There’s a sense in the Christian world that pulling back from the rest of the world is what we need to do, separate ourselves and therefore avoid the temptations and the sins that they thrust upon us as, normal.
I totally get it, I turn on the TV to watch one of my favorite shows and it happens to be on the news and I instantly cringe, reaching for the remote to change the channel as fast as I can because I know that whatever topic they’re on, it’s going to anger me in some way. Realizing of course that that might be a me problem and not a they problem I’m usually able to take a deep breath and relax but the idea of just totally disengaging with anything secular is still really appealing.
Think about it for a minute, watching TV shows that only affirm what I believe, living with people who don’t challenge my faith every step of the way, working in a place where everyone agrees that God is great. The urge sometimes to pack up and move to a cabin in the mountains, live off the land, home school my kids and throw away everything electronic (except the air conditioner) is at times really strong. Forget all the politics and ideas jammed down our throats 24/7 and just live.
It’s always been a fantasy of mine to spend some time away from civilization taking with me of course all the comforts I’ve come to love, and need. Live this life as if I’m already in heaven.
But we can’t have it both ways can we? I can’t simultaneously shun television while enjoying the entertainment it offers. I can’t condemn the smartphone at the same time as typing this blog. I can’t attack the beliefs of other people while encouraging them to embrace mine.
That tension we live in is called life and the place is earth, and God knew that once we allowed sin to enter the world life would look different than what He set up for us. That’s why He sent Jesus, to give us back the hope that we had abandoned.
Knowing that, when the topics of certain politicians come up I can smile and say “aaannyywaayyys”. When non believers say something that threatens my beliefs I can see that not as a personal attack but as a cry for help. I can see how the challenges to my faith make it grow instead of making me doubt.
The tension between our faith in God and living in a world that wants to reject Him can be confusing because as humans we don’t like tension and our natural instinct is to get rid of that which makes things tense. But if we can learn to embrace it, we may just have a leg up on what I’ll call the ‘other side’, not for divisive purposes but solely for this illustration; the other side from a Biblical worldview is everything that goes against the Biblical worldview and that other side does the same thing we like to do – separate themselves from the tension – us. We (I say we and us because my readers are primarily Christian) call this spiritual warfare, they call it divisive politics, either way the end game is to separate and destroy. If we don’t play into the politics, if we don’t believe the lies being thrown at us, if we see the other side as people and not the other side, our leg up on them can actually be a leg up on us all, as a whole.
You see, God doesn’t want there to be division, He wants everyone to enjoy the peace that He offers but He knows that many will reject Him and then set their crosshairs on His children, He told us this would happen but He never said we should isolate ourselves, or separate ourselves, or cower under the pressure of those who wish to wipe away every mention of His Name. He did say to stand up and dress ourselves with truth and courage, He did say that we would be attacked both spirituality and physically, He did say that the other side would be ruthless in their endeavor to silence us for the truth we speak is offensive to those who don’t want to hear it.
My church is currently doing a series on spiritual warfare and my wife and I feel that our marriage and our family is being attacked right now by the enemy because he doesn’t like it when families are strong and marriages are growing. He hates it when faith is getting stronger and the Bible is being read, he hates it when friends come together and learn and read and pray and he will use any path he can to get in there and plant seeds of doubt and fear, he’ll use physical ailments and anxiety attacks but I know from experience he prefers to remain subtle so we don’t see that it’s him, but I know who it is and I also know the Victor in this supernatural war taking place, I’ve read the end of the Book and I know Who wins!
I don’t know where this all came from, I hope it made sense. These are my thoughts without any study just led by the Holy Spirit. I’m in a tiny waiting room and there’s soft music playing so I decided to let the Holy Spirit lead my thoughts and guide my fingers as I type away on my smartphone and this is what I’ve got, hope you enjoyed it.