Field Or Fortress?

23 Aug

A post from several years ago about showing Christ in Culture.

24He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’ ”  Matthew 13:24-30

One of the most interesting social phenomenons of the last half century has to be the rise of the Christian subculture in the West.  There is a “Christian” form of almost anything in life.  Christian books.  Christian music.  Christian art.  Christian movies.  Christian social clubs.  Christian apparel.  Christian schools and universities.  In many cities, especially in the south, mega-churches stand as larger fortresses and serve their members by having gyms, coffeehouses, day cares, continuing education classes, lunch counters or full restaurants, and other amenities that pull them away from the routine culture of the world.

Some of these things are good and beneficial to society.  It is important to glorify God with your art form, whether that is with song, or paint, or photography, or the cinematic arts.  But is it necessary to do so within a bubble that limits the exposure of the talents God has given you?  Some of the other things mentioned above, although more than likely started with good intentions, serve no purpose other than to remove us from interaction with those for whom Jesus intended us to do life.  The local church building should never become a substitute for the nearby gym or Starbucks.

Jesus, in this parable and the subsequent explanation in verses 36-43, points out this fact exceptionally well.  The field is the world, He is the farmer, and the good seeds are His children.  The weeds are those people who are not living for His purposes, and the evil one sowing them is Satan.  Jesus is very clear in the decision not to pull out the weeds but to let them grow among the good seed, until the harvest.  This means that we are to grow in life right alongside those that are opposed to Him and His followers.

We have not yet come to the harvest time; we are still in the time period of living with the weeds.  It is interesting to note that the weeds mentioned in this passage are darnel which looks just like wheat as it is growing beside it.  It cannot be distinguished until it is almost time to harvest.  I think Jesus uses this specific example to point out that we will not always be able to tell the good seed from the weeds just by outward factors.  Our only duty is to remain among them, to be His witness out in the field.

We cannot be fulfilling this duty to be in the field among the weeds if we are secluded in our self-made fortresses.  Today I plead with you to alter your life and routine so that you get out in the field more.  Go spend some time at a neighborhood coffeehouse or pub.  Join a local gym.  Leave His footprints in the field, not the fortress.

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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Bible, Culture, Life


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