Missional or Malleable
Today’s entry is largely in response to the idea of Christians spending too much time with worldly people so that they may persuade to be a Christian. There is a great tension between the two realms. On one side we are called to be all things to all people so that we may win some to Christ (1 Corinthians 9:22). But on the other hand Paul also reminds us in (1 Corinthians 15:33) that bad company ruins good morals. The concern is that in our efforts to be missional we have become malleable from the outside culture. We think that if a Christian wants to reach a non-believer then we have to talk the way they talk, or enjoy the same movies that they enjoy, or indulge ourselves with the same pleasures that they do, so that we earn credibility with them, so we can share the gospel. The problem with that is that we haven’t surrounded our self with people that are sensitive to sin.
The issue at stake is our own credibility in gospel sharing and by tainting it we are not guarding the gospel as we should have. In our effort to reach the lost what happens too often is that we don’t convert them, they conformed us. And all of a sudden Christians are enjoying all the same things that nonbelievers enjoy and have absorbed all of their worldly values. If that is the case for some believers, I want to challenge you to get some new friends that love what is good and hate sin. The thing that we should all fear is that as a believer I become too comfortable with the world, that I have hardened my heart to the spirits activity of leading me away from sin. Hebrews 3:12-13 puts it this way (Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another everyday as long as it is called “today” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.) As a believer who is striving to be missional in my relationships, I must have close Christian fellowship with others who will pour into my life to keep me from being deceived by sin. I don’t want to be malleable from the outside world that leaves me easily changed to the worlds standards. I must be sensitive to where the tendency to sin would be, and turn from it. By keeping myself pure, I will have a better opportunity to be missional in all relationships.