How Should Christians Live in the World?

February 23, 2015 at 8:01 AM 3 comments

disapproveLast time, we broached the subject of what the Christian’s approach to the world should be, when we highlighted the issue of a presumably Christian doctor who had originally met with a lesbian couple prior to the birth of their child, but then after the child was born, the pediatrician refused to see them. How should Christians live with respect to the lost of this world?

What should the Christian’s response be to people who are outside the church and who are not saved? The best way to answer that question is to find out what Jesus Himself did.

Another question I would like to at least try to answer in this article is this: are Christians to react differently to people who are in the church yet are involved in lifestyles that are essentially forbidden by Scripture? In other words, there are two types of people in the world as far as God is concerned: saved and unsaved.

Does the Christian have the right to tell unsaved people how to live/act? Just as importantly, does that unsaved person have the capacity to live “rightly” even if they wanted to do so?

On the flip side of the coin, does the Christian have the right to tell a saved person how to live/act? Of course, just as important, does that saved person have the capacity to live “rightly” and are they under obligation (to God) to live that way?

To me, these are extremely important questions. I honestly don’t think there are questions that are more important because they connect directly to a person’s state where salvation is concerned. As Christians, we must wade through these questions for our own benefit so that we can truly live as Jesus lived.

We see how Jesus related to people. We note that Jews during Jesus’ day routinely ignored (and even treated with contempt) Samaritans because of a long-standing feud that went back to the time when Israel and Judah split during the reign of Rehoboam (1 Kings 12). Jeroboam became king of the northern kingdom (which retained the name, Israel).

This northern kingdom was in the geographical area that was identified as Samaria. The new leaders of Israel’s northern kingdom created a new capital in Samaria because they did not want Jews from the northern kingdom making the trek to Jerusalem, the capital of Judah (the southern kingdom), to worship.

We know how rude and filled with contempt Jews of Jerusalem were toward Samaritans. Note the incident where Jesus meets and talks with the woman at the well (cf John 4:7-18; also known as the Samaritan woman). Here, Jesus ignores the accepted response to Samaritan people determined by past generations and carried on encouraged by Pharisees. He actually engages the woman in conversation, first by asking her to provide him with a drink. It was a way to simply start the conversation and asking a woman to provide Him with water would have been a thoroughly acceptable request in Jesus’ day.

We see Jesus interacting with people who were the cast-offs of the day, the people who the religious leaders believed should be shunned. Jesus did not allow the trumped-up traditions that existed in His day (political correctness) to guide His actions and words.

There are certainly other situations in which Jesus meets people who are “sinners.” In John 8:1-11, we read of the woman caught in adultery by men who apparently had no trouble being voyeurs (I’m not sure how else they were able to catch the woman and by the way, where was the man she was having adulterous relations with?). Even though she had sinned, Jesus chose not to condemn her because the others had not stuck around to condemn her either. But He did warn her that she should “Go and sin no more,” (John 8:11).

But what is interesting is that we know that Jesus came to the lost house of Israel (Matthew 15:24). His mission was to call them back to God and to offer Himself as their Messiah. On both counts, the religious leaders of Israel rejected His mission because it meant they would lose their authority. However, Jesus still reached out to them as He did the woman (a Jew) caught in adultery.

In John 15:19, we read: “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” Here, Jesus is pointing out that the world only loves their own. They don’t like anyone who comes to tell them they are not living up to God’s standard.

This then forces us to ask one of the questions I’ve already noted. Can we rightly expect the world – Satan’s kingdom – to respond in a positive way to Christians when we express to them how we think they should live? It’s one thing to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is one thing when we tell those of Satan’s kingdom that they are lost, dying, and in danger of going into eternity without God. That is what we are called to do via the Great Commission (cf. Matthew 28:16-20). I don’t know how this job description for the Christian can be denied at all.

