LOVE NOT THE WORLD; I AM THE WAY, FOLLOW ME 3 MAY 2014
(Teachings of Christ). This post is for followers of Christ & contains thoughts on how we can follow Christ & not love the World. And IF it helps make Christ’s teaching more relevant, then Hallelujah! God reigns, & our hope is that His reign will be perfected here. God blesses each effort to improve the planet, for He is the ultimate author of all good things….And yet, the church in spite of its fancy buildings, blogs & programs seems to have no impact, no relevance to the modern world. It seems locked in a cultural ghetto. Esp. in Europe the churches play no role, if anything the mosque plays a much bigger role in European society. In Amer. Christ & Biblical teachings are marginalized. Bibles are forbidden in public schools; condoms are freely given. But once a man is stripped of all his civil rights & locked up in prison, he can have lots of Bibles, & even access to a minister at govt. expense. This is the equivalent of shutting the gate after the cow has wandered out, & then stripping the cow of its identity. We reject our youth in prison because they have strayed after our society removed all moral gates.
“Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth.”(A) There are universal spiritual principles, everyone knows not to steal, & contemplating the universe can give us some perspective on life. For followers of Christ, we depend on the same thing that he used, the Word of God. Friendship with the World System is forbidden: “Love not the World [system], nor the things that are in the World. If any man love the World, the love of the Father is not in him.”(B) This teaching addresses the same thing as Christ did when he said, “Follow me, I am the Way.” It is just presenting it from another angle. In his teachings he warned of the dangers of worldliness (for ex. MT 13:22, 24:38, 39 & others). “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this World, according to the prince of the power…”(C). Now we walk in his Way, which is why early Christianity was called “the Way”. The term Way means not only the spiritual route we take, but the way we talk, treat others, eat, feel, work & think. We are to break worldly mindsets (w/ their delusions & illusions) and bring every thought captive to the Spirit.(D)
Having the faith that overcomes the World does not mean that we can’t fail. Being faithful to God actually frees us up to fail & still not be a failure because He is our effectiveness. We are confident in His goodness, not in our own good works. For instance, Jeremiah was called by God to be a prophet, but was not successful because the people ignored him. Biblical men of faith did not always have worldly success. There is no need to prove our worth to Him, only to humbly & obediently obey by walking in his Way.
“MATERIAL WORLD.” In Larry Elliot’s book “The Gods That Failed” (NY:Nation Books, 2009), he shows how America believed in 12 governing Spirits that were treated as gods. People believed these 12 would bring paradise if allowed to flourish. These 12 were: greed, competition, financialization, speculation, privatization, globalization, excess, communication, liberalization, recklessness, arrogance, & oligarchy. Those gods failed in 2008, & will fail again. Another way to view this is America worshipped the Illum. Market system, & experienced a crisis of faith. The word credit comes from the Latin “credere”=to trust. Only God & the Lamb (Christ) are worthy of worship.(E) The Word warns about the deceitfulness of riches, but it does not condemn wealth, only the misuse of wealth.(F) After all, the rich & poor meet together in death: YHWH is maker of them all.(G)
We can’t do Christ’s work by the ways of the god of this World System. Why? One reason is the different approach. Christ did everything through loving personal relationships. Love was always involved. The World uses manipulation & works impersonally. Christ was not a slogan, a bumper sticker, a free Bible, or an abstraction; he was a friend, a host, a guest, a blesser of children, the forgiver of sinners, and the empathetic man of tears. Bullying was not part of his way. He refused to do good things the wrong way! Satan asked him to run the World, and who was more qualified than him to take charge? Yet he turned the job down, because he had a Way to do things. The World dreams of good systems to create Utopia, Christ sees Paradise created from good men following a good God. Take note, after Moses gets his ragged hordes of slaves away from Egypt, he tells them (for God) that they are a “kingdom of priests”.(H) Bear in mind that priests were powerful privileged people in Egypt. Likewise, 1200 yrs. or so later, Peter & John tell the followers of Christ the same thing, as well as you are God’s royalty. You were wormy slaves to sin but now you are God’s royalty. So walk worthy of your calling.
How do we do this? “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”(I). We replace evil with good. Should we pressure people to change? Christ said, “He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is [spiritually] filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous.”(J). To provide comments on these verses… it is love, not the law, which is the fullness of God’s law. Remember that love is God’s nature, comes w/ comfort (K), and can make us feel Christlike. (L) We can let the filthy continue to choose to be filthy. People need to change, but the time for doing so is limited and they get to go their own way, and we are to let them. This reminds me of moving sows on the farm…one could try to force a 700 lb. sow to move a particular direction, but the harder one would pull and push the more resistance the sow will give. I would get a pail of moist corn and hold it in front of her. She would follow along. Likewise, men need to be motivated, to be seduced with love to follow the Way of Christ. This explains why the book of 1 John speaks of the World & AntiChrist, but emphasizes love repeatedly. If you do not love, you are not of God.(M) Not my words, but the Word of God.
A) COL 3:2 B) 1 JN 2:15 C) EPH 2:2 D) 2 COR 10:5 E) REV. 5:11-13 F) Book of James & 1 TIM 6:9-10 G) PRV 22:2 H) EX 19:6 I) ROM 13:8 J) REV 22:11 K) PHL 2:1 L) EPH 4:32, 1 JN 4:8 M) 1 JN chapters 3 & 4.
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