What we Christians have to get into our minds is that we are called-out of this present evil world. Sometimes when I see Christian television or when I read Christian fiction, it seems that the aim of the work of fiction or the show is to bring people into the fold of normalcy, to make them better normal people. Now, I understand this. We are called to help the orphans, the widows, the outcasts, the sinner, the sick...we are called to restore. But the aim of our restoration is to restore folks to God. Not to the world.
I think this is why I like some of my flakier friends. My weirdo outcast friends. My depressive friends. My artsy friends. Often they are more aware than my Christian friends that there is something very wrong with the world. My Christian friends understand that the world is seriously lost in sin...but then they often are so worldly themselves. They, like me, want the better house. The better car. My flaky arty friends set out to build strange little tents on land in the middle of nowhere. My depressive friends don't care one fig if they are wearing unfashionable clothes. My weirdo outcast friends don't give a sh*t if they are seen talking and walking with the local drug-dealer or prostitute.
When did Christianity become such a sign of normalcy and worldliness? At least in the west. JEsus called us out of this world. He told us the world would hate us. They said, "A disciple is not better than his master. If they hate me, they will hate you." HATE is a strong word.
Oh, okay, we all know some lovely saintly Christian woman who is loved by her community, Christians and non. She had her pretty little house, etc. But if we look closely, we will see that these sainted little old ladies were often very loving to all they met, very understanding of all. The word tells us that a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. I believe this. But often even when the world praises a good person, there are some belittling comments. "She was a very holy person, but she dressed badly. She was a very kind person, but a bit rigid in her spirituality." That's the kind of praise we Christians should expect from the world. If that.
When I look at a minister who mocks another minister whom he considers too Biblical, or too unsophisticated, I find myself thinking, "Wait a second, are you mocking your brother and sister to get respect from the world????" Hey, I'm open-minded. But it gets me nervous to hear some minister accept the praise of the world about how tolerant said minister is and how evil the rest of the Christian world is. Im not gonna name names. But it just makes me think. And it reminds me where my real home is. We cannot abide in God's word and have the world love us. We really can't. If the world loves us in one area, fine. But if the world -- or worldly Christians-- consistently like us and praise us. Then something is very wrong. Very wrong. Because Jesus warns us about being too praised by the world.
Dear Lord Jesus, I am aiming for whatever fame you want to give me in my writing. Help me always to love you so much that I focus on truth and not on receiving the love of the world. Let me never betray you, Lord. And let me be bold in preaching the word...wherever I am, whomever I am speaking to...if I feel your spirit telling me to speak of the wonderful works of Jesus. Amen.
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