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Posts Tagged ‘not of this world’

Being a politically correct Christian with a politically correct God and Christ these days means to refrain from separatist tirades indicating that there should be any sort of division between true believers – Christ’s genuine disciples, and the rest of the world.
“The world,” that mass of people Jesus told His disciples they were not a part of, if existent at all, are always the Hottentots in far-off countries who wouldn’t be able to afford our bestsellers on Pop-Spirituality in the 21st century anyways.

So, let me be politically incorrect here once again and heat up the old forgotten and despised doctrine of John 15:19 and harp a little bit on that: Is there such a thing as “the world” in the sense of something we should not be part of, if we call ourselves followers of the Maker of that statement, or is it just a myth, and we’re all so super goodie-good and moving toward the point of enlightenment in our evolution which will usher in universal peace without the Almighty having to resort to any of the drastic measures He announced in the portions of His Book that are carefully being avoided by popular Christian authors?

Of course, it’s natural to want to erase any existing lines of division between yourself and your target audience when that audience is supposed to eke out 30 bucks for your latest compilation of divine wisdom. But are those potential readers really being helped and enlightened by the illusion that all is at peace, the Devil’s on vacation and there is no actual spiritual warfare going on?

Progress, in the eyes of the liberal, widely accepted brand of the Christian faith, seems to be equivalent with the eradication of any and all lines of separation between them and the world, and thus it’s being drilled into our minds for the umpteenth time that “We are,” indeed, “the world…”

But ignoring innumerable wrongs still won’t make a single right, and remaining silent about some of the qualities of the world may easily put us on the side of the enemy camp, as far as God is concerned, no matter how vocally we may be rooting for “Christianity.”

Personally, I think I’d rather watch “Matrix” one more time, for some inside scoop of what’s really going on.

One of the reasons why I do believe in the existence of such a thing Jesus called “the world” (that I don’t feel I belong to), is that I have found out that there is, in fact, also a distinction between lies and truth.
Now, for many folks in our success-oriented world, that distinction is nearly non-existent. They’re so used to lying, they can’t tell the difference anymore.
It wouldn’t occur to them to call anything their political leader or anyone says on TV or anywhere, for that matter, an untruth or a lie, because it would mean that they would have to be more careful about their own truthfulness (or lack thereof), and who wants to pay that sort of a price?

So if mass murderers like Charles Manson or warmongering Nobel peace prize winning presidents (see why you can’t be serious about being part of this world?) want to go on and on about how much they love Jesus, we’re all cool with it, because that sort of hypocrisy is what we call “freedom” here, in the liberated West, and watch out, we’re soon coming to a town near you to liberate you, too!

When Christians talk about “the world,” it’s usually in the context of John 3:16 to let everybody know how much God loved the world, no matter how haywire it had gone.
But we ignore the admonition of that same John a little later in the Bible for us not to love the world, nor the things in it.

That’s a lot harder message to preach, brother, and if you do, just wait and see how many books you’ll be selling then!

I like the way Bethany Dillon put it in one of her songs, “Aimless,” (and I strongly hope that she still knows what she was singing about):

“They’ve always known this wasn’t home.”

I’ve always known this wasn’t home.

How about you?

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The Fate of God's Chosen

The Fate of God's Chosen

There is a fine but clear distinction between what the New Testament refers to as the “world” in some places, such as John 3:16 (“For God so loved the World… etc.”), and in others, such as John 15:19, 1John 2:15-17 and James 4:4.

The first refers to humanity at large, and we are told that God loves it.
The second refers to what some people like to call “the System,” the establishment, or – some movie freaks like myself – as “the Matrix,” and we are told not to love it, or else we may become God’s enemy!

What most Christians seem to refer to as “the World” in that second sense, is non-believers.
A favorite group to be included in that category these days are Muslims, for example. Strangely enough, not the Jews, even if for the sole reason that their Holy Book makes up the first two thirds of the Christian Bible.

Some atheists are also included in that group of the common Christian concept of “the World,” (if a believer is willing to admit that Jesus, James and John must have referred so any sort of people at all in those above mentioned Scriptures), although – in the case of Christians in the U.S. this doesn’t apply to American atheists.
Jews and Americans enjoy a special status and are somehow exempt from the mystery group of people that might possibly constitute “the World” that Jesus and His disciples admonished us to stay away from.

However, taking a closer look at Jesus’ life and the Early Church history, we may discover quite a different picture than that common concept of “them Hottentots down yonder” as referring to “the world.”
If we take that dusty Bible off the shelf and actually start reading the Gospels instead of settling for that weekly sermon with a few Bible verses tossed in, we begin to see that the sort of people Jesus was actually having the most trouble with were not the Romans (pagans and foreigners), but the religious community of His own people!

Gulp!

He said to His disciples, “He that receives you, receives Me, and he that receives Me receives Him that sent Me.”

In other words, those He referred to in John 15:19 must have included or consisted of those who received Him not.

Was Jesus in fact referring to the religious establishment – among others? Folks living in our own country, that we adore every night on TV? Could it be possible that they might be part of “the world” that His true disciples are not supposed to be part of?

After all, it’s hardly a temptation to fall head over heels for the Hottentots we have nothing in common with.

It must have been tough for Jesus and His disciples to be rejected by the very ones they were supposed to have the most in common with (same God, same religion, same background and culture, and yet worlds apart).
It was still tough for them half a century later when Christians were banned from any synagogue in the world.

And that was before Paul got soft and gave it one last shot at converting his own “chosen” people, & went back to Jerusalem against the explicit warning from the Lord that this was going to be his death, and it was, eventually.

So, perhaps Jesus wasn’t talking about the Hottentots and pagans, after all, when He was talking about “the World.” (But maybe they’re included in “the World” that God loves, in John 3:16, and we’re supposed to love them likewise?)…

“The World” that neither Jesus nor His true followers have never been a part of is the large majority of those who will simply always, throughout history refuse to receive those whom He has truly sent.
It may be hard to recognize His true disciples sometimes, because they may have broken some of the establishment’s rules, similar to the way Jesus and His original disciples did in disrespecting the Sabbath and associating with prostitutes and other outcasts.
They will even make mistakes and commit sins, the way God’s people have throughout history, since claims of “infallibility” are reserved for the untouchables and merchants of forgiveness of the established false religionists, and the world will come out to point their fingers at them, only to find themselves poking their finger right in God’s eye, and hear Him repeat, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone!”

Maybe what Jesus referred to as “the World” isn’t defined as much by anyone’s “religion,” as one’s reception of His true emissaries and ambassadors.

As far as I can see, the established religious System still rejects, refuses and even persecutes the true disciples of Christ just as they have always done.

I guess it’s something difficult to relate to unless one has made that type of experience himself.

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