Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Antithesis

One thing you don't hear much about in Christian circles is the problem of worldliness. Worldliness is defined as having thinking, actions, or motivations that are the same as those of the unsaved world. Actions, of course, include all sin. But any action motivated by the same motivation as the world (no matter how good or moral that action may be) is a worldly action. Thinking like the world is pretty much self-explanatory. Motivations of the world are allowing your decisions to be caused by the same motives as those that drive unsaved people. Greed, power, hatred, racism, prejudice, lust, and all the attendant other motives are those that make lost people do what they do.

We are called to be different than the world. It is more than simply saying we ought to have higher thinking, actions, and motives as the world has. In the Kingdom of Heaven what is weak in the world is powerful there. What is powerful in the world is weak there. We are supposed to think with the mind of Christ. Our actions are supposed to come from a heart that is free from the slavery to sin. Our motives are to come from the voice of the Holy Spirit in our hearts shown to us by the Scriptures.

The heart of the Christian is the antithesis of the world. Humility, peace, joy, love, faith, purity, good, right actions, justice, care for the poor, championing the helpless and beaten down. These are the things that drive us. The Christian heart is turned outward. It gives of itself. Above all, we give ourselves to the glory of God. We give ourselves to our fellow Christians, then to our fellow humans, finally we give ourselves to ourselves. But it is us last of all.

This is exactly the opposite of the way the world thinks. Everything is our world screams of self centeredness. But everything is the Kingdom of Heaven screams of "other-centeredness."

I suggest there are times when we need to step back and do a self assessment to make sure we really do think with the mind of Christ, that we really behave in a Christian way, and that our decisions really are based on God-centered motivations. The power of the Church is not to be as much like the world as we can be (and still call ourselves "Christians"). Our power comes from God, who is the antithesis of the world.

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