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Worldly Christians Pt. 1 The Christian ’ s Mission & Purpose Why Am I Here?

Worldly Christians Pt. 1

The Christians Mission & Purpose

Why Am I Here?

For as long as man has recorded his thoughts, this question has been wrestled with time and time again. Every worldview system has its own answer; and the answers are as diverse as the systems themselves. In order to address this question from the Christian worldview, we must go all the way back to the beginning Genesis 1 and 2 to discover what Gods intentions for us were.

Question:

According to Genesis 1 & 2, why did God create humanity?

Acknowledging a Real Problem that Really Isn’t a Problem:

Romans 12:1-2 raises at least one question (probably more) that needs a thoughtful & biblical answer. For example, how does the command not to be conformed to this world relate to Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 9:22, “I have become all things to all people that by all means I might save some?” How is becoming all things to all people not conforming to the world? Or how does the command not to conform to the world, i.e. to be counter-cultural, relate to Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 10:32-33 - “Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved?Is this possible? Can we really be all things to all people without conforming to the things of this world?

Before we answer that, there’s more to consider. This isn’t just a Paul problem; it’s a Peter problem, a Jesus problem, a John problem, etc…. Peter calls us to the live as “aliens and as strangers in the world (1 Peter 2:11)” and John calls us to not love world (1 John 2:15); but Jesus told the same two Apostles to go into the world and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). Disciple making requires a relationship. And relationships take time. How can you be a “stranger” in the world and “not love the world” but build relationships and do ministry within the World?

The reason there are questions like these is not because Paul, the Apostles, & Christ slipped up and got confused about what it means to follow Christ in a fallen world or that they contradicted themselves and each other on our place in this world. That’s not what the problem is! They were simply holding two Christian principles in balance. It’s what we call being in the world, but not of the world.

Jesus said it best during His prayer for us in John 17:

John 17:15-16 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

It is obvious in Christ’s prayer that we are to be both in the world (i.e. building relationship, working, living, doing ministry, etc…) but not of it (i.e. living as pagans contrary to the Truth/ Gospel). So the concept of being in the world but not of the world is not problematic in itself; the problematic aspect to all this is us trying to find a balance in it all!!!

The Bible’s Mandate Concerning CultureBe Missional:

Missionalis a word being used quite a bit lately by pastors & leaders within American Evangelism. Partly because I believe God is moving the church off our spiritually-fat butts back onto the streets, workplaces, & everyday life to carry the Gospel to the lost.

“Missional” is an adjective which basically describes the actions of a missionary. So, what is a missionary? The American Heritage Dictionary defines a missionary as follows: “One who is sent on a mission, especially one sent to do religious or charitable work in a territory or foreign country.”

or charitable work in a territory or foreign country .” Our Missional Mandate: Mathew 28:18-20 …“All

Our Missional Mandate:

Mathew 28:18-20 …“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

This command was not just for missionaries (you know, the people go to another country). This was for all Christians and it begins in your neighborhood, at your school, & in your workplace (Acts 1:28)! We are to be making disciples right here, right here in the Clearwater area. Our friends, our co-workers, our classmates, our neighbors are in our mission field. If a missionary was sent to our culture (to Clearwater), what would he look like, how would she act, how would he try to connect with us? Know this…you are that missionary, for God has saved you & commissioned you to His cause (i.e. the building of His Kingdom) here is Clearwater/Largo!

Well define and address some of the “how to’s” of evangelism later in the series; but for now allow this statement to be said without much reinforcement: All Christians, not just the professional clergy or Christian educators, are called to spread the good news through word and lifestyle.

Common Christian Blunders Concerning Christianity & Culture:

Christians often fall into one of two extremes when it comes to Christianity & culture mixing. Brian Godawa, author of Hollywood Worldviews describes these two extremes as Cultural Gluttons & Cultural Anorexics:

The culture glutton is to submerged within culture and tends to consider the trends in culture as basically harmless. The glutton consumes more than they ought to and suffers a type of spiritual obesity & unhealthiness as a result. They are affected in adverse ways that they are often not aware of. Their values and worldviews are altered or weakened subversively through overexposure to counter values and worldviews presented & lived out before them.

The cultural anorexic, on the other hand, is so offended by the culture that they withdraw themselves from worldly influence in order to protect themselves. While trying to honor a sense of holiness from the world, they inadvertently reject God’s command and prayer to live & minister in the world. The anorexic becomes alienated from the culture around them because they cannot speak the language or engage in the cultural dialogue with an eye toward reform.

Questions:

What would be some things that cause us (Christians) to fall into either of these extremes?

Both of these extremes prevent you from being “missional.How so?

Are there any dangers to being missional and being in this world but not of it? What are they and how do we fight against/protect ourselves from those dangers?