I’m currently reading through a book by Francis Schaeffer, titled, No Small People. It is a collection of 16 sermons Schaeffer gave. Chapter 5 is titled, “Walking Through The Mud.”
His point is that the spirit of the world is in rebellion to God’s rule and righteousness. It actively seeks to resist God’s will. And this spirit is everywhere. It’s in our schools, home, entertainment, politics, and even our own thought life. And because of indwelling sin we are born abiding by this worldly spirit. This spirit urges us to satisfy our every lust and desire. It says your pleasure is paramount. Its truth is relativistic and it is in constant rebellion to God’s Word.
Schaeffer’s point is that this is the world the Christian lives in. We walk in this mud. We trudge through the influences of this worldly spirit every day. But as Christians we must not let this mud get on us. Jesus said in Matthew 5, that we are to be salt and light in this world. And Paul said in Romans 12, that we are “not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…”
Because of our faith in Jesus Christ, God has made us alive. He has breathed eternal life into our spiritually dead corpses. And became God’s Spirit now dwells in us we no longer believe in the relativistic lies of the spirit of this world.
We believe in absolutes. We believe there is one true God. And this God is trinity. He is worthy of all glory and honor and praise. He promises that all who believe in Him will be justified and ever lasting life. And He calls us to live in a certain way.
For example, Jesus said the greatest commandment is to Love the Lord your God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. This is not a relativistic truth. This is not a truth that is good for some and wrong for others. Jesus then goes on and says we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. God has saved us by His grace so we would live lives of love. And God has not left it up to us to decide and define what this love looks like. in 1 John 4:9 we read, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.”
Paul furthers helps us to understand this life of love by contrasting the fruit of the Spirit with the works of the flesh in Galatians 5. Heres the point, we as Christians are called to love in a particular way. And it is only when we live this way that God will be honored and we will show the world the beauty of Jesus Christ.
If we are to live like the world then we need not be surprised when the world doesn’t want God. After all, if we live like the world, then obviously we do not really want God either. If unbelievers are going to come to faith, then they must hear and see the absolutes of scripture proclaimed and lived out in our daily lives. What the world needs is for Christians to live out the truths of God’s Word. For when the gospel is proclaimed and lived out, the world will see the foolishness and futility of the spirit of this world. But only the absolute truths of the gospel can awaken them.
This is why Schaeffer said we must walk in the mud of this world but be not stained by it. Schaeffer then goes on and says, one of the ways the spirit of the word blinds people to the truths of the gospel is by making them afraid to be alone. He said people will use drugs, alcohol, and loudspeakers so they will not have to think and ponder the reality of their existence.
Now think about that last statement. Is Schaeffer right? Today so people wear some form of ear pods all day long. Their faces are constantly glued to their phone. And what are they looking at? Is it not some form of social media? What if one of the reasons so many people today are constantly listening to music and looking at social media posts is because they are in bondage to their fears? What if one of the main motivations of all this noise is so that we would be distracted from our biggest problem, sin.
If this is true, then to be a christian, and live as salt and light in this world means we must not have our faces buried in our phones and our ears plugged with music. We cannot live like the world and be covered in mud. We must come along side other people proclaiming the absolute truths of the gospel that they would be awakened from their spiritual slumber. We need to display the joy and delight we have in following God in the way we work and play every day. If we are going to make disciples and accomplish the mission God has given us, then we must not be stained by the mud of this world. We must think deeply about the truths of the gospel and pray they permeate every part of our lives.