Dec 17, 2011

Light Side & Dark Side In An Upside-Down World

I have noticed a peculiar mindset in many Christians of late - the mindset that in order to reach the world we should be as much like the world as possible and still "be saved". We are allowed to look like the world, talk like the world, tell the same jokes, browse the same images, laugh at the same entertainment, read the same books, have the same habits.  

"Good enough" is good enough for us. Forget sold out. Forget set-apart. Forget holy consecration. We don't, after all, want to make Christianity uncomfortable for the modern-day sinner.  Let them slide easily into church life without jolting them from sinful mindsets. Let them enter into this sacred fellowship with Christ's Bride while still partially clothed in filthy rags of worldly lifestyle.

But I ask, is the Church a club to enter and Christianity a badge that proves your membership? Or is the Church a new family, Christianity a description of your life, and Christ's blood your new identifying feature?

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." -2 Corinthians 5:17

Are we helping people to excuse worldliness or are we harming them? Are we walking so close to the edge ourselves that those who follow us are likely to slip over the edge?

What I think we have forgotten, when we excuse worldliness, is that the world's system is what has destroyed these people we want to reach. It is that lifestyle that has wounded, broken, scarred them. It is that mindset that has torn apart their relationships and left them with memories they'd rather forget. It is the world that bruised and left them for dead by the roadway. What the guilty soul truly wants is not acceptance of their current life, but forgiveness and hope for a new identity.  What the guilty soul needs is the blood of Christ that washes sins, grace that enables them to change, and instruction in righteousness that will preserve them from Hell's flames.

And so, what does this mean for us? We who would preach Christ must preach holiness. We who would preach holiness must live holiness. If you need an example, consider Jesus. Always among sinners, yet never sinful. When he walked into a room He did not become like the people there, He compelled the people there to become like Him. 

“Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.'" -Leviticus 19:2

Where are the people that will serve their God with a pure heart? Where are the Daniels? Where are the Joshuas and Calebs? Where are the Davids? The Pauls? Where is the generation of promise that will change the course of nations and cultures? Where are those with white-hot purity, with fiery consecration, and fierce convictions?  

This generation is tired of those who dabble in religion or profess a Christianity they will not sell out for. Stand in righteousness...even if you must stand alone in righteousness...and see if you will affect change right where you are.

“Catch on fire and others will come for miles to watch you burn.” -John Wesley

Coming tomorrow...a examination of convictions. Where to get them and why your convictions are vital. 


Anonymous said...

I was thinking about Daniel just yesterday. He lived with a spirit of excellence on his life - so much so, that when his critics wanted to discredit him, the only thing they could find had to do with the law of his God.

I want to live like that! Would anyone look at my life and find it so far above reproach that the only thing they could fault in me would be my relationship with my God?

Pause and consider...

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