I read the words today of Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh which said "We are the loving adversaries of every regime". As I reflected on this, I believe it encapsulates perfectly the challenge for the Christian to be "in the world but not of it".
As followers of Christ, we are to embrace God's creation, i.e. to love persons, families, workplaces, subcultures, political and economic realities, i.e. all aspects of how cultures express themselves -- truly loving, serving, and caring as insiders.
However, as much as we love these cultures, they are fallen, and we must serve as adversaries as well. Adversaries against any expressions within these institutions or cultures that lead towards death. As Christians, our battle is to stand against all acts of oppression, arrogance, pride, greed, violence, i.e. any practice that robs of life, that marginalizes, that excludes. Christians are to act as redemptive agents within all aspects of culture, simultaneously loving and refusing all that each culture/economy/family/political system has to offer.
More food for thought as the church and culture discussion continues...
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