Column: What in the World … ?
“[Christians] are in the world, but not of the world.” – Old saying that’s accurate but not exactly in the Bible or anywhere else.
It’s been quite a summer. Here we sit, observing …
– a society-muddling U.S. Supreme Court decision on marriage,
– an aging, gender-obfuscating ex-athlete who is a hero for “being my true self,”
– one recently dead, ridiculously over-publicized African lion that I really wish was not dead but perspective tells me pales against the thousands of dead, willfully aborted human babies every day,
– Silly but ominously sincere, complicit, ongoing media-stirred hysteria over the science-ordained and politically grandstanded “greatest threat to mankind,” climate change, which I’m convinced nobody honestly understands,
– and a potentially lethal international “treaty” wherein our own U.S. government is the central enabler of green-lighting the awful, likely possession of the worst kind of weapon by the worst kind of enemy – an enemy that doesn’t want our territory or resources, one that simply wants us and our allies dead because their scripture says so.
Welcome to an August 2015 snapshot of this world we are “in but not of,” a world apparently weighing anchor not just on morality and Godly realities but simple common sense. Nobody should need a Bible to see that these events are dangerous, maybe even devastating, to a pretty good thing we’ve built as the United States of America these last couple of centuries.
And yes, Mr. President, “we built that.” All kinds of American people built it, with the help of God the Father Almighty who centuries ago sent His son Jesus to redirect mankind’s fallen trajectory into one of hope and sent the Holy Spirit to teach us divine joy, peace, work and love.
As for America, I think God wanted to let all humanity see what could happen when man’s creative freedom was unleashed from tyrannical powers both political and ecclesial. Freed from kings and bishops, America flourished and the Gospel spread across a new nation.
I bring all this up not because I have a solution to the turmoil. I don’t.
But one exists: Jesus Christ has “got this.”
We as Christians must return to basics: love God, love others, help the poor, feed the hungry and let our lives witness to the love of Jesus Christ, not the judgment of human fear and frailty.
I look at our Savior on the Cross. He came into the world for no other purpose than God’s glory, which is the same as God’s love.
Be in that, and of that. And pray joyously.
Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org) notes that John 17:16 and Romans 12:2 closely approximate “in the world but not of the world.” More on that next week.