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Above the Fray: Steering Clear of Secular Strife

Colossians 3:2

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”


I warmly welcome you, my cherished family in the faith. Today, I feel compelled to share a message about the insidious nature of secular strife. The prevailing worldly dynamic can often lure us into adopting a binary mentality on worldly issues of the flesh, a snare which can lead to unnecessary division and discord – even with other believers.


The Apostle Paul, in his writing in 1 Corinthians 1:10 states: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” This text explains the heart we should adopt from our discussion today, particularly as we strive to navigate through a world often driven by rancour and division.


Secular dichotomies present incessant challenges for our Christian walk. As Believers, we are called to a life of peace, unity, and love; these worldly conflicts do not reflect the character of the Christ we serve. Faced with growing secularism and picking sides in polarising debates, let us remember the words of our Master Jesus, who said, "My Kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). As His followers, we are also not of this world.


We are in this world, but not of it; this is a biblical truth we should always remember. We must guard our hearts and minds, steadfastly resisting the temptation to be drawn into secular arguments and disputes that have no eternal value. Paul urges us to walk in a manner worthy of our calling, "with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4:2-3)


False dichotomies, often propagated by societal norms, can present a skewed portrayal of reality, causing needless tension and division among believers. It is a misleading and diversionary strategy of the enemy that tries to compartmentalise our faith and life into separate, often conflicting, spheres. It often frames issues in a binary 'either/or' fashion, devoid of the complexity and nuance inherent in life situations.


As followers of Christ, we must be discerning in navigating these false dichotomies and remember we serve a God who transcends all human dichotomies. Our God is a God of both justice and mercy, wrath and love, sovereignty and free will. In the same light, we are called to be both faith-filled believers and rational thinkers, spirited worshipers and diligent workers, compassionate servers, and staunch defenders of the faith. Our Christian walk should bridge the gap over all sides with the Gospel.


In conclusion, brothers and sisters, let us endeavour to rise above the fray. Let us strive to live in unity, love, and peace, fully aware of our heavenly calling and citizenship. Let us be mindful not to get entangled in secular strife and to discern false dichotomies wisely. Let us continuously seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead us along the path of truth and righteousness.


Be encouraged, dear ones. The world will present its strife, but remember the comforting words of our Saviour: "In this world, you will have tribulation. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33). May the peace of our Lord be with you all.