Hello SPV Fam!
One of the things that was drilled into me most as a kid growing up in church was that followers of Jesus, “are not of this world”. In fact, I can still (about 35 years later) hear Petra’s song, “we are foreigners, we are aliens, we are not of this world” echoing in my subconscious from my church camp days. The concept comes straight from from the lips of Jesus in John, the writings of Paul in a few of his epistles & even the author of the book of Hebrews (whoever that was) so overall it was probably a more healthy than not concept to have imparted to me. The problem was that I made certain assumptions as to what that meant, or people just out & told me, but either way 99% of, “not of this world”, basically meant to avoid sex, drugs & rock & roll which isn’t exactly what Jesus, Paul & the other guy were getting at.
We’ve done a good job at looking the part spiritually while totally missing the heartbeat of Jesus & what his kingdom is about. Let’s face it, we’re in love with power, fame, wealth, dominance, control, being #1....just as Rome was back then. And Jesus is saying if you’re to follow me then, “you’re not of this world...my kingdom operates on a totally different plane”. And he said it a hundred different ways: “whoever is first shall be last”, “whatever you do unto the least of these you’ve done it unto me”, “blessed are the humble/poor in spirit for theirs in the kingdom of God”, “put away your sword”....
I don’t know about you but this following Jesus thing is a lot more involved & a lot more difficult than just avoiding sex before marriage, just saying no to drugs, and listening to cleaner versions of music! In fact, sometimes it’s so difficult it’s almost as if you need to die to self to make it happen!