【Day4】 Various Relationships II
The third aspect of relationships is in society. The church of God is allocated in a certain society, nation, customs and circumstances. The attitude about the Christian faith varies. Whatever the attitude of the state or society toward the Christian faith is, our basic principle is to maintain good relations with the regime and to work well within the various social systems.
Many churches are not welcomed by local societies and authorities. They are even persecuted and restricted by local authorities. When God’s Church is completely and absolutely set apart for His purpose and scriptures, it will naturally be discriminated against and opposed by the contemporary society and authorities. When the time that the social regime of the day begins to welcome the Church, it will actually bring degradation to the Church. However, the Assemblies can and should exist in any social system and bear witness to God, because we have God with us.
The religious beliefs and dominant ideology of some regions and countries may disagree even oppose the faith of Christians, such as Islam, Buddhism or atheism. What shall we do? Here are a few principles.
We believe that the authority of the state or the leadership of a company is a representative authority allowed by God. We should respect the representative authority ordained by God.
We try our best to keep harmony with people around (Heb. 12:14); always maintain harmonious relationships with our colleagues, leaders, bosses, managers and even the whole society.
We should do all we can to keep our faith and be a good witness. If your boss asks you to worship idols and you don’t, there are several possible outcomes. One is that you are fired from your job. In a more serious case, you may be forced by the governmental authority to do something you will not. If you don’t do it you could be put in prison or face persecution. Be prepared to sacrifice for your faith, even sacrificing your life. This means not worshiping idols even if you don’t experience God’s preservation and favor and are forced to sacrifice your life. Another outcome might be converting your leaders because of your adherence to the Christian faith and making them realize that God is true.
Seek to be at peace with all people in your relationships with your neighbors, with children in your school, with unbelieving children, and to pursue God. Hebrews 12:14 says, “Pursue peace with all men and sanctification, without which no one will see the Lord.”
Do not participate in the excessive debauchery of sinners. Wickedness, lust, fornication, homosexuality are all acts of offense against God. Drunkenness and group drinking are acts of debauchery. Smoking, drug addiction, gambling, etc, these are all unrighteous acts. When isolated and slandered for not running into the same torrent of debauchery with them, do not feel sad and full of self-pity, but rather be confident and honored.
Among our schoolmates, there are some who lead others to do evil. We need to tell our children not to associate with them, or even run away from them. We are not able to and cannot socialize with them, but we can run and hide ourselves from them.
We need to learn to get along with most of our classmates. Be proactive, friendly and full of positive energy, so that they may become curious and attracted to you. We can be proactive in helping our classmates without expecting anything in return. We are Godly people who are willing to share with others. Sharing with others is the best way to make friends. By helping others and sharing as much as possible, a child of God will be able to get along with others and make friends. When dealing with others, it is better to suffer a loss than to take advantage of them. A person who takes advantage of others will find it hard to make friends. But, a person who is generous and willing to share with others will make friends easily.
Practice and learn to be useful in the church. Find companions in the church to read the Bible and pray with. Participate in the various ministries of the church, such as cleaning, food preparing, setting up chairs, etc. Taking care of the younger children, the new ones and the children of our gospel friends. Be proactive to take care of and bring people into the church life, otherwise there is no other way to reach and preach the gospel to them. Children need to be trained to be seeds of the gospel, learning to be open to people and to pray for their friends, classmates and their families. They need to testify to their classmates and friends about the Lord Jesus. Invite children from your neighborhood to participate in the children’s group and meetings. Be a helper and teacher in the children’s meetings, and care for the younger ones.
If parents educate their children with such a vision, attitude and burden; there is a great chance that the children will become the first fruits, the seeds of the gospel and the building materials of the church.