Author Topic: A foot in both camps?  (Read 116 times)

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Offline Derek1955

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A foot in both camps?
« on: August 21, 2020, 08:40:15 AM »

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Some have a rather lukewarm approach regarding their belief in God and have erected a watertight bulkhead  between their religious and secular lives, thus denying themselves a meaningful faith which, if allowed to flourish, would undoubtedly bring unwanted change to their daily lives. 

By contributing generously to both the local church and to charities such folk are convinced that by doing so it will enable them to keep a foot firmly in both the religious and temporal camps, thus making themselves feel more secure in their faith.  But this is what Jesus told us we cannot do in Matthew 6:21-23 when He warned: 'For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also'.

Jesus recognised the need for those living in the world to keep a foot in both camps, those of Heaven and of earth when He was asked whether tax should be paid to Caesar.  In reply He asked for a coin and pointed to the image of Caesar and told His questioners in Matthew 22:21 'Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's.'

It's not always easy to know which is which and it is obvious that Jesus was not speaking only of taxes. It is relatively easy for us to render unto Caesar for this involves the happenings in our daily lives such as paying taxes, working for a living, bringing up a family, travel, shopping, in fact all those things we do to enable us to live in this world.

When it comes to our rendering unto God the things that are God's then the question arises: What exactly is God's?  When asked, Jesus told His hearers the two great Commandments:

Matthew 22:36-40   'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.'

From His words it would appear that this is all there is in order to render unto God but note that the first and great Commandment is to Love the Lord God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our mind and this means we are not to be lukewarm in our approach to Him as He will then spit us out of His mouth, as we read in Revelation 3: 15-22.

Clearly, the deeds of the Laodicea church was not in keeping with true salvation because the actions of true believers will be 'hot', reflecting the spiritual passion of lives transformed and they are easily recognized in the world by their zeal; although not necessarily loved for it. 

The lukewarm, those who lack the fire of the Spirit, do more harm in the watching world with their dispirited words and deeds than anything done by those who are completely cold towards God.  They claim to know God but live their lives as though He doesn?t exist. They may go to church, but their religion is self-righteous and complacent. They claim to be Christians, but their hearts are unchanged.  The watching world is only too ready to disparage and vilify the whole Christian Faith by isolating those who claim to be Christians but behave no different to anyone else and then quote their behaviour to malign the Christian faith.

The members of the Laodicean church enjoyed a level of material prosperity that led them to have a false sense of security and independence that came from the belief that their wealth had come to them solely through self-exertion.  They had worked hard for it but to the exclusion of their spiritual welfare where they had continuing great needs. 

Such an attitude is an ever present danger when Christians enjoy lives of ease and prosperity and forget that the life lived in Christ consists of far more than just its length of days or physical comfort.

Many of the temptations which accompany any attempt to worship both God and Mammon are subtle, pervasive, impossible to resist and it is their malign influence on our spiritual life that was being emphasised and brought to our attention by Jesus.

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Offline Sharky and George

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Re: A foot in both camps?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2020, 05:30:29 PM »
Like Marmite I think lol. Only joking but I think Jesus is saying in the bible that we are either for Him or against Him.

Matt 12:30
"Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters

If that was the question.

BTW a good way to pray is JOY:
Jesus first
Other
Yourself

That's the right priority. Not saying you were not, I just put this somewhere else too.

Shalom

Offline Cariad

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Re: A foot in both camps?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2020, 12:58:31 PM »
Quote
Many of the temptations which accompany any attempt to worship both God and Mammon are subtle, pervasive, impossible to resist and it is their malign influence on our spiritual life that was being emphasised and brought to our attention by Jesus.

Hello @Derek1955,

Thank you for your OP. 

All believers must agree with your conclusion: for we all feel the affects of living in the world, but not being a part of it.  There is a fine line which can be crossed so easily, and friendship with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4) and does have a malign influence on our spiritual life, as you say.

With love in Christ Jesus
Chris

Offline Cariad

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Re: A foot in both camps?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2020, 01:39:28 PM »
BTW a good way to pray is JOY:

Jesus first
Others
Yourself

Shalom

Hi @Sharky and George,

Yes this is a good way to spell JOY.  It is also, as you say, a good way to pray.

We sang this as children:-

'Jesus and others and you!
What a wonderful way to spell
Jesus and others and you,
In the life of each girl and and each boy.
"J" is for Jesus for He has first place.
"O" is for others you meet face to face.
"Y" is for you and whatever you do,
put yourself last and spell, JOY'

Thank you
Chris


Offline John

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Re: A foot in both camps?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2020, 08:54:57 AM »
Derek quote"By contributing generously to both the local church and to charities such folk are convinced that by doing so it will enable them to keep a foot firmly in both the religious and temporal camps, thus making themselves feel more secure in their faith.  But this is what Jesus told us we cannot do in Matthew 6:21-23 when He warned: 'For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also'." Quote.

Giving generously to Christian and secular charities is a sign that one is not a real Christian!

As James says you show me your faith, while I by my good deeds will show you my faith.

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