I don’t know where I first heard it but I’ve said it so many times that it feels like my own: “you can’t blame the world for acting like ‘the world’ because they don’t know any better.”
I speak this either to myself or to other Christians as a reminder that the sinfulness we see in our culture and society is a product of Genesis 3. It is the fall of humanity that introduced the brokenness all around us and it’s working itself out to the only logical conclusion sin has: death.
No, it’s not a popular message but when approach a proverb like that of today, it bears repeating. In Proverbs 28:5 we read…
Evildoers do not understand what is right, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.
For so long, Western Christianity and Western politics shared an usual relationship. It was not this way for the early church. Back in the late first century, into the second century, and at various points along the way, Christians were strikingly different from those around them. We were truly a counter-cultural movement.
The founders of our nation spoke openly and freely about their Christian faith and expressed sentiment that one could not call themselves an American if they could not call themselves a Christian. Now in 2014, calling oneself a Christian and living by the code that confession demands is a quick way to lose votes and possibly even entire elections (depending on what part of the country you’re in).
So when someone is shocked by the immorality that is accepted as normative or when we hear of one more judge preventing Christians from exercising their religion, it verifies the words of Proverbs 28:5: justice is impossible without God.
When you read the first five books of the Old Testament, collectively called the Torah, you quickly see how concerned the Lord is with justice. Yet we as Christians can lose the Biblical concept of justice and understanding what is “right” because we have so combined our nationality with our faith that everything becomes a political mess.
But when we seek the Lord and His righteousness, we start to perceive what justice really is. We become righteously indignant over the things that would displease our Heavenly Father. We begin to understand where the battles are that need our opinion and voice.
Yes, dear Christian, because the Gospel has changed us, we change our world. We vote differently. We spend differently. We feel differently. We become “salt and light” (cf. Matthew 5:13-14) to our world.
As the late Robert Webber wrote, the ultimate question for a Christian living in America to ask is not “How is America?” but “How is the church?” (Webber, Ancient-Future Faith: Rethinking Evangelicalism for a Postmodern World, 168).
Seek the Lord, understand fully His definition of justice, and be the hands and feet of our Creator to your world.