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“CHRISTMAS COEXISTENCE” – Dec 25

December 25, 2013

“Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”” Genesis 11:4

What is the Greatest Threat to Mankind?

Drugs
Intolerance
Global Development
Genocide, International Conflict
Wealth Distribution, Destructive Technologies
Power, Global Environmental Degradation
Religion

I listen to solutions proposed by political, business, technological, and cultural leaders.  I have read books and articles by academics, think-tanks, and journalists.  I rarely hear any new solutions and every solution has an ancient commonality.

TED (conference)

It was this familiar commonality that was included in Jamais Cascio’s proposed solution which he discussed in a TED talk entitled “Tools for a Better World”.

We can save the planet, but we can’t do it alone – we need each other.  Nobody’s going to fix the world for us, but working together, making use of technological innovations and human communities alike, we might just be able to fix it ourselves. ~ Jamais Cascio

The ancient solution is the thread in various forms of  “Let Us Come Together”.

On one of the TED conversation strings, Kieran Sharp posed the ancient solution in response to the question, “How do we create a better world for all of us and future generations?”.

One thought I have had recently is to unite 3 areas of society to help lead a real change.  If we could bring the current government, economic and political leaders into one group, spiritual and religious leaders of all religions and spiritual directions in to another, and scientists ecologists and environmentalists in to a third. In this system, we could possibly make it that these three sections of leadership must agree upon all decisions made for the planet unanimously. ~ Kieran Sharp

I am reminded of the quote:  Our true nationality is mankind. ~ H.G. Wells

Mankind has always thought that if we can just eliminate the issues that separate us then we will be able to coexist.  Nations separate people.  Cultures separate people.  Ignorance separates people.  Religion separates people.

If we can just come together then we will be able to solve our greatest problems.
If we can just come together then we will not hurt each other.

Zé.Valdi / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Coming together always seems to play a role in mankind’s solution to eliminate what we perceive as the greatest threat to our existence.

If we can come together, we will be able to solve a lot of problems.  The removal of the issues that separate can be an excellent and necessary stage in the solution of many problems.  Learning to coexist can be an admirable goal.  However, the coexistence of people of different nationalities, races, and religions is not mankind’s greatest problem.

Mankind’s greatest problem is that we
cannot coexist with a righteous God.

The people of the land of Shinar coexisted.  They had the same language.  The call for unity when out and they came together to build a city of renown.  Their unity was so great that God acknowledged that, “nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.” (Genesis 11:6b)

Probably the first example of large scale human coexistence was shattered by God.

So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.  Genesis 11:8

God destroyed the coexistence of the Shinarites (people in the land of Shinar) because it contributed to their pride related to independence and disobedience.  God knew that the greatest need of the people of Shinar was not their coexistence.

Their greatest problem was coexisting with a righteous God.

Their act of coexistence was actually an act of disobedience against God.  That is often the result when mankind makes coexistence their primary solution.  It gets stated like this comment in the same TED conversation strings about “How do we create a better world for all of us and future generations?”.

Look at America and look at your question. Religion is the problem. God tells a preacher to tell his congregation that jobs for white people are more important than the water and air we need to survive and an entire political party begins working on destroying the environment in the name of God. God tells a preacher that women are lesser beings and not entitled to equal rights – and is inferior to a fertilized cell – and women’s rights are set back 50 years almost overnight. God tells a preacher that homosexuals choose their gender attraction and homophobia sprouts up. Christianity is frequently referred to as the American Taliban.  It has become so aggressive in the last 20 years, that I fear it. These people are so cruel that they don’t honor our Constitution now. What will cause them to honor some other laws that their God doesn’t like. ~ Grace Greene

I can understand Ms. Greene’s concerns.  She attributes to Christianity all of the responsibility for preventing a unity that would solve the problems that she perceives as greatest. For many people like Ms. Greene, toleration is their religion.

Toleration is the best religion. ~ Victor Hugo

Coexistence, that ancient solution to create a better world, will inevitably collide with a God determined to separate a people for Himself.  Christmas represents this fundamental problem for the people of the world.  Many believe that Jesus came to bring peace on earth for all people.  They think that the message of love that Jesus preached will bring about a coexistence of all people.  The peace that came with Christ was for those who God is pleased with.(Luke 2:14)  The coming of Christ did not usher in an era where the people of all religions and atheists will coexist as if that was the solution to our greatest problem.

Jesus came to transform people.  When Jesus saves people, He separates them.

Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.  Matthew 10:34-35

The Gospel of Jesus Christ separates people;
it always has and it always will. 

The gospel calls all men and women to repentance.  Repentance requires that we acknowledge our unrighteousness and separation from a righteous God.  Those who reject the gospel hate to be told that they are unrighteous and need a savior.  They hate the concept of needing to turn from the sins that they love.  They hate the division that acknowledging sin causes.

Repentance is not just the way into salvation, it is the way of salvation. ~ Timothy Keller

We, as followers of Christ, are called to be peacemakers (Matt. 5:9) but we need to be careful about the peace that we are trying to make.  The creation of a peaceful coexistence does not help those who do not have a spiritual peace with God.  A peace worked through by the ancient trap of coexistence is not a real peace.  During this season of Christmas, we should be intentional peacemakers for the peace that was ushered in by the coming of the Son of God.  However, the great joy of Christmas is that we have been saved from the greatest threat to our existence.

Christ told us how to be peacemakers of separation in a world clinging to their solutions of coexistence.  We are to speak the truth in gentleness and meekness, with mercy and a pure heart, and a willingness to be reviled and persecuted.  (Matt. 5:2-11)

It is a message that the world needs to hear, especially on Christmas.  Mankind can now coexist with a righteous God, through His Son, Jesus Christ.  However, we should not be surprised by the push back that we receive when Christmas crushes any hope of the coexistence of mankind.

Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  Matthew 25:32-33

Coexistence is an illusion.  We can either coexist with mankind or we can coexist with God.  We cannot coexist with both.  The choice we make is a reflection of what we deem our greatest threat to be.

PRAYER: O Lord, thank you for sending your Son into this world to solve the greatest threat to my existence – my fallen, sinful heart.  Thank you for making a way that I can coexist with You.  Lord, I pray for all of those who hate the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I pray that You will open their eyes.  I pray that You will show them that the separation that comes from acknowledging sin in true repentance is truly good news of great joy to all people.   I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

6 comments

  1. Excellent post brother. Absolutely hit the nail on the head. This reminded me of a quote I recently read:
    “Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshippers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified. The body becomes stronger as its members become healthier. The whole church of God gains when the members that compose it begin to seek a better and a higher life.” ~A.W. Tozer


    • Thank you so much for sharing that quote for Tozer. Excellent.
      God Bless!
      JD


  2. Excellent! Thank you!!


  3. I am grateful that our Father made a plan for us to coexist with Him …ON HIS TERMS! That would be grace. Anyone trying to approach by any other means is a “thief and a robber.”. Thanks for another good post.


  4. Also, had my first exposure to TED while substitute teaching. The teacher, a known liberal, had me show each class a video from the TED conference in which the man’s message was that we are all part of nature, and one another. I kept telling the children that we are not a part of nature. We are made as individuals… and fortunately, in most of the classes, one or two of the students piped up that we were made by God and in His image. This is a public school too! 🙂


  5. I think one of my professors in seminary made the comment that even though the tower of Babel ended in failure, mankind has been trying to recreate it ever since. So much of what men do is just what they did in Shinar, trying to make a name for themselves.

    Thanks for the reminder that Jesus came to secure a people to Himself, a holy people for a holy heaven (J.C. Ryle).



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