Reflections On Being In But Not Of

“If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” –John 15:19

Today I was at the doctor for a series of allergy tests. The doctor had to make a grid on my back to mark the location of the allergens and as he was finishing up he said to me:

“You should probably get some help with clearing off the grid when you shower today. Maybe your girlfriend could help you with that?”

To say this comment caught me off guard would be an understatement. In my head there is no way if someone knew me they would make this statement. His worldview, while tempting, is foreign to mine. After he left I got to thinking about how a Christian handles clashes of worldviews and this naturally led into how they ought to respond. Sadly those two can be very different. In my head the following three reactions were bouncing back and forth:

(1) Be offended that he projected his worldview onto mine
(2) Attempt to fight against it or prove my worldview is better
(3) Relativize the two.

I did not react with any of the points above however I did realize that this intersection of differing worldviews is the living out of being in the world but not of it. This intersection is where the gospel is preached. Without presentation of the gospel no one can understand my worldview. So many times we put the worldview first or as the saying goes we “put the cart before the horse.”

The hate Jesus is referring to in John 15 is for when we put the gospel first and the world laughs, mocks or rejects it — like they did Him. In the West hate towards Christians is usually because we try to convert the worldview and then use the gospel as sealant. This mistake is tragic because the gospel of Christ is the ground in which a worldview sprouts.

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