I’ve been thinking about starting up another blog. Believe me, I’ve been resisting. I already have responsibility for multiple sites. It’s not like I need another one to think about. Still, there is something that won’t leave me alone.
I believe in recent years, there has been a shift in the cultural climate.
There was a time when we as Jesus People felt we had the opportunity, even an obligation, to influence the direction of culture and society. We got political; we sounded the alarm and called the church to action; we urged the electorate to take back America’s Judeo-Christian heritage; we decried the downward moral slide of Western culture. We designed programs and launched campaigns.
I think those days are over. We can pray for what goes on outside, but we need to earnestly seek to discover the values of the Kingdom and learn how to apply them inside our community in exile. We no longer have a dog in this fight. No skin in the game.
These times remind me of something C.S. Lewis said:
There are two kinds of people. Those who say to God, “Thy will be done.” And those to whom God says, “All right, then. Have it your way.”
It seems to me that the Creator has stepped back. He has removed restraint. Society and culture are free at last to pursue goals without God standing in the way.
God has stepped aside before. It isn’t pretty. For example, He let His people have meat instead of manna, resulting in “leanness of soul” (Psalm 78 and 106). He let them have a king (1 Samuel) allowing them to reject Him. Even Jesus’ story of the prodigal speaks of a son who asked for, and received, what he wanted from his father who knew that if he let his son do as he pleased, the consequence of freedom would be disastrous. Freedom from restraint is often its own punishment. On the other hand, it is often the shortest distance between profligacy and repentance.
That’s the premise from which I would operate this new blog. As the world pursues its way without restraint, how shall we live? If we agree with the Lord and say to the world, “All right, then. Have it your way,” what should that look like for us? Are we willing to choose between the Kingdom and the world and live accordingly? Are we prepared to live with determined disregard for what the world thinks or does? The choice has never been more stark, or more imminent. Joshua put it well.
If you think it’s the wrong thing for you to serve the LORD, then choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD (Joshua 24.15).
I would want to consider how communities of Jesus should conduct themselves in the house of God. I don’t intend to evaluate the world outside the community. No condemning, judging or expressions of disgust. As the apostle said, “For what have I to do with judging outsiders?” Rather, I would want to thoughtfully consider what we should do as citizens of a different Kingdom.
That said, I’m still looking for a good excuse not to move in this direction. Maybe I’ll find one. I kinda hope so. Excuses notwithstanding, it still comes down to this:
Are we ready to be the church in a culture at midnight?
PS – The main reason I don’t want to do a blog like this is that I hate conflict. I do what I can to avoid it. Don’t like to argue. Gives me a stomachache. On the other hand, as the world spirals down we will have to grapple with the challenge of adopting Kingdom values regardless of consequence. As needful as it is, that exercise will likely arouse disagreement both inside and outside the church. If that is so, I may just have to get used to it.