“You are the Light of the world…” (Jesus to His disciples; Matthew 5:14)
As a Christian, it is getting more and more difficult to read the headlines and not be angry at what is happening in our culture. As God, and a Biblical worldview, fades from the mindset of so many, these days, we cannot but help be anxious about where it is all headed. We SEE the “writing on the wall” – and as the godless militantly push their agenda we are left with only a frustrated and helpless feeling. Our dark world seems to get darker every day – and we openly wonder how there will be any hope left for our country or our world.
As Christ-followers will really only have two choices…
1) Rail away at the darkness OR 2)…
I don’t think that I have to tell you what Jesus would recommend. He got straight to the point, even in the early days of working with His disciples, He told them their task… and He spent His earthly days of ministry helping them to understand what that means.
Jesus came as THE Light of the world, but what is so noticeable is that He spent precious little time trying to change the darkness (in the government or the culture). He had every opportunity to effect massive worldwide changes to the political and societal structures and (it seems) it never even crossed His Mind. He HAD the power to set up His rulership on this earth and force everyone to comply with His rules – yet He never did. He emphatically reminded us: that “His Kingdom was NOT of this world.” He never tried to make it be.
This tells us more than we realize. IF the Master, THE Light of the world, came into the darkness of His day and never tried to change the culture… maybe His was the wisest path. Maybe we should do more to emulate His approach. Maybe when He told His disciples that THEY were the Light of the world – He meant for them to adopt His Own approach. And maybe WE should, as well.
The temptation for most Christians is to try and set the world straight. Take an adamant stand for the truth of God and let the world know how wrong they are in their current course.
Truth be told… this is Option One (that we mentioned earlier).
And all this gains us is the perception that Christians are just anti-everything. We’re against this. We’re opposed to that. This is wrong, and people who do wrong things will get God’s wrath in the end (and maybe deserve some now, as well!).
That perception is quickly becoming how Christians are defined in our culture.
Haters. Judgmental. Critical. Sour. Better than.
Everything Jesus was not.
The culture in the time of Jesus was no pristine state. Immorality was everywhere (often openly displayed in the streets). Religion was no better. Judaism had become the poster child for “shape up or ship out.”
People were hungry for something real, angry, depressed, confused – and without much hope that their tomorrows would be any better than their todays.
Sound familiar? It describes our culture as well.
Sometimes we forget that darkness is the natural state of this world. Darkened people do dark things. What is more, people in darkness just can’t help themselves. So all they have left is to try and justify their darkness. Turn wrong into what is right. Make darkness seem “enlightened.”
And the dark enemy of God is there to help them every step of the way.
There is no way to beat the darkness out of anyone. Darkness is immune to our rants and our public outcries.
There is only one thing that darkness succumbs to… and that is Light.
All this week, let’s talk about what that really means… and how to BE what God tells us we are…