Sunday – August 17, 2014 – Read the Word on Worship
Word On Worship – Sunday – August 17, 2014 Download / Print
1 John 2:12-13
“I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.”
From the time of John’s letters to today there has been a clash between factions in the church about our view of the world. One camp would say there is the world outside of the church is an environment that is intrinsically opposed to God though thoroughly loved by Him. Those who follow Christ need to be aware of the temptations and threats of this world and equip ourselves so we do not fall prey to them. In the other camps are those who want to see the world in the church – whether for the purpose of being inclusive or to make the world comfortable so it may hear and contemplate the message of the gospel.
The further you go into John’s letters the more he emphasizes the boundary that separates the church from the world. John is very aware subtle theological distortions give way to true perversions of doctrine. A world that seems to be only indifferent to God reveals itself to be a world completely opposed to Him. People who appear to be fence sitters in John’s words, worldly Christians we might say, reveal their true colors as provocateurs and teachers of error and thus become lieutenants of the enemy. John argues for a separatist doctrine of the church and paints a portrait of the church as a community under siege. But are such boundaries good? Should the church welcome in the world in an attempt to get its message out? Don’t those who rebel against God need hear the message of God’s love?
The heart of the issue comes down to our worldview. Many evangelicals see the world as benign. So any discussion of boundaries seems inappropriate because they do not see how the world, its policies and social life are opposed to the teaching of Jesus. When Norma McCorvey – the Jane Roe of the famous 1973 Supreme Court decision that made abortions legal – came to faith in Jesus Christ and publicly spoke of the sin that abortion is, she was called emotionally troubled and a pawn of the “Christian right” by the world. The world is seriously hostile to the advance of the kingdom of God.
What is needed in the church is a new worldview. Unless we develop a God-centered worldview based on what the Scriptures teach, the world’s offensiveness, aggressiveness and rejection of the truth will seem irrelevant. Developing a God-centered worldview will cause us to ask difficult questions about how we live. This discussion may begin with these verses in John’s letter but must continue through the entirety of the book. Clearly John’s focus is on managing these boundaries to maintain a strong community of believers in a world of spiritual dangers and pitfalls for those who are unaware of the deceit that abounds in the world.