Humanity lives in three spheres; family, work, and community.
Humanity also lives in God’s world. Some humans confess that truth in righteousness. Some suppress that truth in unrighteousness.
Humanity doesn’t confess or suppress the truth of God in a vacuum. We confess or suppress the truth of God in our natural rhythms of life; family, work, and community.
If those who are designed to be confessional in life begin to be suppressional in life, Christianity becomes absent from the world it was designed to occupy…
The confessional people have been marginalized and silenced in their natural rhythms of life, so Christianity’s corrective then begins to be confessional in newly created non-rhythmic ways. We don’t confess Christ at work, in community, and in our families as we were designed to, so we have to compartmentalize, specialize, and isolate our confession of truth. This allows the suppressing world to live most of their lives without the tension of truth, and their suppression grows. As their suppression grows, our confession whithers.
Expend the greatest amount of effort toward Christian confession in the natural rhythms of life. The great chasm for vocational ministry is the struggle to make sense of this because unless the vocational minister intends to, they are isolated from the rhythms of life. Most specifically and disastrously as it relates to the “work” sphere because their “work” sphere has collapsed into their family and community spheres. It’s hard to challenge people toward a reality that isn’t your own. This is also part of the reason why Christians are least confessional at work. They’ve been given a pass, and they took it.
Christianity will not flourish until we press back into the three spheres all of humanity is living life in; family, work, and community.
God created life (Adam & Eve), to give life (blessing toward posterity), to sustain life (work & community) in all of life (Family, work, & Community), for all eternity.
Satan gives death (Adam & Eve) to give death (curse toward posterity), to sustain death (work & community) in all of life (Family, work, & community), for all eternity.
Christians are life people. We confess the truths of God unto life in all of life.
God created Adam and Eve and blessed them to create little Adam and Eve’s. Family, both immediate and extended was the first rhythm of life created by God that all humanity lives within.
God commissions them toward the life-giving blessing of work. Work once looked like tilling and tending for Cain and Able, and now it looks like mechanics, waitresses, CEO’s, and pilots for us.
Work at its core was designed to sustain life toward flourishing.
Half of your awake life will be spent working. So whether you till, tend, or wait tables, it is all done within and unto the glory of God to give and sustain life for all life.
As God gave life (Adam & Eve) to give life (Subsequent humanity) to see life flourish (work), this life would commune together as it fills the whole earth. Humanity was designed to be a complex global community. Community has geographic realities as well as affinities within and outside of geography. After the fall of humanity, we split into two primary communities within community; those who are God’s people and those who are not.
Humanity has only one problem, authority.
Suppression of the truth looks like indifference toward our true authority. Our not living under the authority of God presents itself in our natural rhythms of life; family, work, and community. When we do not submit to the authority of God, we have no foundation to display that authority, so mothers and fathers who suppress the truth of God then suppress that same truth of God in their family. Engineers suppress that truth at work. Neighbors suppress that truth at BBQ’s. Runners suppress that truth in the running groups. Some “churches” even suppress the truth of God for fear of offending.
We know tension lives at the intersection of living a confessional life, and so we rationalize that being confessional would cause us to lose a hearing in our life spheres. What we are truly afraid of losing is our comfort and self-definition of these spheres.
Remember this Christian, if you are comfortable, so is the world around you. Your comfort is indirectly the non-Christian’s comfort as well.
BY JOSHUA WHETSTINE – NORTH AMERICAN MISSION BOARD CITY MISSIONARY FOR MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL.