WHY CHRISTIANS ARE INCAPABLE OF CHALLENGING THE WORLD 13 JAN 2014
This post explains how Christians in general operate w/ the World’s worldview, rather than a genuine Biblical framework for truth, & how isolated superficial views are believed, but the truth of God is not presented as a whole. This results in Christians who, when confronted with university type subjects (philosophy, science, psychology), are unable to defend their beliefs, & reserve/hide their Christian beliefs for the privacy of their homes & churches. The power of Christ has been lost in everyday life, & some Christians haven’t a clue as to why they believe what they do.
In her teenage years, my mother was an avid Christian & extremely intelligent…yet, when she went to college she had no intellectual tools to defend her faith, & she tossed it aside when confronted with the World’s wisdom. She’s just one example of countless young Christians who have not had answers to the World’s intellectuals. It’s not that the answers don’t exist, for instance, Alvin Plantinga in his recent book God & Other Minds has inspired Christians to get into philosophy by using biblically sound theistic realism. The Word of God teaches that “all the treasures of wisdom & knowledge” are in Christ. (COL 2:3) We are told numerous times in the Word that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. If the All-Wise Maker & his Messiah are truly the foundation for all truth, what has happened that Christians are so clueless to defend their Christianity & are constrained to shroud & suppress their beliefs until Sunday comes? The problem goes back to when the World came into the early Catholic church.
WHERE IS GOD IN OUR LIVES? Greek & Gnostic dualism were assimilated into Catholic thinking & passed on to the Protestants; just like the American Revolution did not get the job completely done…it said all men were equal & had the God given right to freedom but then failed to outlaw slavery…likewise, reformers like Luther & Zwingli accepted lots of Catholic thought, rather than return to Christ as the foundation for their Reformation. Christ said his followers would not fight…but Luther & Zwingli had their followers support govt. wars. The dualism of the Greeks & Gnostics held that spirit was good & mundane things were evil. From that dualism developed the concept of a spiritual clergy (priests) & the common laity (non-priests). While the Reformation restored the concept of the priesthood of all believers, it never got rid of the dualism. In many churches today, the minister of the church is expected to be the only one who acts holy. The Biblical truth is that we are all ministers (& ambassadors) of God’s kingdom. This worldly dualism is why I have repeatedly seen people, for example, this doctor say, “I quit being a doctor so I could serve God in ministry.” What? Life in Christ is not seen as relevant to everyday life!! Christians may not realize it, but their day to day lives are exactly what being a Christian is all about. When that carpenter hits the wrong nail, but doesn’t cuss, he has just witnessed the power of Christ in his life to his co-workers. Let’s see what God’s calling on our life is all about…
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do [dance, make love, sing, work], do all to the glory of God.” 1 COR 10:31 “…I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself…” ROM 14:14. From the World’s dualism developed the idea that sexuality, the human body, dancing, instrumental music & many other earthly common things were sinful in themselves. If you wanted to be spiritual you became a monk or nun, & refrained from such common things. The correct answer is to return to our Maker and get a genuine Christian worldview (framework). A genuine Worldview w/ Christ as the foundation makes lots of sense & is quite reasonable: We begin by observing the intelligent design of all creation & we realize there was a Creator. Obviously, that Creator has a right to His own expectations for His creation. If part of His creation fails His expectations, it deserves the Creator’s destruction. The Word of God tells us that rather than destroy His crown of Creation, mankind, our Creator redeemed us by a process of loving us. In fact, the whole creation from beginning to end involves love. We were created to love the Creator, and it is obvious that mankind has a deep seated need to worship.
SEEING OUR PURPOSE. So let’s review: CREATION, FALL, & then CREATION’S REDEMPTION. The churches have stripped our lives of their divine meanings. The protestant church’s preaching starts & stops with the lone aspect of the fall: man is a sinner, & needs salvation. However, the full meanings of the other two aspects (CREATION & CREATION’S REDEMPTION) are totally neglected. We are saved by Christ to do something…what is that something? To be restored to our original purpose (back on the right path) as well as to carry out God’s work, His creative work. The original purpose given to Adam was to be fruitful & multiply (i.e. have godly families) and take care of this planet (i.e. be a steward of the plants & animals & land) as well as cont. God’s creative work using our God given abilities to develop civilization such as making clothes, woodworking, farming & gardening. Likewise, Yahshua worked with stones & wood; his disciples were often fishermen. We don’t have a spiritual birth (new birth) just to be born, but to mature & grow up. This is why discipleship was important for Christ…today, discipleship is basically non-existent; making a decision (perhaps the new birth decision) is all that’s done. (We are a nation of spiritual babies that don’t want to grow up.) When we grow up our daily lives are spent doing God’s work: what did God do??: He fed, He healed, He taught, He sustained life, He separated right from wrong, and Christ served his fellowman. We can do these things when we are a nurse, a doctor, a farmer, a teacher, a mother, or a father. There are many vocations (occupations) that if done to the glory of God continue the activities that God did. Evangelism was only one thing of many things that God does. Thanks to dualism from the Gnostics, many Christians are anti-doctors, anti-teachers, anti-intellectuals, & on & on. The churches fail to teach how after our salvation (justification) we have a daily vocation (sanctification) that glorifies God. Why did God give us all these abilities? The Word of God says that at our salvation “ALL THINGS ARE MADE NEW’’, which includes our minds, and bodies. In fact, ROM 12:1-2 tells us to renew our minds. The whole person is to serve God in day-to-day life. We want to pour the water of the Holy Spirit on all the parched barren areas of our lives. Lord save our souls, minds, bodies, and lives. Help us to give all of ourselves, and to integrate You into all aspects of our lives. We want to acknowledge your comprehensive call on our entire lives. In Christ’s name, Amen.
Can you see that being a mother is just as godly as being a nun? Can you see that being a father to your son or acting Christlike on the job is just as godly if not more godly as the priest who holds up the wafer & repeats the rosary? Christ prayed to heavenly Father to leave his disciples living in the world, yet still protect them from Satan. We have been taught that to be godly you need to go to a monastery or be in church every night. There is certainly a place for quiet spiritual time & fellowship, but we must not strip common life of its sacred spiritual meaning, for our daily lives should be callings from the Lord. Everything we do has spiritual significance, & we must reject the Gnostic dualism that has prevented Christians (esp. in America & Europe) from building a Christian worldview.
[I don’t mean to imply that this overview covers everything we need to build a Christian worldview. I do see that a. dualism, b. overemphasis on salvation rather maturity & serving God in our daily lives, and c. the piecemeal presentation of bits & pieces of God’s truths, instead of a structured Biblical framework to create a complete Christian Worldview are preventing Christians from standing up to the World.]
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