Sunday, April 19, 2009

seeing "the world" through new eyes ...

I've always thought I had a pretty balanced view when it came to what I think is meant when the Bible refers to "the world"... until recently ...
My theory on "the world" (see Romans 12:2) has always been that our planet is not being referred to here, but the system of understanding/belief which creation is subject to - the dominion of sin and the devil ... ie. we live on a planet that is the world, but it is not "the world". Just because creation is under the dominion of pride and rebellion and selfishness and warped ideology, does not mean that this planet is a bad place, just the system it is subject to ... that has always been my theory, and it still is my theory.
But I find that my attitude and my practice is often much different ... the easier road for me is to almost unwittingly equate the creation we live in with the system it is subject to ... when I'm consistently confronted with the brokenness that evil brings, it is far easier for me to want to escape from the world (and to perhaps convince others to come with me), than it is to join God in bringing change (and in the process others are swept up into salvation) ... it's much easier for me to focus on the ultimate victory Jesus will bring at the end of this age than it is to notice how He can and is bringing it now. Kingdom is easier understood as a conquering force that's coming tomorrow than it is a subversive yet powerful influence that emerges today.
So, my hypocrisy frustrates me ... but I think it's important to identify ... it's important to see "the world" through new eyes ... why?
... because my behavior should not be reduced to a performance for the age to come, but an expression of the kingdom I belong to now ...
... because when I'm so focused on the badness of "the world", I tend to miss the beauty of the world ...
... because the alleged comfort "the world" brings me will always stand as a blindspot to the discomfort of the world ...
... there are probably a heap of other reasons why it's important for me to see "the world" through new eyes (and to see the world through new eyes) - a more important question might be - "Trav, what are you going to do about this?" ... I'm working on that ... .

2 comments:

JK said...

I think the problem can sometimes be that we assume Satan is in charge, when in reality he has already been judged and defeated at the cross, and Jesus is King of Kings, so any authority Satan may have is only the limited authority God allows him to have as a tool to bring about His purposes. For too long we have been living as Christians like the Jews lived under the Babylonians, Assyrians, Greeks & Romans, forgetting Who was really in charge. We may have operated under the premise that Satan's in control and will only lose it when Jesus takes over at the 'end'; but my Bible seems to say that that's already happened, and the only 'taking over' yet to happen is when Jesus hands all things to the Father. It does make you look and live differently!

Nathin said...

J.I.P. says the same thing in his book "18 Words". Understanding "THE WORLD" (in scripture) as a theological term, as a "system", make soooo much more sense. It gives the fullest explaination of verses like John 3:16 and 1 John 1.