Contemporary Christianity – Part 2 // The Dance of Death: Salt under foot and light under a basket
Posted by Jose Philip on April 27, 2016
The church demands our urgent attention because she is dancing with the devil, and this after she has been “rescued from the dominion of darkness and transferred into the Kingdom of the Son” (Col. 1:13)! To dance with the devil is to dance with death. Here are three practicalities as to why this is the case.
Deism is a belief that God exists, but that He is uninvolved. The Christian is becoming increasingly deistic in his disposition, but that should not come as a surprise. Practical deism is what follows when we lose our sense of God in the ordinary. The Christian who is a ‘practical-deist’ will have no problem speaking of Jesus Christ as Lord. However, when the rubber meets the road, God is sidelined. His involvement is not sought because his absence is assumed. Practical deism breeds irrelevance.
Christians seldom challenge the fact that God is sovereign. However, an ever-increasing allowance is being made for ‘situational exceptions’, where being a Christian has little to do with what or how we do things. The point is not that belief in a sovereign God will eliminate all hindrances. The point is that Christians are becoming increasingly comfortable with the chasm between the sacred-secular divide. In fact, it is only a matter of time when nothing will be expected of God, not even the spectacular. Practical dualism breeds irreverence.
We believe that God is sovereign, yet we worry. That is behaving in a manner contrary to what we profess we believe. The antidote for worry is what Paul says when he writes to the Ephesians church: “keep praying for all things”. But that antidote excites very few, because when we have walked down the road of practical dualism we will end up with practical atheism.
When the church insists on dancing with the devil, she will be waltzing back into the darkness from whence she was rescued! Jesus raises a necessary, albeit sobering, question: “If the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again”? Answer: it cannot. “It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet” (Mat. 5:13).
Make no mistake; to dance with the devil is to dance with death, as the author of Hebrews cautioned the early church:
For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned (Heb. 6:4-8).
It is not just in Hebrews. Every epistle in the New Testament encourages the church to guard her walk with the Lord, and to engage the world with the gospel. Jesus charged his followers to live in the world as he came to it (John 20:21). But when the church loses her mooring, the world will lose its bearing. “If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness” (Mat. 6:23)!