Is Our Focus Focused Right?
Religious influence has spawned the accusation (and rightly so) that believers are so heavenly focused they are no earthly good.
The focus on Sunday-go-programmed-event-driven meetings, adherence to religious rules and regulations, the pew-warming exercise of assembling in segregated denominated buildings, the one-man showmanship, and the endless other denominated traditional activities, while ignoring the purpose and plan of God for the Community of the Redeemed in the Community of Humanity, ignoring hurting people and being delinquent in establishing relationships with them while ignoring their need give credence to such an accusation is indicative of a self-righteous attitude. Their consuming preoccupation with preparing for, and going to heaven renders them ineffective in the Community of the Redeemed
When the plight of people are brought to our attention, we content ourselves with feeling sorry about them, telling them they are being judged by God for their sin and if they do not repent Hell awaits them, while doing nothing substantial to help them. Sympathetic thoughts or kind musings is not demonstrating the compassion of our loving God.
Jesus could have met the multitude's needs merely by forming a thought or speaking a command. He could even have done it from heaven without coming to earth. But His compassion (Mark 6:34) caused Him not only to come and live and die among us earth ones, but also to touch lepers, the lame and the blind, sup with sinners, and to take little children in His arms and bless them. True compassion is personal, active involvement that expresses God's merciful, compassionate, kind and loving heart in words and deeds.
God's chosen people (the Community of the Redeemed) are to "clothe" themselves with compassion [Colossians 3:12]. We are to be the salt of the earth, we are not to use the gospel to satisfy our selfish desires or incorrect interpretations to appease faulty religious beliefs. God showers us with comfort through His Word and through other believers, we in turn are to redirect the stream of His compassion, love and mercy to the hurting in the Community of Humanity. We are not to hoard God's love for ourselves and lie to the sinner by telling them God hates them. No, the love of God is to outflow from us as the good news of His compassion and love to all.
The dualism theology of the religionist's theology...the separation between what is spiritual and what is natural is faulty and not scriptural. Furthermore, it indicates that God is concerned only about the spiritual world and is not concerned about the natural world. In believing this line of faulty reasoning, it is accepted that believers should therefore focus their lives on the heavenly spiritual realm and repudiate the earthly realm. This kind of thinking is not conducive to affecting the kingdom of God in the earthly realm with the good news gospel of Christ. God desires the atmosphere of heaven fill the earth...not the atmosphere of earth brought to heaven...heaven would be as messed up as earth if that happened.
I am convinced that in the mind of God, there is no separation of reality between the "spiritual" and "natural" realms. Through Jesus God has permanently united Himself to the "natural." In the person of Jesus, God took on flesh, thus uniting Himself with the people He created. We see the result of this union in the earthly life of Jesus. Jesus was concerned about and compassionate toward all people....the sinner as well as the saint. In His eyes, all people, whether they be "spiritually minded" or earthly minded, are recipients of His love. He loves and cares for all. Jesus was (and still is) the "friend of sinners" (Matthew 11:19). And that's good for us all because "sinning" is a human condition that we are all guilty of.
It's sad but true, many believers tend to think their calling is to isolate themselves from the "natural" world in order to focus on "spiritual" matters by going to their Sunday-go-meetings in segregated denominated buildings to isolate themselves, not only from the world bur from fellow believers that believe different beliefs. The result, is that people become so "heavenly focused" and self oriented that they are "no earthly good."
Now, the Bible does tell Christians to “set your mind on things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2). But that exhortation from Paul has to do with being Christ-centered in our thinking while daily interacting with people in the community, not about withdrawing from the worldly people by living in the ethereal realm. In fact, when we see Jesus more clearly, we see Him who, through the Spirit, is actively involved in the lives of all people...sharing with them His love and life in order to draw them into communion with Himself where they will experience their true identity...an identity now "hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3).
Jesus gives all of life meaning and value. With Him and in Him, there is no spiritual/natural divide; no sacred/secular seperation. There is one Christ, who is Creator and Redeemer, and thus Lord of all. All of His creation has been raised from death and destruction in Him. As so as we walk with Him....our calling as Christ-followers...all aspects of life has potentially, deep eternal meaning and value. That includes seemingly "un-spiritual" (natural) things like hiking in the woods, drinking in a sunset, spending time boating, drawing a picture, singing a song, working at one's vocation, driving a country road etc. In reality I see God more active in this events then I do in Sunday-event-driven meetings.These things are the handiwork of God not the handiwork of man that so dominates the event-driven Sunday meeting.
We are to live life as one "sent" on mission with Jesus. The Community of the Redeemed exists not to stand apart from sinners but to stand, with Jesus, for the sake of sinners, sharing the "Good News of the Gospel" that Christ has the sin problem taken care of.
If you are one of the people who thinks that Jesus failed to take care of sin problem through His death and resurrection...rest assured...all of humanity is still in sin!