Thursday, February 14, 2008

We've Fenced Ourselves In! Part II

I think it would be helpful, in our discussion about Christianity's responsibility to be salt and light in the midst of the world, to discuss the idea of a "remnant." In the Old testament much is said about a remnant within the nation of Israel. What is a remnant? Well, the nation of Israel was the national people of God. On the whole, Israel was a disobedient, hard-hearted nation. However, there was a small group of obedient, God-fearing Israelites tucked within the larger group of disobedient, hard-hearted Israelites. This small group of people was called the remnant.

We see the same thing today: there is a large group of people who profess to be the people of God; we call this the professing church of Jesus Christ. The majority within this large group do not know God nor do they take obedience to His word seriously. Tucked within this large group of professing Christians we find a small group of people who are truly following Christ. This smaller group of obedient Christians can correctly be seen as the New Testament counterpart of the Old Testament remnant.

Because the larger group (professing Christianity) tends to care so little about obedience to Christ and His demands, they often times follow the ways of our culture more than they do the ways of Christ. The remnant looks on with a heavy heart knowing that things are wrong. The tendency for the remnant is to go overboard in their rejection of those parts of Christianity which give full fledge allegiance to the culture. As the remnant sees this, she immediately has the urge to flee culture so as not to be infiltrated by the world. She sees the danger of it all. She has seen how the influences of the world have caused the greater part of Christianity to completely neglect Christ and his word. To avoid this she separates herself completely.

I believe this is what we have going on in reformed circles today. Out of a fear of being infiltrated by the world, we have fled. We have seen the negative influences of the culture upon Christianity and so we have high tailed it to a safe, comfortable place untouched by the world.

The only problem is that we have put ourselves in a position to not do what we were made to do--light up the darkness. We have created an evangelistic strategy out of fear rather than out of faith and obedience.

I will put up at least one more post on this subject. I know, you will be waiting with baited breath.


Jessy said...

I would like to know who checked 'reached Christian perfection' in your poll! Ha! It must have been a joke..surely no one who reads this post can be serious about that.
Here, I thought that you were going to write a wonderfully romantic ode to your sweet wife...

So, seriously: I appreciated your application about the remnant. I am interested to hear the comments and discussions.

Jimmy Snowden said...

I probably should've written an ode to my wife. Opps. Better luck next year, huh? I definitely can't do it now that you suggested it. Thanks!

Hey, I really want to thank you for taking part in the discussion on this topic. You are the only woman who has voiced thoughts. We need more of you and your wisdom. We males can get a bit heady about things at times--continue to throw your two cents in--we need it.


Luke Snowden said...


I agree with your assessment regarding fear as the mold that seems to forge a lot of evangelistic endeavors in the Reformed camp.

I have had an inclination to think that there is another factor that is a bit difficult to articulate. It is hard to articulate due to the fact that it could sound like I am saying something I am not. So, I'll try and be clear.

Before I state this I will simply preface myself by stating that I think we should be doctrinally informed and theologically minded in practice. I would never want to be a-theological or a-doctrinal in preaching or practice. I think it is good to see Biblical standards and commitments behind the ways in which we do things.

HOWEVER, among us Reformed folk I think we tend to be over zealous in finding a theological or doctrinal purpose for everything we do. We tend to be more specific in application than is the scripture, and then bind other's conscience with our over-specificity.

Most of this comes from a failure to recognize the difference between descriptive and imperative kinds of lit in the Bible.

The reason I bring this up is because my reformed friends would agree with our assessment that we should not develope our strategy in fear. Also, they would agree that God is greater than he that is in the world and we will overcome.

The problem is that we have so overspecified the specifics of application in life from the Bible that were never intended to be taken the way many do.

From music, to dress, to food and drink, etc... There is, in my opinion a prideful, or haughty, attitude that comes out of a hyper theologizing about matters the Bible never speaks of - and more so uses descriptive passages to create a sort of imperative for life and ministry.

I hope this makes sense Jimmy...let me know.