For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. -- John 3:17
Friday, May 27, 2016
Some of us spend a lot of time talking about how corrupt the world is. We are called out of the world as Israel was called out of Egypt. Yet Egypt remained. It was judged and chastised but not destroyed. When threatened by the wrath of Herod, Mary and Joseph carried Jesus into hiding in Egypt. Whatever the world does, God still loves it. The Lord died in agony and humiliation that the world might be delivered.
I tend to think that people with extensive tattoos, piercings, bizarre hair colors, and some of the more grotesque body modifications are revealing the damage in their souls. The world does not know it is loved. The more sensitive and thoughtful of the worldlings recognize their lost state but do not know the cure. They have no hope, and the deterioration and decadence that has become so blatant the last few decades reflects that hopelessness.
The average Christian and the average Christian church offer the world little apart from out-of-context platitudes, rituals, and restraints. In the context of Christ, those things not only make sense but are transformative. It is rather like the atheists who don’t believe in a god no one else believes in. Unless we can show people Jesus, they will never understand our hope.
Though we are not of the world, we are in the world and abandoning the world is not an option that is open to us. The Promised Land always lies between Egypt and Babel. Abraham was never allowed to go back to Mesopotamia but he did go down to Egypt. Israel was carried away captive into Babylon, but Jesus fled to safety in Egypt. There is something that is an abomination to God, but it is not the world. The Lord hates the demonic nature of a corrupted and compromised religion. He will not tolerate those who would climb up to heaven on their piles of filth. This, we, too, reject outright.
The world is not our home; it is our field.