Tuesday, February 24, 2009

From the Domain of Darkness to the Kingdom of his Son

Col. 1:9-14 (ESV)
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, [10] so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. [11] May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, [12] giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. [13] He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, [14] in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. The domain of darkness, the this of this world we live in, even as we are not of it. We should not lose sight of this. This world is the domain of darkness. All who have not yet been redeemed, and do not know the forgiveness of sins is subject to the domain of darkness and they are not transferred from it by the law, but by the Gospel, the forgiveness of sins.
In today’s world it is common among Christians to see the culture as eroding. Too much sex, too many drugs, too much sin in general. The knee jerk reaction is to try stopping the erosion by passing laws. I think it is time for Christians to take a breath and regroup. The law won’t save. Some laws don’t even deter. Law often incites more sin. We can’t save the world by the law. And when we engage the world with the law, we fail to engage it with the gospel. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have Christian’s holding political offices and working for good and equitable laws. But I am saying it is not the churches job as church.
Law is actually the modus operandi of the domain of darkness. It lives by law, even when the morality is so low among its citizens that it looks like lawlessness to the Christians. And I do mourn the depravity of culture, but I tend to think that the culture has always been depraved one way or another. And sin is sin in God’s eyes. No I do mourn, and grieve for those around me, who though they wouldn’t share a toothbrush with their brother, see no problem exchanging “lovers” like a pair of jeans. I grieve for those I see boomeranging in and out of jail for illicit drug use. I just don’t think passing another law is going to do any of them any good. (And I wish the Mormon’s of Utah would stop trying to save me by passing stupid laws in regard to alcohol. News flash the prohibition failed. If you don’t want to drink don’t. But don’t think you are doing anyone any favors by making it hard for me to go to a bar, or brew my own beer and wine. Just leave it alone already. Do away with the silly memberships; let the bar decide if it wants a cover charge to regulate business etc. It isn’t hurting you if they have a good night.)
Christians need to learn once again to engage culture with the gospel. This will of course necessitate proclaiming the law, so that the Gospel can be heard. But there is a difference between proclaiming God’s law, and trying to pass a law. It is the gospel that God uses to transfer from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of His Son in whom we have redemption the forgiveness of sins. We need to learn how to engage them with that, the forgiveness of sins, the Gospel. That is what we are about. We need to learn to live by our Christian morals even if they aren’t law and are out of step with culture. Teach our kids right from wrong, and the reason why. But we also need to learn to live by the gospel, live in forgiveness when we fail to live by our morals, and then forgive others and love others when they don’t even try to live by our morals. The Gospel makes us the salt of the earth, not the law.

1 comment:

Gospel Trumps Law Everytime said...

Sweet music to my aching ears!

You have nailed it, Bror.

You keep putting posts up like this and I'll nominate you for the first Lutheran Pope (second...I forgot about P. McCain).