But do we – as Christians – have the right (or the marching orders) to tell people who are lost how to live? Let’s be completely honest here, folks – and I’m speaking to authentic Christians now – how can we tell the lost of this world how to live (since they have no ability to live in a way that pleases God), when we ourselves are unable to live life perfectly? Our job is to tell the lost they are lost.

I guess what I’m asking is this: are Christians to spend time calling people’s sins out to them or are we to spend our time calling people out of Satan’s kingdom and into God’s? Certainly, the fact that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (cf. Romans 3:23) plays a part in that. People need to have a true sense that it is their sin – their failure to live a life that brings glory to God – that keeps them away from God and until they recognize their need for Him, they will never be open to the truth of salvation that He offers. But are Christians guilty of trying to put the cart before the horse?

I fully realize that gay activism (including liberal activist judges) has torn this country apart with respect to the actual definition of marriage. We cannot expect America to see it our way. We cannot even expect the world to fully understand what America is heading toward. It is a devastating attack on the family unit as God has defined it.

Having said that, I’m wondering how we can love people who hold that same-sex unions should be adopted, while opposing them often with belligerence?

How can we extend love to them if we are actually rejecting them as people loved by God? How can we address gays and other sinners while literally pushing them away?

These are important things to consider, in my opinion. I would also hasten to add that within the confines of the world – Satan’s kingdom – we may not have any say whatsoever. We’ll explore that a bit more in another article.

However, when this behavior/lifestyle – call it what you want – begins to enter the church, then I fully and firmly believe that the leaders of these churches where these sinful lifestyles are creeping in have a tremendous responsibility to follow Scriptural policies that eradicate that behavior by expelling those who participate in it, if necessary.

For now, what I’m saying is that in the world – which is again, Satan’s kingdom – I’m not sure we have a biblical leg to stand on when it comes to trying to change people without considering that they must be changed from within (through receiving salvation) before any real changes can occur. But when it comes to the life of the church, leaders should do everything possible to take care of problems and issues in the most loving way possible. This means never by accepting the sin of the person and simply allowing them to participate in activities that are for only those who have salvation and through commitment and surrender, endeavor to live (through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit) to please God.

I want to break this down even more next time so join me then. We’re just getting started!

Entry filed under: christianity, Cultural Marxism, Demonic, salvation. Tags: , .

Christians and the Old Testament, Part 4 Supporting Islam While Throwing Israel Under the Bus

3 Comments

  • 1. rutnerh  |  February 24, 2015 at 8:43 AM

    Well said, Brother Fred! True followers of Jesus are subject to God’s unchangeable laws even when living in a depraved anti-God society like ours and subject to its laws under the separation of God ‘s and society’s laws. This revolutionary concept was first enunciated by Jesus and later incorporated into the First Amendment, providing a clear separation of both sets of laws. But it it’s now essentially a one way license to trample the rights of Christians who are nonetheless personally accountable to God for their actions and must follow them even if contrary to secular laws….and bear whatever evil consequences. Why? Because Jesus said his followers will be, not may be, persecuted and hated as He was. It cannot be otherwise since He, as the embodiment of absolute truth (John 14;6), never lied.

    My advice for persecuted Christians is to be faithful to our absolutely intolerant God who as the Creator of the Universe and all therein can set His inviolable rules. In responding to attacks we must similar to Martin Luther say : here I stand as an obedient follower of my God whom I cannot deny without calling Him, perish the thought, a liar or no longer relevant. In essence, God said it, it is in his divinely inspired Word, as His follower I will faithfully believe his intolerant Words to my earthly end….no ifs, buts or maybes. So help me God in my being as intolerant as He wants me to be while still obeying Caesar’s laws to they extent they do not infringe on His unchangeable divine Laws. Any dissenters can argue their case not with me but with Him when they stand in judgment before Him.

    Case closed, Amen

  • […] our last article, we talked how authentic Christians react to people in this world who have a different set of […]

  • […] our last article, we talked how authentic Christians react to people in this world who have a different set of […]


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