Midweek Wake-Up, January 10th, 2019
Daily we’re reminded that in a spiritual sense, ‘we’re not in Kansas anymore’, as Dorothy once stated, realizing that she had ended up in the land of Oz. Whether it be the continual decline in church attendance, the growing rates of biblical illiteracy, or the decline in holding to any absolute truth, the signs are all around us. Gender identity conversations rule the day leading to charges of bigotry, fear of speaking of the realities of heaven and hell are seen as arrogant statements, and a growing sense of individualism, not bowing to a higher authority are all around us. Whether that be in the church or the culture.
As we stated on Sunday, you and I are living in the days of the fall of Christendom, and with it has come a huge impact in the life of the church. Matt Chandler reminds us of different responses to the prevailing culture during this time we find ourselves living in. We either try to convert culture by attempting to make God’s kingdom here on earth, forgetting that until Christ returns we’ll always live as exiles here. We might condemn culture, where we hide ourselves from the evil world out there, forgetting that it’s not the world that is sinful and evil, but rather our hearts. Jesus did after all tell us to be salt in the world. And the third response, and probably the most common today is to consume culture. In this view, when our biblical values and truth clash with culture, we give in to the prevailing cultural viewpoint in order to not offend anyone, and to appease our own self interests and desires.
Yet in Deuteronomy 32 God tells His people that the very words He gives them, the statutes by which to live “are no mere empty words, but they are their very life!” Instead, Chandler would invite us into the fourth option of responding. That being of courage, believing that God’s Word does hold out the way of life, and of hope to a broken world. If we really are the light of the world, would people looking for hope and sense in the chaotic world we live in, want to walk into a place that looks just like everything else around them?
So I encourage you this morning NSC, to ask yourself which temptation with culture are you most likely to give into? And then pray for the courage to live as an exile, ruled by God’s Word in the land we find ourselves living in!