I hear constantly from fellow believers throughout the Christian community lamentations of how ungodly our society is becoming, how no one wants to keep a Godly focus in their businesses or in the government, and how unhealthy products, advertising and behavior has become in their surrounding communities.
I offer no sympathy, and feel no hurt on their behalf. They are aliens in a foreign land hoping it will mold to their lifestyle choices and make being Christian easier, widespread and culturally foundational. They lament the world is not what they want it to be.
I lament they think it should.
1 John 2: 15-16: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God stays for ever.
We are not of this world. I’m not sure we were ever meant to be.
John 17: 14-16 “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
The earth was to be a training ground, a place of development and growth — like a school from which we cannot escape until our time in this plane comes to an end, but instead to learn to focus beyond the simple and corporeal to the unseen.
Matthew 6: 19-21: Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust does corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
We’re spending entirely too much time wishing a world never meant to be holy would spontaneously be holy. There is only one property on this Earth for which we are responsible to promote holiness and that is humanity — first for ourselves by promoting God’s power and influence in our own lives (so that we might be examples and leaders to others), and secondly by promoting God’s offer of freedom, life and the reinforcement of holiness in the lives of others.
Luke 10:27: And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
Hoping that bookstores, movie and music vendors, theaters, television and general public advertising will somehow promote a Godly worldview is to ask the mud to clean the sunshine. It is not for the world to be our faith, nor promote it. God did not elevate us so that we could drag this earth and her trappings with us, but instead to BE the light, to stand alone in the darkness — if necessary — and shine upon those in need of that light.
Don’t waste your time hoping your school will stop teaching evolution (if you believe evolution is necessarily ungodly), your radio stations will stop playing sex-and-drug-drenched music, your television will interpret “family” programming traditionally, or that anyone, anywhere outside of your life or purview will suddenly start living as you want them to.
The danger here is the unfounded and very dangerous belief that circumstances dictate personal behavior or interpretation. At their core, circumstances are little more than waves of earthly matters rippling across the landscape of life in the flesh. Weather, economics, health, and even certain levels of personal interaction outside our direct control can be considered circumstances, and God would have us learn to live beyond our circumstances.
It is the physical that can so easily blind us to what happens behind it, what moves in the spirit and changes in the heart. So long as we remain caught up in the corporeal, we will never truly move our foundations past that which can and will fade away. All things on this earth pass away, including circumstances, but God does not. God is eternal and unmoving, strong and trustworthy.
Raise your children to trust in God, not network television, hip-hop artists and movie actors and actresses. Teach them the temporary nature of all things seen easily with the eyes and heard easily with the ears. We are in the lobby, not the main room; the first landing of this mountain, not the summit. It is for us to know there is a peak beyond the low-lying cloudbank and that today’s troubles are meaningless to the glories at the top.
So, stop expecting the world to change to accommodate your Christianity, and start living your Christianity so that the world could change.