THE CHURCH’S PROPHETIC VOICE IN “SECULAR” SOCIETY (PART I)

“He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” – Micah 6:8 

Introduction

The community of believers in God through Jesus Christ His Son, are empowed by God’s Holy Spirit to speak forth the Word of God’s salvation to secular society.  Even more importantly, we let the whole world see the transforming power of God in our lives by:

  • manifesting the character of Christ who lives in us;
  • being people of real integrity;
  • being hardworking
  • being diligent;
  • respecting authority (not in sycophancy but as an act of obedience to God)
  • making good use of our time.

Politics

What about the church’s prophetic voice in politics.  We are not called to play God.  What I mean is that we are not expected to bring the rule of Jesus Christ in this world before the appointed time of God.  But let me hasten to say that we are called to be the salt penetrating this rotten world.  We have a moral obligation to be involved in our world.  The Church has to point the society to God’s love for justice, for mercy, for ensuring the well-being of the needy, the oppressed, the widows and the orphans – Micah 6:8; Exo. 22:22-23.  The Church must let the leadership of secular society know that God hates corruption and bribery because this distorts justice and leads to the strong and the rich depriving the weak and the poor – Exodus 23:8; Deuteronomy 16:19. Rulers must be told of God’s hatred for the sin of idol worship which He considers spiritual adultery – Jeremiah 2:19-20.  The Church must constantly speak against selfishness, violence, nepotism and greed.  If this is deemed politics, then praise God because in pointing out these things and calling people to repentance, the Church will be obeying God.

Dangers

To maintain its prophetic voice, the church must steer clear of the sin of loving the world and making friends with it. Jesus warns us that the flesh is weak even though the spirit is willing.  The world’s allures are many.  They beckon us daily.  Satan is at his craftiest best seducing us in many ways.  Slowly, but with sure steps, the world is making in-roads in to the Church.  We are beginning to measure our success by the world’s standards, that is, by the number of people in the church and their material well-being, the size and beauty of our church buildings.  We look for the acclaim of men by how publicly we do our acts of charity and so on when we should see it as merely doing our duty.  God’s standard of success is only one – total obedience.  The cross of Christ was failure by the World’s standards but to God it was total success as Philippians 2:5-11 indicates: In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

In the letters to the Churches in Revelation 2 and 3, Jesus was very clear about their weaknesses which were mainly the result of using the world’s standards to judge themselves and thus, ignoring what is most important to God.

Empowered by God

It is God who has called out the Church and separated her to Himself so that she will reveal to the world what God wants to do for the world through Christ.  It is God’s testimony that counts.  When He calls, He equips.  The world needs Christ and God has freely offered Him as His gift to the world.  We must proclaim this message with boldness.  But above all our own lives, transformed by the renewing of our minds, will be the only way we can maintain our prophetic voice for then we will truly know and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect willRomans 12:2b.

Yes, through Jesus, God has saved us and given us His righteousness.  He has also given us the power to live righteous and godly lives.  In Titus 2:11 we read: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.”  That is why Peter also says in 2 Peter 1:4-8 that “Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises so that through them we may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world cased by evil desires.  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  The world must know that through Christ we can all live above our basic instincts.  

The Church, that is the collective of all believers, can faithfully, boldly and with great eagerness maintain our prophetic voice in this secular, decadent sin-filled world, lifting Christ up that He may draw all men to Himself, because God has empowered us, so to do.

For God loved the world that He gave His one only Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him!  We need to let the world know this!

To be continued!

Remain Blessed!

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