June 4, 2009

the greatest cause

there once was two men. both strived to be faithful toward Jesus and New Testament teachings. both gave their lives to great causes, though they were much different from each other. the first read the New Testament and, in response to it, decided to move away from society to an isolated meadow where he dedicated his time to prayer, fasting, purity and holiness. for he believed that the most important thing was to keep his heart clean and untainted by the world. he decided to cut himself off from tv, movies, radio, internet and anything else that could potentially have a worldly influence on him. he lived the rest of his life utterly alone, for he continued to live in solitude out of fear that he might become a sinner if he lived near them. for he never wanted to compromise his holiness and loyalty to Jesus through contact with the evil of the world. it is said that he died with the purest yet emptiest heart.
the second man also read the New Testament. but instead of living a life of solitude, he decided to take Jesus’ command to love your neighbor very serious. he sold his possessions and gave his money to the poor, he spent a considerable amount of time with widows and orphans within his city and he visited those who were in prison. he spent all of his time with others and was such a strong advocate for the social gospel that he soon began to neglect his own heart and his integrity. grace soon lost its empowerment toward sanctification and had become a license for sin. he continued to serve and love others in spite of his idolatry and rebellion toward God. the story has it that he died the most fulfilled man yet with the coldest of hearts.
commentary // I wonder if either of these men would hear the words, “well done, my good and very faithful servant.” both represent two beautiful causes. yet, also, both neglected each other’s cause. in other words, both these men got it and totally missed it at the same time. purity of heart and social action belong together. there is no reason to see them as archenemies for both of them, together, equal the greatest cause of all: Christianity.