Thursday, March 25, 2010

Being Maligned for Christ's Sake

1 Peter 4:3-6 (ESV)
The time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. [4] With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; [5] but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. [6] For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.
It is quite amazing. The other day I was asked if the ancient world was better or worse than the cesspool we now live in. I don’t know I didn’t live back then. But walking through the streets of Pompeii about ten years ago I was given a bit of insight into what the ancient world was like. People haven’t changed. I often wonder how it was that Christians raised their children in that culture. There was no sheltering them from the immorality of the world. I don’t think sheltering is really that healthy a way to raise children anyway. But neither would I want to purposefully expose my children to the laundry list of sins discussed above.
Today it is hard to imagine being maligned for not joining in that flood of debauchery, though it does happen at times. It is funny; people know these things are wrong. They know that they degrade themselves for joining in these things. And just abstaining from the party can be enough to make one feel guilty for giving in themselves. I think it is important though that when you are being maligned you don’t give in to the tendency to malign back. Don’t be offended, just don’t join in. It is tricky but it can be done. Remember our righteousness is in Christ, and he died, shed his blood for them too.

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