Lately I have had the privilege to be involved
with the making of a movie about an old and very famous music
group, The Golden Cups. This has been a great experience for me
in many ways and a wonderful opportunity to be a witness of Christ.
I used to be the type of Christian that thought that the Bible
teaching of "being not of the world" and "separating
yourself from the world" meant to turn your back to and to
reject everything that is outside of the Christian world. This
even excluded having relationships with people that weren't Christians.
That would mean that I would not have been able to participate
in this movie making work being that it had nothing to do with
the Christian world.
But I realized that this was not what Jesus had taught. In fact
it is the complete opposite. "Being not of the world"
and "being separated from the world" doesn't mean turning
your back to and rejecting the secular world, but it rather means
to not live according to the secular world's way. The secular
world's way consists of a man-centerded perspective and all of
the social behaviors that derive from that. Jesus wants us to
not live according to a man-centered perspective but to live according
to His ways which included putting others before yourself. Jesus
never instructed us to reject people, any kind of people. Rather
He commanded that we accept and love people, all people.
Of course there is love and unselfishness in the secular world,
but the difference is in living a Christ centered life verses
a self-centered life. When you have Christ as the center, we are
to live according to His rules. And, of course, these rules include
"loving your neighbor as yourself." When you live according
to a man-centered perspective, the rules are set by the individual
person, which can change according to each person's thinking and
circumstance. One person's perspective of an act of love may not
be so for another person. But Jesus' rules do not change according
to circumstantial differences or people's thinking.
The Bible states that we are to be in the the world but not of
the world. And just as Jesus did, we are to have meaningful relationships
with secular people. And in order to do so, we need to be in the
secular world and involved with the lives of secular people. But
as we do so, we must remember to not follow the ways of the secular
world especially when it runs contrary to Biblical guidelines.