In the World Not of the World
Current news headlines suggest that some of the global media giants are pursuing their own agendas! And as a result, the rule of law is being replaced by arbitrary “community standards?” Is this a problem? Presently, it is apparent that some of our rights to free speech are being eroded. In the name of eliminating “hate speech” voices deemed politically incorrect are being censored…eliminated from the public forum of debate. So what are some issues that we need to consider?
Politically speaking Christians are neither “Right wing” nor “Left wing.” Scripture tells us that we are “resident aliens in the world,” strangers and pilgrims who represent another King. And as his Ambassadors we do not fit on the current political spectrum. Our values are not those of the current society or corporate “community standards,” and we are warned not to embrace the worlds ethos, or be choked by the cares of our age.
As Christians we are told to be “in the world not of the world.” How are we to accomplish this?
The worldly wise are caught up in party politics. They champion their leaders and castigate the opposition, slinging mud to sully the reputation of their opponents. But God says this kind of divisive spirit is foolishness rooted in envy and strife. As children of God we are not to be caught up in these futile pursuits. Our eyes should be on Christ and his values, so that though we are in the world, we are not caught up in the heated rancorous debates of the day. “Testing the spirits” we will judge the evidence based on the truth revealed in scripture, and not the dubious “facts” or spurious arguments presented by warring parties.
Don’t Join the Rebellion
In the time of the apostles the Jewish populace incited by the Zealots, rose up against their Roman overlords. This put the Jewish Christians, those who believed Christ was the Messiah, in a difficult spot. They were between the proverbial “rock and a hard place.” However, those who heeded God’s advice did not join the rebels. Rather, they were forewarned and fled Jerusalem before the Romans invaded and destroyed the temple. As Christians we may well find ourselves caught between warring factions, and often pressured to “take sides.” But God tells us clearly to not associate with rebels, nor rejoice when our enemies fall. So where should we be in the modern “Info-Wars” battles?
Discern the Truth and Do Good
Living in this time is challenging, but God admonishes his people to set an example of simplicity and sincerity based on truth. Our minds should not be focused on the evils of our time, nor should we spend time “cursing the darkness.” Rather, we are encouraged to set our hearts on God’s ways, so our example of right living provides light to those around us.
We exercise wisdom in knowing when to speak and when to be silent. In speech and action, we need to be both blameless – without fault – and harmless – not causing injury to others. This requires Godly wisdom, so that when we speak we are gracious. We answer people’s questions and comments without back-biting or malice. When pressed to give a reasoned response, we provide scripturally sound answers and direct people to God’s teachings. We cannot afford to be caught up in the uncivil info-wars, for we have work to do as God’s goodwill ambassadors.
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