As I have spent time in my thoughts ( looking out at snow however, not the ocean:)...and in prayer and scripture, there is something I have wondered. Is it OK at least some of the time to operate from the corrupt or carnal nature? In other words, is it OK sometimes to argue, be lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to authority, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, making enemies, treacherous, rash, having a form of godliness while denying it's power, provokes, conceited, lovers of pleasure, hatred, rivalry, arrogance, angry outbursts, selfish ambition, conflict, and factions? (These came from various versions)
I am perplexed I guess, because as I am sharing and getting more involved with other Christian-run blogs, I continue to see many of the above feelings and attitudes toward specific segments of society and government...and many of these feelings are in big bold print on their front pages! So, am I missing something?
As I search the scriptures I do not see anywhere where it either says or infers that it is OK to participate in any part of our old nature, no matter what the situation. My understanding is that our corrupt nature has been crucified, therefore not to be a part of us any longer...so now we are to be living in the light. Yes, I do slip...of course. However, I am aware of it and I am praying that you are also. I am also aware that there is no darkness in God at all, so how can we say it is OK to deliberately operate from the carnal nature when doing God's work, or anytime for that matter?
Gal. 524Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their corrupt nature along with its passions and desires. 25If we live by our spiritual nature, then our lives need to conform to our spiritual nature.(vs 22-23) 26We can't allow ourselves to act arrogantly and to provoke or envy each other.
When I have gotten in a conversation with those who believe it is their calling to deal with those elements in society or government that are evil, I respond with basically this same puzzlement. As it is OK to get angry, but then we must do so without sinning. However, I don't see how we can hate without sinning...and I do not see in scripture where we can either? Or deliberately be involved in factions or conflict without sinning or stepping out of the light? Yes, we find our selves in conflict and etc. at times for sure...however, God intends that we are working our way out of the conflict we find ourselves in, not the other way around!
Another argument I hear is that (2 Tim. 3: 16-17) "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness", therefore it is my job to tell sinners that the way they are living is against God! Yet, this is being read out of context, as this is for Christians, "so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work".
It is also apparent in scripture that it is never right or of God to retaliate when either wronged or persecuted. In fact if we are living for Christ, to please Him, we have to expect to be persecuted. Therefore we are not to rally the people around us who would back up any participation in carnality of any kind. We also have to consider that someone who has been called to ministry must walk as someone who belongs to God so no one can accuse them of doing any wrong (hate, slander, and etc)
2 Tim. 41In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their (passions, fancies, desires and) itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
2 Cor. 63We don't give people any opportunity to find fault with how we serve. 4Instead, our lives demonstrate that we are God's servants. We have endured many things: suffering, distress, anxiety, 5beatings, imprisonments, riots, hard work, sleepless nights, and lack of food. 6 People can see our purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit's presence (Gal. 5:22-23) in our lives, our sincere love, 7truthfulness, and the presence of God's power. We demonstrate that we are God's servants 8as we are praised and dishonored, as we are slandered and honored, and as we use what is right to attack what is wrong and to defend the truth. We are treated as dishonest although we are honest, 9as unknown although we are well-known, as dying although, as you see, we go on living. We are punished, but we are not killed. 10People think we are sad although we're always glad, that we're beggars although we make many people spiritually rich, that we have nothing although we possess everything.
No matter how sinful someone is, Jesus wants them saved too...so we are to be patient with them. The laws in society see sinners as such and deals with them as such. However, we as Christians are not to see them in a worldly point of view, but to see them as people that Christ died for.
As you read through the following verses please consider what Paul is trying to express and expound on. Some being - that there is a distinct difference between how we see and treat believers vs how we see and treat non-believers...even if they are considered the worst of sinners, of which he considered himself to be chief!
1 Timothy 18We know that the law
is good if one uses it properly. 9We also know that
law is made
not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful,
the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for
murderers, 10for adulterers and
perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is
contrary to the sound doctrine 11that conforms to
the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
12I thank Christ
Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful,
appointing me to his service. 13Even though I was
once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because
I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14The grace of our
Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in
15Here is a
trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the
world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16But for that very
reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might
display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him
and receive eternal life. 17Now to the King
eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and
2 Cor. 5:14For Christ’s
love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore
all died. 15And he died
for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him
who died for them and was raised again.
16So from now on
we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in
this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if
anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
18All this is
from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry
of reconciliation: 19that God was
reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against
them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are
therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.
We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him
who had no sin to be sina for us, so that in him we might become the
righteousness of God.