Cross-Cultural Chaos of Christ-Followers

 

What happens to a new believer when his world, history, family and friends are against him: all he had come to “know” has been turned upside down, or rather turned right side up? . . .

. . . Chaos!

Why?

The nature of the act/process of conversion, when a lost one is found and made new, when God’s light and love and truth has brought a person from the hands of evil and the enemy to the place of a righteousness-imputed child, is best termed as Transformation.

Transformation is perhaps a most difficult point of the Christian relationship with God, as it entails several dynamics-process, relationship, growth [Romans 8].

According to the biblical understanding and picturing of the reality of being a follower of Christ, one with a now right relationship with their Creator is in Christ and Christ is in them [John 15:].

This is a relationship, which is “organic” or “dynamic” in that it is essentially and necessarily a means of change and use of the child of God to one who will glorify God through their life.

A right relating to God is far from finished at mere salvation. We are created to be the handiwork/workmanship of God [Ephesians 2:10].

Word Picture of a Right Relationship with God:

The Vine & The Branches John 15:1-17

The fruit of the plant, out upon the branches, is a fruition of the root, an indication of the heart.

If bad fruit is produced, there is a problem, not only with the fruit itself, but a problem far more serious that is found down in the heart, or roots.

To change the result of “bad fruit,” the actual roots themselves must be changed.

Jesus tells of a splicing of a branch from the bad plant into the vine.

This reveals the essence, the nature, of a relationship with God, as you in Christ and Christ in you.

We must “abide/remain” in Christ: seek our strength, worth/identity, and joy in Christ.

It is much more than just being changed in name only.

It is a change eternal. The goal/focus of the change of the heart of one is for the eternal purposes and glorification and best of God.

BUT. . .

. . . We must remember that this is all a very dynamic process [Ephesians 2, I Peter 5:8].

The person involved is an individual, but not alone and no without outside influences of family & friends, culture, society, religions, and the world and the ruler of the world.

At work in the world around the individual is a purpose of evil, anti-glory, anti-God, sin, striking out against the best for all, lusting to destroy and devour all of Creation.

Because of this situation, a lost person/an individual of the world, in the world, being changed from within by the mighty, miraculous, eternal works and Word of God, by his Word and God the Holy Spirit, the situation is become one of chaos.

Why Chaos?

In John 15:18-19 Jesus says, “If the world hates, you keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

It is important to understand where and why the element of chaos comes into the situation:

God is a God of order, peace, love, joy, and these are not elements of chaos.

But, we are not dealing with God and his perfect/holy acts and nature alone.

The clash of two completely diametric purposes, holiness and evil/sin, brings about chaos for the new believer, those just escaping.

In response to the Greatest Commandment Matthew 22:34-40 and the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20. . .

. . . Our understanding of the context of a new disciple will undoubtedly help in our discipling them.

By knowing the state of chaos that they are in as they are dealing with a new life and an old life both struggling to assert itself as best, we as their disciple-maker can help them make Christ Lord of their life and follow John 14:21: “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.”

 

The chaos is increased relative to the difference between the worldly situation of the new believer [the culture, family, friends, other influences] and the truth, the Gospel of Christ.

(So a church-going-raised Southerner from the US, with family and friends that are disciples of Christ, who is personally deciding to follow his Creator and Author and Perfector of his faith, is less likely to have great chaos than a Tibetan Buddhist, that was raised in practices of spirit-fear and worship of animals, plants, and minerals over their own life so that he may perhaps outweigh all the bad he has done as his family and friends and spiritual leaders tell him to deny the logic that denies his own beliefs in a non-scientific/non-logical cyclical, one-ness/eternality, and karmic belief of all things.)

Matthew 28:19: “make disciples”

As disciple-makers, we must know how best to disciple others.

Understanding what the new believer is going through begins with understanding their situation. We need to understand what they are dealing with, so we may help them understand and apply what they are getting from God’s Word and Holy Spirit.

Jeremiah 29:11, Hebrews 3:1-4:13, Galatians 5:1, I Corinthians 1:18-21, Colossians 3:1-17

It comes down to Christians as disciple-makers, which is what we are called to be: not just to eek along in our comfortable lackadaisical lifestyles but to grow & mature by letting God transform us and guide us to the best, which he knows and plans for us. We need to better know how to help disciple our disciples. This is extremely helped by understanding the nature of what the disciple is going through. We need to understand that between the old life/the world/evil/sin and God/the Gospel/being in Christ and Christ in you/new life, there is a struggle, which is chaos for the new believer, although it is also in reality freedom and love and peace and joy and redemption (This is a difference of reality and perception/perceived reality: looking through worldly-glasses shows a different picture than looking through godly-glasses). The degree of chaos is relative to the difference between the two oppositions. As a disciple-maker, understanding the state of chaos of the disciple will help us in discipling them. It is a dynamic situation: the world hates God and his disciples, God loves them and has plans and purposes that are best, namely obeying out of love since God first loved us even while we were still rejecting him in our sin, and growing/maturing in Christ-likeness. God is not chaotic, but his work, Word, etc. are seen as foolishness to the world, and when mixed/interacting with the world, God’s order, plans, purposes, peace, joy, love, and grace seem chaotic or brings “chaos” to the backward world as it sets it right-side up.

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