“It’s complicated.” Modern man, who has largely discarded God’s standards in all things, often describes his relationships in this manner. The Christian’s relationship with the world is not complicated, that is, it is not difficult to discern, but it does have several facets that deserve attention.
I. Destruction of the world
Christians must always remember that the physical, material world will be destroyed, when Christ comes again. If we are merely cursory Bible readers, chapter 3 of 2 Peter, among other passages, still reminds us powerfully. Continue reading “The world and the Christian”
“Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly – mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? For when one says, ‘I follow Paul,’ and another, ‘I follow Apollos,’ are you not mere men?” (1 Corinthians 3:1-4 NIV).
I visited a congregation in southwestern Bangladesh and on the way back out, near dark, the Banglas who were with me had me sit in the back seat, surrounded and mostly hidden, by them. After a few miles they stopped and I was able to get back in the front passenger seat where I usually ride. When I asked them why the “musical chairs” they replied, “That is an area notorious for robbers; we did not want them to see you and think we were a good target.” Continue reading “Are we worldly?”
One of the struggles Christians must face is our relationship with our society and the life that it offers us. Because people do not like anyone to be different or do anything other than what they do, there is always the pressure to conform to the standards of ‘everyone else’. How often have we heard as an explanation as to why someone chose to do something, “But everyone is doing it!” As Paul was writing to the Christians in Corinth, he had to deal with this very problem.
“Do not become partners with those who do not believe, for what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship does light have with darkness? And what agreement does Christ have with Beliar? Or what does a believer share in common with an unbeliever? And what mutual agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said, ‘I will live in them and will walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16 NET) Continue reading “Living different lives”
The Christians in Corinth of the first century parallel some of what we experience today. They were divided and not getting along. Sexual immorality was present and accepted. There was compromise with idolatry. Even the Lord’s Supper had lost its meaning and had become something that divided. It is sad that so many of these can still be found today.
But what is the real problem? Is it not that we are allowing the world – the thoughts and values around us – to shape our lives more than we allow God’s word to influence us? Far too many Christians allow political ideology, the latest movements or social media to determine what we believe and how we react – even towards other Christians. Continue reading “Think different”
God and the world have nothing in common. Continue reading God and the world
#10. Make good use of excuses. Stay out of church because of hypocrites. For every Ananias and Sapphira who get zapped, a hundred other false Christians are hiding in the pews. Hurt feelings are always a good out. Remember: it’s never your fault.
#9. Stay busy running after the necessities of life, instead of putting first the Kingdom of God. After all, that’s what pagans do, heap up material things. Matthew 6:32-33. Continue reading “10 Ways How to Think and Act Like a Pagan”
Inside this structure we call “the church building”, I can go to many different windows to see the world outside. Each gives me a different perspective on things. Continue reading The Windows We Choose
Haggai’s message was not meant to be comfortable. When he arrived in Jerusalem in 520 B.C., the temple of God was still not constructed. 18 years had passed since King Cyrus of Persia had released the Jews from their exile. Continue reading When Is The Lord's Turn?
The current edition of AARP Magazine (September / October 2009) has an article entitled “The Sunshine Vitamin”. They’re referring, of course, to Vitamin D. Research has shown that this common vitamin pays big dividends in human health. Continue reading The Sunshine Vitamin