As followers of Christ, we are called to be part of the answer in a hurting word, rather than being part of the problem. I believe we can all agree that social problems and confusion are increasing all around us. Like you, Judith and I are both alarmed and challenged by what we see and sense.
Culture has been defined as that silent supervisor who seeks to govern and rule everything and everybody. Paul, in Romans 12:2, asks us not to allow the culture of this present age to determine our conduct or serve as our value system. Transformation by the renewing of our minds signifies our battle to apply a Kingdom value system to the issues and refuse to be carried along by a herd mentality. Our personal and spiritual freedom really does hang in the balance.
We must take care not to presume that Jesus is a republican or a democrat! As Kingdom persons, we are primarily and essentially people who must be identified as the Third Choice. We must hold fast to what is true, equitable, and wise regardless of the cacophony of human voices seeking to draw us into their camp. The Kingdom seeks a costly Third Choice and refuses to be caught in the emotional swings and/or the political fads. We can and we must be mature enough to make tough and balanced choices. Take care that present pressures do not move us from a true Kingdom-centered focus. All of our responses must glorify Christ and represent His Kingdom values.
The Greek word arche signifies the origin, author, leader, beginning, or principal part of something. The architectural plans and drawings guide the construction of a building. The drawings are the guiding principles of construction. Thus, the architect is the author or the first one to design the building. If the building collapses, both the contractor and the architect will be held responsible. Jesus, in Hebrews 12:2, is described as the archegon; the author, leader, or architect of our entire redemptive process. He is also the finisher of that very faith.
Consider carefully as we examine the contrasting term an-arche, “without leader” signifying the absence, denial, or refusal of any ruling principle or guiding authority. We will do what we want when we want to do it. May I ask for you to be more aware of the term “anarchy” as you consider the direction of our culture, our nation, and our world? A Kingdom value system requires us to hold the Third Choice. Principles of Truth stand for or against persons, culture, and political pressure. It also stands against some of our personal preferences!
The Apostle Peter warned against the error of “unprincipled men” (See 2 Peter 3:17 NASB). Please work through these following four points that may enable us to know, embrace and stand for Kingdom principles in a culture that grows increasingly unprincipled. These principles are eternal and time-tested. Father God requires us to take responsibility for our support of and commitment to that which brings life and social justice to all humanity. It is, after all, our Kingdom principles imparted into the culture that brings freedom, healing, and redemption.
1. We have chosen, or better we have been chosen, to live under the arche or ruling force of Christ and His governing purpose. Such are the implications of having been “born from above.” As a result, we have chosen to subscribe to and live by Christ’s Kingdom value system.
2. Challenging our choice are multitudes of alternate arches or ruling forces. Some are seductive and sensual, some oppressive, some militant, and some essentially violent, demanding. Most are falsely promising what it is not possible to deliver.
3. Alternate value systems are what Paul is referring to in Romans 12:2. Do not allow the “systems of this age” (culture, ideology, political philosophy) to sweep you into their value system. May I emphasize that this is our human responsibility.
4. Finally, make the effort to determine the origin (arche) of the value system that is being offered to you or imposed on you. Compare it to the value system of ancient Rome, with its plentiful supply of other gods and increasingly sensual culture. Consider carefully the materialistic Marxist-Leninist system or arche that has imposed its socialistic and atheistic value system on millions of persons to the death, destruction, and dismay of nation after nation. I have personally been to many of those nations to see the negative results with my own eyes. This is not theory!
It is our challenge to live as “children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life” (Phillipians 2:15). May the Lord Jesus keep us centered in His own arche, which is the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ. You are in my prayers. Judith and I, along with the Lifechangers staff eagerly and urgently asks for yours.
In His Eternal and Life-giving Purpose,
Bob and Judith Mumford