There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine! ― Abraham Kuyper
By far the dominant view of “religion,” in general, and Christianity, in particular, has unfolded into a theological, denominational, and devotional life that is distinguished from “non-religious” institutions, ideas and activities. Except for the occasional protest vote, fervor over an issue, or backlash ban, the Church of the past twenty years has steered clear of controversial stands. At best, we build our large churches (which I believe in) but at worst, it can be to the cost of society. We sweeten the message to make it palatable for the masses but we avoid the issues affecting our culture. We win the church growth battle at the expense of losing the culture war.
Except for the occasional rescue mission, Catholic Charities or Salvation Army, the Christianity of the 21st century is too often seen as having no real legitimate ideas for the oppressed, poor and marginalized. We can often be seen as out of step with the new world, the new values, and the new problems of culture.
There is a need for a worldview that includes all of life. Few Jesus disciples view all of society as God’s. We have too often compartmentalized the secular and sacred and lost, possibly having never attained, a view that all of life is His. James Skillen in his introduction to “The Problem of Poverty,” a lecture given by Abraham Kuyper, at Princeton, wrote:
Few Christians, and even fewer non-christians, think of religion as the totality of what human beings are, and what life in this world is all about. That is why most westerners fail to recognize the religious [spiritual would be my words] character of their deepest drives—the driving motives for material prosperity, for national prestige and power, for scientific and technological solutions to life’s problems.
Spirituality at the heart level involves worship, prayer and Bible study. But it is not exhausted there, only enhanced into a changed life that affects one’s vocation, interests, hobbies and passions. At the bottom of it all is that Christ impacts all. Jesus wants it all. Jesus cries out “Mine!”
All of life must be lived for God. But life is a complex manifold of vocations and responsibilities. To discard our faith as we exit our place of worship is disobedience. To keep our spirituality as an individual choice that shouldn’t impact anyone else is unbiblical and unethical.
I wonder what would happen in culture if disciples of Jesus were to start believing that God wants to use us with the distinctive powers we possess through the Bible, the Holy Spirit and faith, to bring the Kingdom of God to our family, our vocation, and our city?
On the Road less Traveled,
Steve Holt D.D. MA