As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
— Proverbs 27:17
There is something happening in Christianity right now which we need to address. It is the trend of many of my brothers and sisters (Myself included) to act in ways mirroring the world while preaching against it.
More often than not in the Conservative/Traditionalist branches of the faith we see a frenzied attack or stubborn refusal to delve into subjects. This type of attitude and approach is hurting the Christian witness.
A great many Christians feel they are under attack and I understand this. The fact of the matter is that the world has always been defined by scripture as hostile to those trying to live the religious life.
The world is based on a paradigm of fear of death/loss and self centered motivations. This kind of a framework ultimately leads to things like Greed, Arrogance, Gossip, Dishonesty, Etc. The problem is that it becomes more and more pervasive as that attitude and mindset is adapted to and internalized. Ones rational almost becomes imprisoned in this framework and so does the community and larger society.
The paradigm of the world has left a lot of people exploited and in a great deal of pain. It is appropriate to be angry about being hurt and about others being hurt. It is appropriate to be sad for being part of that and feeling great remorse for the harm you have done to yourself and others.
It is however not correct to start viewing yourself as “Saved” and the rest of the world and its inhabitants as worthy of your wrath, ridicule, and slander.
We are all suffering and we are all injured and scarred/scared. Most likely in ways we aren’t fully aware of or understand.
As the spirit of the world is one that only leads to alienation from oneself and others, The spirit of heaven is one that builds communion and heals/lifts ever higher.
The spirit of heaven seems foolishness to the wisdom derived from living in the world.
It is the spirit of lending without expecting to get anything back, Selling all your possessions and giving them to the poor. Devote your life to feeding the hungry and thirsty, Welcoming the stranger into your home and to partake of your blessings, Making sure those without clothes and support have so, Tending to the sick and dying, Visiting and befriending the prisoners and most hated amongst men.
Lastly the spirit of heaven calls on people to take no bag, no money, no food, or extra clothes and to preach that the truth isn’t the spirit of the world which seems to be unavoidable and all that there is. That the truth is that death has been defeated and no longer has a sting and we can live free from fear. That life can begin to be about healing and finding our proper place/meaning and that this is how God wants us to live. He wants us to prosper and be happy and be reconciled to each other and then to praise him not out of duty but out of sheer gratitude and happiness for the new lives we have.
This is what it means to die to the old self and be born again.
A big part of this is changing the culture.
We as Christians need to remember that it’s not only about having the right propositions (Gospel) it is about the attitude and way in which we live and witness to it.
If we address peoples points of debate and or other ideas with slander or worse manipulation to suit our narratives we strengthen the world and not the witness of the Kingdom of God.
There is a golden dawn in really delving into these discussions with people from other points of view and understanding their narrative. In fostering an environment of peace and discussion we will be able to better witness and the light of the gospel will clearly shine.
So in summary please don’t lash out at people with other view points. Instead foster the “Fruits of the Holy Spirit” within you: Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
And meditate day and night on the commandment to “Love your neighbor as yourself”.
If you do this you may be amazed at how you start relating to others and remember if one is a Christian than one believes everyone is their relative and like a brother, sister, mother, or father.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.