Monday, March 20, 2006

Maintaining the Balance

"All too often we fall into the trap of focusing on one virtue to the exclusion of all the others. The sad result is that our virtues practically become vices. Thus, when we emphasize justice without mercy, we develop hard heads and even harder hearts. When we emphasize mercy without justice, we develop soft heads and even softer hears. When we emphasize either one without humility, we develop a kind of spiritual megalomania--thinking that our project, or our focus, or our methodology is the best and only way. We're either so heavenly-minded that we're no earthly good, or so earthly-minded that we're no heavenly good.

Neither detachment nor irrelevance honors God. An ethereal and pious disassociation from the great questions of our day is not Christian single-mindedness; it is gnostic absent-mindedness. To be so heavenly-minded htat we are no earthly good does not only present a poor witness to the transforming power of the Gospel before a watching world, it neglects the pattern of discipleship before the hosts of heaven. The abhorrence of the Gospel by those who control the cultural apparatus in our day is not nearly so frightening as the abhorrence of responsibility by those who inhabit the vast evangelical ghetto. The former is simply evidence of the fallen estate, while the latter bespeaks indifference in the face of grace. That too is shameful.

We are not to be of the world. But neither are we to be out of it. Both extremes malign God's intentions for us and those whom God has placed around us. Both obscure the divine imperative to live justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. Both obliterate a biblical worldview. Both impede us from tending the garden of this world and yield it up to the ravages of a howling wilderness.

Our present challenge is... [the same] that has faced every generation of believers since the day of Pentacost: "How long therefore will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him."

The Micah Mandate, Dr. George Grant

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