[Couldn’t resist sharing a photo from Wendell, ID I took tonight. Idaho is just a beautiful place!]
I enjoyed chatting with some new friends last week at one of the Fortnightly Emerging Church Chats. I was able to meet and share some dialogue with Phil, Mike, Luke, Leighton, Eddie, Darren and Andrew. We talked about a lot of stuff, including .bE and alternative worship.
We also had a chance to talk a bit about a sermon I’m preparing for this upcoming Sunday (Oct 19th). I want to talk about Christians’ relation to the world, and trying to share some concerns and fears re: the Christian subculture/”ghetto.” As of right now, I’m just throwing some ideas around in my head. Some random piecings of a thought lie below. I’d appreciate any thoughts/comments on the issue.
A Christian View of the World
What should the proper view of the world be, for a Christian? It seems the prevailing view of evangelicals is that the world is a broken and sinful place, and as Christians, we are called to separate ourselves from sin. Therefore, exclusion from the world. But is this an accurate view of the world we live in? Is this the way Christ would call us to live?
What happens when we take the traditional evangelical view and follow it out a bit? People become suspicious of, and closed off to, anything that might be considered ‘secular’ [should we even use the word secular anymore]. In Jesus’ prayer in John 17, he says, ‘My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.’ Jesus does not desire us to be taken out of the world; for there is much work to be done here.
Is there another view of relating to the world that Christians can take? Is there another, perhaps more biblical, approach? Dick Staub writes in his new book, Too Christian Too Pagan, that the biblical approach is that, as followers of Christ, we need to appear ‘too Christian’ to our pagan friends and ‘too Pagan’ for our Christian friends.