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In the world, not of the world

Homeless in San Francisco
Homeless in San Francisco
Photo by cahcesurfer

One issue that seems to come up in the Christian community deals with our response to the world around us.  More specifically, whether we should associate with non-believers when it is not ministry related.  Some believe that while it is acceptable to minister to those in the world by serving in a soup kitchen, it is not such a good idea to associate with those people during the rest of the week.

The problem with this approach is that it tries to make a separation between ministry and other parts of your life.  However, there is no basis in scripture to make such a separation.  In fact, the Bible gives us a view that is quite the opposite.

In 1 Peter 4:11 the Bible says that "in all things" God should be praised.  It also says in 1 Corinthians 5:10 that we are not to leave the world.  

If you are looking for a better example, look at the people Jesus associated with.  It wasn't the people of temple.  In fact, Jesus' greatest criticisms were aimed at the religious leaders of His day.  Despite the pressure from the religious community Jesus chose to associate with sinners.

Believers in Christ are called to reveal the Gospel to non-believers.  How are you going to do that if you are not willing to make the effort to build a relationship with them.  You need to get to know them, and to let them get to know you.  It is only by seeing Christ at work in your life that you can truly influence others.

That doesn't mean that you are to share there bad habits, or to act like they act.  You are to live in the world without being a part of the world.  When you do that, people get a chance to see what Christ can do in their lives, and how they can get redemption from their sins.  That is what you are called to do.

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