Modern Day Gnosticism

Christianity is not a puzzle.
It is not a game of trivia.
It is not a matter of mere speculation.
It is not the accumulation of knowledge for knowledge sake.
It ought not be approached as such.

Too often we titillate our curiosities with the intricacies of prophecy and eschatology, and distract ourselves from the mission of God, which He has called us to join, here and now. We are obsessed with the past and the future. We are too cowardly to engage the now. We are modern day gnostics.

True, in order to appropriately engage the now we must view it through the lenses of past and future. But all too often we are guilty of hiding in the echoes of the past and the shadows of the future—cowering from our responsibilities in the now. Let us repent of this unChristian cowardice. Let us devote ourselves to the study of God's work in history, that we may learn from the failures and successes of previous generations in order to be faithful to God's mission in ours. And let us not lose hold of the hope —the assurance of our eternal inheritance with God—that enables us to fight with perseverance the relentless battle of the Christian mission. The Apostle Paul said it best:

"One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil 3:13b-14, ESV).

If you're a modern day gnostic (as I have described above), stop fooling yourself into believing that your rigorous speculation and study is making you a better disciple, a closer follower of Jesus. The question is, Are you equipping yourself for and actually engaging yourself in God's redemptive mission? That's what it means to follow Jesus.

Don't misunderstand me. Knowledge is indispensable to the mission. Becoming a Christian begins with knowledge and growing as a Christian requires growth in knowledge. But we cease to be faithful followers of Jesus when we cease to ask ourselves, What are the practical implications of this knowledge? Why am I studying this? Why does this matter? Whatever the answer (for there is nothing in Scripture that is ultimately irrelevant, 2 Tim 3:16-17), the necessary thing is that you ask the question. We must maintain the right perspective, and we must act faithfully in light of that perspective.And here is the rest of it.

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