The Order of Things
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”Posted 1/31/14
By Reverend ray
The Son of God reveals Himself in me, and I serve Him in the ordinary ways of life out of devotion to Him.
In the world it is interesting to observe how much culture shapes how we interpret the world and what is deemed to be valuable or acceptable.
I am sure, for instance, that Ray Kroc would have never envisioned that his hamburg empire, McDonald’s, would have not only changed the way America eats but the whole fast food mentality has permeated every aspect of life and culture.
We have a generation that wants what it wants and it wants it now! But this is just one influence that illustrates how culture shapes human behavior and how we interpret or value things of life. Still another important element of the American culture that had dramatically changed is the idea of what is priority and what is play.
I was raised in a quiet little hamlet in the middle of the Appalachian mountains where we were introduced to the order of things. We were taught that good hard work was honorable and worthy of merit. That you did your chores first and if there was time left in the day, you could go play ball.
In simple terms; there were not only priorities but that values and beliefs were not hobbies that you tinkered with when the whim struck you, but part of the fabric of who you were and the quality of person you were.
In today’s world it seems as though our generation has gotten the cart before the horse and advantage or profit dictate whether character and beliefs are important.
Once a man of integrity was looked upon with respect in a community. Today, if a man can pad his pockets by whatever means available or if he rises to the height of the success in the business world at the expense of others, its just part of the process that is to be expected, they say.
Indeed, it is to be understood that man’s nature lends itself to such conduct and to some degree there has existed such an attitude. The more pressing concern for myself is that in the world of Christianity, we too, have seemingly wandered away from the order of things.
By this, I mean that there was a time when one who claimed to be a Christian was a Christian first and that shaped and dictated how he presented and conducted himself in his work and community.
Today’s Christianity is much less provocative and much more suggestive. Or better put, Christianity seems to fit the bill of a hobby these days more than it does a way of life that impacts and directs culture.
One would need only look to other world religions to see that in many places the religion dictates and shapes the culture rather than culture the religion. For instance, India is predominately Hindu. For a Hindu, his religion is his way of life and what is valued, how he fits into society, the quality and even type of work that he does is shaped by the belief system.
Let me pause here to say that I am not endorsing any type of cast system as socially acceptable or valuable. What I am saying is that Christianity and professing Christians, at least generally in America, do not see their belief system as a way of life any longer, though it once did across many small communities in America.
But that Christianity is merely a hobby that anyone can dabble in at his or her leisure and when it becomes inconvenient or gets in the way of things, jobs, success, status and etc. then it is shelved with no thought that it is a way of life that should determine the values and integrity of the man. Paul’s statement about himself in the passage above seems very clear. All that Paul is, was or would be was determined by Christ in him.
Indeed, he counted himself crucified, which meant that the whole idea of ambition, personal goals, even how he was perceived in the community was nailed to the cross where they suffered irrevocable mortality and the only life existing was Christ in him. Paul couldn’t put his Christianity on or off as was convenient because there was nothing for him to take off, he had died and it was Christ living in him, not himself.
The point of all this is simply that the order of things for a Christian is defined, he is dead, therefore there are no options, no hobbies, only Christ.
As I recently advised my son; “You are a Christian that happens to do industrial design work, not an industrial design artist that happens to be a Christian.”
Dribble from the pen