- Do not try to change the world. Since the fall of Adam and Eve, this world is not redeemable, it cannot be changed. Only human souls can be transformed by the power of the Spirit of God. All you can do is sharing the message with them. It’s not up to you to ‘convince’ anyone to follow Christ. Don’t get distracted!
In sum, what CAN we do as Christians? We can pray boldly and without ceasing for the power of God firstly to clean our hearts and live for Him. Secondly, we can ask the Lord to fill us with his Spirit to boldly spread His message of salvation (again, not moral values). Keep yourself focused: Christ is the message for people in this world to be saved!
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” – Galatians 6:9