Coffee for one please.
Bumper stickers, clothing lines, twitter feeds all tell us to live in the world not of it….but it seems as a result, we spend a significant amount of our time gathering with people who share our perspective on life.
Living in a rich community of people who love Jesus and actively engaged in the world.
These two impulses are always in tension with each other. At times they push in opposite directions, and the great challenge is to find the biblical balance. Andrew Walls, in his book, The Missionary Movement In Christian History, calls these two impulses the Indigenous Principle and the Pilgrim Principle (Mary Knoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2001, pp. 7-9).
He goes on to say that
the gospel can and must become indigenous in every (fallen!) culture in the world. It can and must find a home in the culture. It must fit in. That’s the indigenous impulse. But at the same time, and just as powerful, the gospel produces a pilgrim mindset. It loosens people from their culture. It criticizes and corrects culture. It turns people into pilgrims and aliens and exiles in their own culture. When Paul says, “Do not conformed to this world,” and “I became all things to all people,” he is not confused; he is calling for a critical balance of two crucial biblical impulses.
I think we get carried away when we say we do not want to be of this world. We begin avoiding everything that is and create pockets and bubbles within society.
Stand but don’t push.
Find the line between condone and condemn.
There is truth in each of the statements “do not conform” and “become all things” and when you begin seeing most of the pleasures of life as gifts of God it becomes easier to find that line.
Because the line no longer is what you are running from but rather determining in your heart where you are finding satisfaction and seeing the pleasures of this world as an opportunity to enjoy the giver of the gifts more.