"For all who may read this, remember that the reason we are here on earth is to be people with whom God can fellowship. Are you in the daily habit of reading The Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (BIBLE)?"Does anything ring off to you when you read that? I had never heard that acronym used to describe the bible before, but sadly I think it captures the way many believers look at the bible and their churches. Seeing their churches as escape pods from earth, safe refuges from the diseased around them. Yes the reason we are here is to fellowship..and I fully believe God's fellowship of people is meant to bless and benefit the nations! While I do not have my mind concluded exactly about what it means to be both the salt and light of the world as well as just "sojourners in the world"; I do believe it will not end on the lines of....we are just passing through so don't worry about this world and those who live in it. Yes we are in exile, away from our heavenly home...groaning longing to be clothed, but what should our exilic mindset be? Shouldn't it mirror that of Jeremiah's instruction to the Israelite exiles in babylon:
"Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare." (Jeremiah 29:7)I dont fully understand how present history and eternal consummation work together. I look at the world and wonder if we are progressing or digressing, and see reasons for both. I don't have my mind made up about matters of ecclesiology, pluralism..being the church in a fallen world. But what I am pretty certain about is that if we are more excited to escape the world than to "be fruitful and multiply in it and have dominion in it"...then we are missing our God given role of being his image-bearers. If our prayer is Lord get me out of here and not "let your kingdom come on earth" then our hearts are misderected. If our goal is to die and go to heaven and not to live eternally on the new heavens and new earth, the new Jerusalem coming down from the sky to the earth...is not our hope misdirected?
Excuse the ranting, just such an interesting topic. Overall, as a christian missionary I want to have an effect on the nation I live in in many ways more than seeing a few people pray a prayer. I want to pray, strive, work, sweat, bleed, fight, preach, argue, love and live my life for the well-fare and blessing of this nation, and I want to disciple up others with this same passion...not just enlist a few more people on my escape pod!