I owe this post to Becky Miller who, on her blog A Christian Worldview of Fiction, recently referenced a viewpoint put forth by another Christian blogger that she took issue with. I read her post with interest, and decided I also have issues with the referenced viewpoint. Quite a few issues, in fact.
The unnamed blogger’s contention? That “this is an objectively Christian world regardless of what people think and regardless of whether anyone ever points that fact out. The truth of the Trinity blazes forth from the very creation, so much so that people have to forcibly repress it (Ro 1).” Therefore, as Christian writers if we simply present “the world as it is – as a broken, warped, redeemed place of buzzin’, bloomin’ confusion – we are actually presenting Christ.” And that without having to “include one second of overt Christian theology in our work – if we are presenting the truth about the world.”
To which I say … nonsense! The Scriptures say this world is anything but Christian. Yes, it was created by God in perfection, and though it became corrupted when Adam fell, it can still reveal God’s invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature. But it is not a “Christian” world.
A “Christian” by standard definition is one who adheres to the Christian faith, core to which is the good news that anyone who believes in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the God-man, will be eternally saved. Those who do not believe are condemned already for one reason only — that they have not believed in Jesus. (John 3:18)
The world does not adhere to the Christian faith. Not by a long shot. Nor do the trees, rocks, mountains or houses. They may proclaim that there is a divine creator — God — but believing in God is not the same as being a Christian. Even the demons believe in God — and Christ! — in the sense of acknowledging their existence, but demons are most definitely not Christian. (James 2:19)
Though created in perfection, the world fell when Adam fell as I mentioned and is now said, not to be “redeemed,” but longing anxiously, enslaved to corruption, subjected to futility, and groaning as it waits for Christ’s return. (Romans 8:19-22)
Christ said His kingdom is not of this world. (John 18:36) And we as Christians are also said to be not of this world: our citizenship, our true home, is in heaven. (Phil 3:20)
Christ said that the world hated Him because He was not of the world, and if we are in Him and follow Him, the world will hate us, too. However, if we are of the world, which is not a good thing, then the world will love us. (John 15:18 -20)
We are told to love not the world and all that’s in it. As Christians. (1 John 2:15) If this world were intrinsically Christian, why would we be told not to love it?
In fact, the very next verse in 1 John 2 specifically says, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life is not from the Father but is from the world. (It) is passing away, and also its lusts, but the one who does the will of God abides forever.” Clearly the world and the one who does the will of God are not the same.
2 Pe 3:10, 11 tells us that the world and all that is in it will be utterly destroyed, and a new heaven and earth made… Why would it be destroyed if it were Christian and proclaimed Christ?
It wouldn’t be.
In fact, this world is ruled by the devil; its system of operation was created by the devil who, in 2 Co 4:4 is said to be the god of this world. Adam gave up rulership to Satan when he adopted Satan’s viewpoint (exalt self, oppose God, believe lies). We know this because when Satan tempted Jesus in Matthew 4, he took Him to a high vantage point (not a literal mountain) and offered Him “all the kingdoms of the world.” Satan couldn’t have offered them if they weren’t his to offer.
Ephesians 6:12 tells us there is a system in the atmosphere (“heavenly places”) — which is, boiled down, talking and communication — that is devised and controlled by Satan, who has deceived the whole world. (Rev 12:9) He has schemes (2 Co 2:11) and seeks to devour Christians. (1 Pe 5:8) His system shoots flaming thought missiles at us (Eph 6:16).
This one who is the god of this world, ruler of this world, is a liar and has been one since the beginning. Not a Christian.
He disguises himself as an angel of light and has deceitful workers, false apostles, ministers of righteousness, that look good and right (2 Co 11). He has a false gospel, false righteousness, false doctrine, and a false communion.
The world is not only NOT Christian, it is anti-Christian and anti-Christ. The idea that as writers we can simply record in a truthful manner all the depravity and futility and evil machinations of sin and human good and evil, without one word of anything theological and by that “present Christ” is just wrong.
The world is a place of darkness and death and very, very bad news: ie, that all men are sinners, cut off from the life of God. As a Christian, to simply portray it as it is would be, in my view, an utter waste of time. We’re here to be a light in that darkness, and our light is not us, but the word of God that we carry within us. It’s a light that, yes, can be manifested in our behavior and lives, but inside it is very much thoughts, concepts, words. Jesus Himself is said to be the very Word of God. We are to offer words of good news. Which I’m pretty sure means you need to get some “theology” into a book (by which I mean distinctly Christian thoughts and concepts as taught in the Word of God) before you can call it “Christian”.