In those days, John the Firebrand started his ministry, preaching in the wilderness of Judea saying, “You’re all destined for the fires of hell.  You need to turn or burn because the judgement of God is at hand.”

When he saw the Pharisees, he said to them, “You have done well separating yourself from the masses so that you remain untainted.  You are not far from the Kingdom.”  But to the Sadducees, he said, “You compromisers! Making deals with the Romans to obtain wealth and power.  God has reserved a special place of torment for you and other co-conspirers such as the tax-collectors.
Not the Bible: The Ungospel of Matthew 3:1-12

For far too long we Christians have been like the Pharisees: separating ourselves from the sinful world.

We created a separate parallel music industry that created “Christian music”, we sold “Christian books” from “Christian bookstores”, made “Christian films” and sent our children to “Christian schools”.

The only interaction we had with the real world was to condemn it and throw stones in the form of protests or complaints.

As a result we raised children in this “Christian bubble” who grew up naïve and were unable to discern or live wisely. Either they joined with us and stayed separate or discovered that the real world is not all bad and realised their parents knew nothing and so rejected all of their parents’ views.

Jesus, the perfect one, left His separate perfect heaven and lived among sinners.  He actively sought out the lost, the unrighteous, the tax collectors, and those in Samaria (the most loathed area).

We are followers of Christ, we are meant to be salt and light to the world.

But we withhold our light and then condemn the world for being so dark.

We withhold the salt and then condemn the world for being rotten.

We are called to be in the world but not of it.

Yes we need to be wise and train our kids accordingly, but we don’t have to fear the world because “he that is in us is greater than he that is in the world”.

We have the power of the Holy Spirit to change the world.  When we touch brokenness we bring healing, when we enter the darkness we bring light, when we encounter hopelessness we bring hope.

Father, forgive me that I withdraw from the world rather than bring your hope to it.  Forgive me that I prefer to condemn rather than redeem.  Forgive me that I prefer to stay separate rather than get my hands dirty.  Open my eyes to how You see the world.  Give me Your heart of compassion and let me be Your hands and Feet that minister Your love.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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