Not World Flight But World Fight

Rev. Daniel Kleyn:

Amish cover“When we speak of the antithesis, it is very important that we understand that this separation between the godly and the ungodly is a spiritual separation. It is true that sometimes, out of necessity, it takes physical form.  But essentially the separation between the church and the world is spiritual.

The antithesis does not mean world flight.  It is not the people of God turning their backs on the world, organizing themselves into separate communities, and isolating themselves from the ungodly.  That was what the Anabaptists taught and practiced at the time of the Reformation in the 15th and 16th centuries.  And it is really what the Anabaptists still practice today, as seen for example in the Amish, who refuse to use technology, electricity, automobiles, and so on.

The reason some advocate such physical separation is because as they look at the world and the things that it does and produces, they notice much evil. They therefore reject all that is in the world, saying (wrongly) that evil is in the things themselves.  We know from the Word of God, however, that that is not the case.  I Timothy 4:4-5 tells us, “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”  It is not the things themselves that are evil.

Something very important is forgotten by those who think that the calling of Christians is to isolate themselves physically from the world.  What I refer to is the fact that even the child of God has the world within his own heart.  Every person in the world, even the regenerated believer, takes the world with him wherever he goes, within his own heart, and in his sinful flesh.  It is impossible, therefore, for anyone to isolate himself from the world and all its sin.

Clearly, therefore, the antithesis is to be understood as being spiritual enmity, and therefore spiritual separation from the world.  We could put it this way: not world flight, but world fight.  That is the antithesis.”

~”Living Antithetically in a Technological Age”

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