Thursday, January 1, 2015
Christianity is Well Beyond Conservative
"One of the greatest injustices we do to our young people is to ask them to be conservative. Christianity is not conservative but revolutionary." Francis A. Schaeffer
First of all, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! I hope each and everyone of you had a very Merry Christmas. Now with the new year we are heading back to schedule again. Christmas for many people offered a break from the same old metonymy and they had a little diversion. Many of you had time to set aside and enjoy your families. I'm excited about the new year.
Yesterday I changed my template to the standard one I use all year around on the blog. Every year I always add something different on the blog description. I click on a link to find a quote from the late Francis Schaeffer to use, which I've done before on this blog. It's the quote above you see on this post from the late Francis Schaeffer. The title of this blog, The Christian Worldview, is a tribute from Francis Schaeffer. Over 22 years ago, I started reading many of the late Schaeffer's past works and I thoroughly enjoyed many of them. Of course, I didn't agree with him on all his viewpoints, but he was all about looking through the lens of scripture when it came to issues in life. I wholeheartedly concurred with him there. Schaeffer believed that the Lordship of Christ should be applied to all areas of life such as the arts, scientists, music, education, etc. He believe Christianity should permeate everything we do. His writings helped permeate my thinking on life in general. When I was thinking of what to write for the first post of the year, I selected this quote above and I am going to expound upon it.
Many of us are guilty of using and overusing the term "conservative" when it applies to politics and even Biblical orthodox Christianity. The online definition of "conservative" says, "Believing in the value of established and traditional principles in society; relating to or supporting political conservatism." I've stated a number of times that I'm a political conservative and that I believe in the Bible. Most scholars or many people who claim to be Christian would call themselves a conservative Christian if they are opposed to abortion, sodomy and gay marriage, support school prayer and Bible reading, and believe in the traditional tenets of scripture such as the virgin birth, Christ's vicarious death on the cross, Christ's resurrection from the grave, his imminent return to this world, creation, and the fall of man, to name a few. However, when you consider the state of Christendom in America, Christianity in most churches today is far from what the Bible says it should be. The above definition of conservative wouldn't sound bad if the church practiced the tenets and principles of the Word of God en masse. Consequently, what takes place in most of our churches today is far from Biblical, orthodox Christianity in our society. Nevertheless, Schaeffer was right on the money when he stated that Christianity is not conservative but revolutionary.
What does it mean to be revolutionary? Merriam Webster has three definitions for revolutionary, but it's the latter that I want to focus on. "Revolutionary" means (1) of, relating to, or constituting a revolution (war), (2) tending to or promoting revolution, and (3) constituting or bringing about a major or fundamental change. That's what Christianity is. If you read Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7, you will see that Jesus is preaching the Sermon on the Mount and addressing the multitudes. When Jesus came into this world as a babe lying in a manger, the Jewish people were looking for a political savior to deliver them from the captivity of Rome. Jesus, however, didn't come the first time to establish his kingdom in Israel. He came to die for the sins of mankind upon Calvary's cross. He didn't come to be crowned as king during his first coming. He will be crowned king following his Second Coming. The Jews were s were under the Mosaic law, which included both the moral and ceremonial aspects of the law. The law dealt with the outward part of man. There was a Jewish sect called the Pharisees who kept the law humanly speaking. When Jesus preached to the multitudes in Matthew chapters 5-7, he preached something that took matters into a totally different direction. Jesus said that if your righteousness didn't exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees, one cannot enter the kingdom of God. What was Jesus saying? He was saying that you can't live by the righteousness of the law. The Lord was the only one who kept the law. The reason being was because Christ was sinless. He possessed no sin nature and knew no sin. Christ was the only one who could fulfill the law. No matter what the Jews' best attempts were, they always fell short of the law. Christ brought the law to a whole different level. He went beyond the outward aspects of the law and dealt with the inward part of man. Jesus was dealing with the heart of man. He started by speaking of the Beautitudes, which dealt with Christian living, which went way beyond the law. He told the multitudes to bless those who persecute you for Christ's sake. He also mentioned what the Law said about a man committing adultery. Jesus said if a man looks upon a woman for the purpose to lust after her, he has committed adultery already in his heart. Jesus was also quoting the commandment which says that man shouldn't commit murder. Jesus extended it further and said that if you are angry with your brother without a cause, you are in the danger of the judgment. Jesus was concerned about the condition of man's heart.
Jesus was pointing out on the Sermon on the Mount that man can't keep the law. Man's heart is too sinful. In Matthew 15 Jesus was telling the scribes and Pharisees that what comes out of a man's heart defiles man, not what goes into his mouth. The Pharisees were always about showing their good works to impress the Jews. They might have appeared righteous outwardly, but inwardly they were raven wolves. By concentrating on matters of the heart, Jesus pointed out that man couldn't be justified by the law. Only Christ could do that. That's why Jesus was born into this world. He came into the world to die for the sins of mankind. The only way man could experience life was to be born again. It would require a new birth from above to save mankind from his sins. As a result of the new birth, Christ would write the law into the heart of man so he could possess the desire to live for God and fulfill God's will in his/her life. The law wasn't bad. The law was just and holy. But man couldn't live by the law because his heart was unjust and wicked. It doesn't mean saved people don't sin or fail God. However, there's that inner desire to live holy before God because of that new nature that's placed within the heart of man.
As I've stated earlier, Christianity isn't conservative. It's revolutionary. It will change a man's life when he becomes born again. II Corinthians 5:17 says it well. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold all things become new. Things will never be the same again.
I will finish the thought in tomorrow's post.