Feb 15, 2008

In the world but not of it

Tricky. A hard line to draw at times.

Our church is currently working our way through 1 John - in our sermons and in our homegroups/study groups. This week we studied 1 John chapter 2, in particular the verses 15-18(ish - I think, I'm doing this from memory just before I head to bed so I recommend looking it up yourself :) ) about if you love the world then you don't love God.

Which of course has to be taken at the same time as
"For God so loved the world..."

So, we need to understand that John means a love of self, the pursuing of wealth and selfish desire etc etc as being the 'things of this world'.

In our study we looked at all sorts of things (am too tired too organise my thoughts sufficiently to summarise our whole discussion) - including political parties (see a previous rant here) and christian schooling and homeschooling. We covered the positives and negatives of them (one of our study members has a sister who homeschools, and we have all considered christian schooling at some point so we were not speaking out of a complete vacuum, despite none of us having school-aged children). And then the study questions pointed us to here...

John 17:15-18 (NIV translation)
15My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17Sanctify[b] them by the truth; your word is truth. 18As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

So. Jesus praying for his disciples in the garden asked God NOT to take us out of the world, but that we would be protected from evil.

Given what I understand of Jesus, I think he would have us jump at the chance to have our children be 'salt and light' in our communities and neighbourhoods. (properly equipped with as much as we can teach them about discernment and the resisting of temptation). Balanced of course with our solemn responsibility to protect and guard our children. We also need to teach them to be functioning Christians within this world that is full of temptation.

Difficult. Life as a parent is so fraught with things that will make you feel guilty, yeah?

Of course there are heaps of excellent reasons to homeschool/choose a christian school too. But we are deciding that for us, in this place and at this time, the local state school is a very good option. I don't think I've blogged about my thoughts on homeschooling before. Perhaps another time - it is now well past my bedtime and we have a breakfast meeting in the morning!

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