Thinking Out Loud

April 27, 2010

Kingdoms in Conflict

Filed under: bible, Jesus — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:14 am

The world says ‘seeing is believing.’

Jesus teaches ‘believing is seeing.’

The world says attain wisdom

The Bible teaches we should be willing to become a fool

The world says ‘be a survivor’

Jesus taught we should be willing to lose our lives

The world says ‘go for the gold,’ achieve greatness

Jesus taught us to be willing to be the last, the least

The world exalts leaders

Jesus said we should make ourselves servants

The world exalts human potential and greatness

Jesus said we should humble ourselves

The world says ‘look out for number one’

The Bible teaches we should look out for the interests of others and count others better than ourselves

The world says ‘get all you can’

Jesus says ‘give all you can’

The world says we should make our good deeds known

Jesus taught we should keep our good deeds secret

The world says love is a feeling, it’s conditional and it will grow old

The Bible teaches the love is a lasting, unconditional commitment; love never fails

The world says we should hate our enemies

Jesus taught us to love our enemies

The world says ‘get even,’ retaliate

Jesus taught forgiveness

The world puts spin on events to cover up mistakes

Proverbs teaches us to confess our mistakes

The world emphasizes the great things human can accomplish

The prophets taught things happen ‘not by might, nor by power,’ but by God’s Spirit

The world says ‘drown your sorrows’

The Bible contrasts that with ‘be filled with the Spirit

The world operates on cynicism and skepticism

Jesus taught that all things are possible to those who believe

The world says you should consult your horoscope

Jesus talked about searching the scriptures

The world says the Bible was written by human agency only

The Bible itself claims that all Scripture is God breathed

The world says the Bible is old-fashioned and out-of-date

Jesus said that heaven and earth will pass away, but not his truths

The world thinks Jesus was a good man

The early church confession was that Jesus is Lord

The world says Jesus is not coming back

Jesus promised ‘I will come and receive you to myself’

The world concludes, ‘I’ll never worship Jesus Christ’

The Bible says that someday every knee will bow and every voice will admit that Jesus Christ is Lord.

~adapted from Straightforward by Larry Tomczak, a classic book from the Jesus movement of the late 1970s; references for any italicized lines available on request


  1. This subject comes up every time I quote something from Pat Robertson. The Pat Robertson that influenced my life greatly 30+ years ago is not the same person as the image that people have of Pat Robertson today.

    Do I just negate all those years of my own life as if they never happened? I won’t do it. I know Pat’s made some pretty loopy statements over the last decade, but the Robertson that he was in the late 1970s was a major influence in my life.

    The difference here is that I don’t really know what Tomczak is teaching today. At the time — and this amazes people — his teaching and ministry partner was C. J. Mahaney. (The same one who writes for conservative Reformed publisher Crossway books.)

    I think he is somewhere in the southeast and is teaching is very Charismatic (which in an objective sense I have no problem with.)

    So I’m missing the nuance of the comment. But again, I won’t have the influence of someone at an earlier stage of their ministry entirely negated.

    Heck, I’ll bet even Judas did some good things during that three years he was one of Jesus’ pupils. And no, I’m not accepting a comparison there, either.

    Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — April 27, 2010 @ 6:22 pm

  2. Relatively new to your blog and appreciate this post. LOVE your reply to “True”. Why throw the baby out with the bathwater??

    Comment by Bill B — April 28, 2010 @ 2:44 am

  3. Accurate facts and humble observations, rather than dramatic statements, would greatly enhance your great post.

    The post begins well, but some of the statements are just not right. For instance:
    — “The world says we should hate our enemies.”
    — “The world says ‘go for the gold,’ achieve greatness.”
    — “The world says ‘get all you can’” etc.

    What or who is this “world” you are referring to? There are 1 billion Hindus, 360 million Buddhists and 30 million Sikhs making up around 22% of the population, whose official credo abhors the things you say “the world” does. Servant leadership, love for enemies, joy in giving rather than taking… these are widely taught in the east.

    There is one God and that God created one common ecosystem called humanity.

    Submitted with respectful regards, and best wishes.

    Comment by Probal DasGupta — February 11, 2011 @ 2:56 am

    • As I noted, this is a piece that was written well over 30 years ago; it is somewhat dated. The author was trying to contrast a secular worldview with a Biblical worldview. That’s all. It’s an imperfect document, even after I did some editing to it, but it was something that, ten months ago, I wanted to preserve online.

      The point is that a Biblical worldview will often stand in stark contrast to the dominant worldview or the secular worldview. But there are many people who are not Christians to whom this does not apply because, created in God’s image, they do indeed live lives that Christians would find consistent with their morality and/or ethics.

      All of us have sinned and missed the mark with God, but some sin is more blatant than other sin. The danger lies not in being the “worst” society has to offer, but in being among the “best” and assuming that our righteousness puts us in good standing with a Holy God.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — February 11, 2011 @ 10:32 am

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