Friday, August 30, 2002
Defection to the World
There is no excuse for the widespread defection of Christians to the world that is becoming so prevalent these days. Christians of every sort are abandoning traditional enclaves and bastions of spirituality in a vain attempt to allegedly engage the culture and impact it for the cause of Christ. Consider the following:
- John C. Maxwell has abandoned the ministry and is now a business consultant on leadership issues. He is claiming to apply Christian principles to solving business problems. He even has a web site, www.Injoy.com, and a business book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.
- Bruce Wilkinson, while he wasn’t a Pharisee, did a marvelous work with his Walk Through the Bible series. Since then, he has become a fixture of the New York Times Bestseller list with such books as Secrets of the Vine and the phenomenally successful The Prayer of Jabez.
- Christian musicians like Sandy Patti and Amy Grant have become widely accepted in popular music circles. Other so called Christian groups like Jars of Clay, DC Talk, and Sixpence None the Richer are not only getting air play on secular stations but are finding their way onto the soundtracks of godless Hollywood blockbusters.
These are simply the most prominent examples of a more widespread epidemic that has taken Christians by storm. I am talking about the supposed need to “engage” the culture. I have even heard the average Christian in the pew voice a desire to “impact the wider culture with the transforming message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” These well meaning but misguided people are casting pearls before swine and giving that which is holy to dogs. To be perfectly honest, I question the genuineness of their faith and their true motivations.
It is not the business of Pharisees to “impact the wider culture” but to safeguard the doctrinal purity and maintain the exceptionally high standards of personal holiness found in the sanctified Christian life. Our job is not to engage the world in a dialogue about the merits of the gospel but to condemn the world. Our method is to convict the lost of their sinful ways by our separated lifestyle and godly conversation; not coddle them with a softhearted gospel of forgiveness and hope.
The good news of the gospel is that we are privileged to belong to an enlightened elite of spiritually stratified saints, not the spokesmen for a popular message that appeals to the lowliest sinner wallowing in the degradation of their own wickedness. We are called to be separate from the world, not to impact it and certainly not to transform it.
He told them still another parable: The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.
Matthew 13:33 (NIV)
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