Just in case you haven’t noticed, this world is a mess. It strikes me as interesting that we as the Christian community act as if we expect the world to be a better place and to act like, well, Christians. We mourn the fact that society does not cherish truth and morality. We lament the path our culture is choosing, and we strive with all our energy and our might to change their behavior. We lobby, fuss, fume, boycott, and argue. I think we just might be missing something.
Those who do not belong to Christ cannot act as if they do. It is impossible for them on their own to make up the moral and truth-loving society we long to have. But there is something different about those of us who do belong to Christ. Read what Peter wrote in the introduction of his first letter to fellow believers scattered abroad.
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. 1 Peter 1:1-2 (emphasis mine)
As believers in Christ, we have not simply been saved for our own benefit. We have been chosen to be obedient. Without being chosen, we are as incapable of that obedience as the rest of our society. If we are chosen, however, obedience is necessary. It is inescapable. It is the reason we were sanctified!
I can guarantee that this obedience does not involve fussing because the world does not behave as Christians should. It does not involve trying to change their behavior and make them act as we want them to or as we do. Instead, our obedience involves accomplishing the things that fall under the two greatest commandments: loving the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Of course, this discussion of love reinforces the separation between believers and the world. The world has the idea that love means refusing to judge and choosing instead to be "tolerant" of everyone, especially those who are not tolerant of us. Biblically, however, love is giving every ounce of ourselves to bring a dying world to Christ. Love means modeling the full obedience we were chosen for, even if that results in setting ourselves up for persecution from the very society we seek to love.
I have not been chosen to debate and argue. I have not been chosen to stand up for those who agree with me and scorn those who do not. I have been chosen and sanctified to obey Jesus Christ. In the course of that obedience, some will be angered. Some will claim that I am being hateful. Some will even accuse me of being unloving. But when all is said and done I pray that the One who matters will say that I have fulfilled His calling on my life. I hunger to know that I have been obedient.