I did just exactly what you’d expect. Standing on the south side of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, I took a giant stride to left, “I’m in the Eastern Hemisphere”; take a giant stride to the right, “I’m in the Western Hemisphere”. The 0° Prime Meridian is marked by a broad chalk stripe running down the hill to the south. Two halves of the world collide on a hillside in suburban London. It’s kind of hard to fight the urge to be utterly silly and predictable.
There is a small difference between what world you are in and the world you are right next to. I once had a friend who piously announced that he would not eat in a restaurant that served liquor. (Nonetheless, he still shopped in grocery stores that sold liquor – they all do.) He believed he was taking a stand against alcohol consumption by not patronizing certain restaurants, but he never thought for a moment that he might be advocating liquor by where he bought groceries. Before I continue, let’s catch a word from our Sponsor.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)The point is we live in this world we often rub shoulders with things that are not good, acceptable, or perfect. Scripture only tells me not to be cookie-cutter-ed (“conformed”) by the things of this world – it doesn’t tell me to stand in judgment outside the doors of places that I deem unsavory wagging my finger at people who don’t agree with me.
Followers of Jesus listen carefully to the Holy Spirit as to where to put their feet. Followers of Jesus… well, they follow Jesus who turned water into wine, but didn’t get drunk; who hung out with hookers, but didn’t sample their wares; who hung out with power brokers, but didn’t get caught up in worldly ambition. Whether I’m standing in the Eastern Hemisphere or the Western Hemisphere, I’m still who I am. Whether I travel the continents of this world or walk around in my own house, I am who I am. Followers of Jesus seek the metamorphosis (“transformed”) from scoundrel to saint that only comes from faithfully following Jesus toward the good, the acceptable, the perfect. And followers of Jesus influence others by the character of their life, not by the things they boycott.
Clark H Smith
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