No doubt some will wonder at my use of the phrase God-centered society, asking if I really mean to include the whole country. It might be seem unobtainable to set our sights on the task of convincing the entire United States of America to seek God in all that we do. But that would actually be a misunderstanding of what I intend by the phrase God-centered society. Not everyone needs to be included in building a God-centered society, I mean that it should include every facet and aspect of life, not that everyone in the country, much less the world, buys into the idea.
If the God-centered society consists of one man pursuing the will of God in all that he does, I will thank God for that. But I must remind you that it was not good for the man, Adam, to be alone. Christian families, and Christian churches, and Christian communities should pursue God’s will together. If you haven’t got enough Christian community and fellowship in your life, make the effort to get some more. Christian togetherness is part of God’s revealed will for our lives.
But no, we don’t need everyone to get involved. The mocking of unbelievers will not lessen the fruitfulness of our faith.
We do not need a position of societal dominance in order to live faithfully in Christ. But we do need an unflinching confidence in God’s revelation of himself. We need an unflinching confidence in God’s revelation of himself and God’s revelation of his will for humanity. We need an unflinching, thoroughly persuaded confidence that this revealed will is universally applicable, entirely reasonable, and morally upright. Only with such confidence in place can we represent Christ as we should.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this confidence is something that can be achieved through meditation and contemplation alone. A confidence like I’m speaking of demands a transformed life. It can not be merely a mental exercise. Even if you could somehow have the confidence for a moment, it would melt away unless you lived accordingly. Not only does the gospel speak to every aspect of our lives, in some fashion, every aspect of our lives speaks to the gospel. Don’t let you feet talk your head out of believing the truth.
We have to hold to the universal applicability of God’s word. It’s silly to try and conceive of God’s word as authoritative in my life or in yours without being authoritative in every life. Sure, they may not acknowledge it, but there’s a big difference between saying they don’t acknowledge it and that it’s not actually an authority. Do men decide how much authority God has? The gospel that God presents to us, and by which he saved our souls, is one that has authority over every man, woman and child.
The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
Acts 17:30-31 ESV
And what if some do not believe, will their doubt make our faith pointless? Can you make the truth a lie merely by wishing it away? When someone refuses to believe the truth, we should continue undeterred, but with a sober realization of what it means to reject Christ.
When Jesus sent out the twelve to preach the gospel in Israel, he told them that if anyone didn’t receive their message, they should shake off the dust from their feet when they left. Does that mean to let it roll off you like water off a duck’s back, as if they shouldn’t care whether people believe? No, rather it was to be a testimony against those who did not believe.
And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.”
Those who reject Christ are themselves so rejected that we don’t even want their dust to stick to our feet. It’s got cooties. Sin is gross!
Furthermore, we must believe that we are justified in holding to what we believe and that others are unreasonable for rejecting it. We need to know that believing God is reasonable. That’s why I try, in my faltering way, to describe the actual relationship between faith and reason. The atheist’s story on faith and reason being opposed to one another is a con game. It breaks my heart that so many Christians are getting conned.
The reasonableness of the gospel is part of our witness to those outside the church. If we can show people that trusting Christ makes sense, that will get them that much closer to making the decision. Why do you think those who oppose Christ spend so much time trying make Christianity appear foolish? It’s certainly not everything when it comes to witnessing, but it is very important.
Besides all this, the commandments of God are upright and pure. What he says about sex being reserved for marriage is morally right. What he says about being honest and diligent in business is morally right. His instruction for wives to obey their husbands and slaves to obey their masters is morally right. This is a major culture clash and each of us has to figure out where we stand. If Jesus is wrong about slavery, he’s wrong about everything. If the gospel is not authoritative on marriage it’s not authoritative on anything.
When Christians are really, truly persuaded of the truth of the gospel, they will be truly persuaded that other people are wrong. Wrong as in incorrect. Wrong as in unreasonable. Wrong as in morally wrong. This will lead to some awkward, glorious moments. Maybe the next time I look down at my feet awkwardly, maybe I’m actually thinking about shaking the dust off of them, like in public, and stuff.