Last week American Idol did their annual “American Idol Gives Back” program. I have not laughed and cried that much in a long time.
Though a general market program, there are obviously a lot of Christians involved in the show (e.g., contestants, Bono, even owner Rupert Murdoch—though he doesn’t get involved in management).
Many of your men were watching the show. No doubt, many of them are wondering, “What should I be doing? What is my role in the world?” They don’t understand how to relate to the world. Here’s what you can teach your men. There are four stances men can take toward the world:
Withdraw (like the Essenes; error toward legalism)
Embrace (like the Sadducees; error toward licentiousness)
Overthrow (like Zealots; Theuda and Barabbas, et al.; error toward lawlessness)
Engage (like Jesus and Paul; correct stance in liberty)
For sure, Jesus said we are “in” the world but not “of” the world (John 17:11, 14). So tell your men not to get engrossed with using the things of this world (1 Corinthians 7:31). Tell them not to love the world (1 John 2:15-17).
But Jesus does not want to take your men out of the world; He wants to take the world out of your men. In John 17:15 He prayed, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.”
Not only that, Jesus also sends us “into” the world (John 17:18). Jesus did not come to abolish culture, but to shape it.
This week I’ve given you the overview of the four stances. Next week I’ll zero in on how the Bible says our men can “engage” the world to leave it a better place.
Yours for changed lives,
Patrick Morley, Ph.D.
iFrancis Schaeffer, 1985, Letters of Francis A. Schaeffer, Westchester: Crossway Books, p. 144.