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Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Pagan's Life

This is a repost of an article written by Rev. Arnel Tan is the Senior Pastor of Davao Chinese Baptist Church and station manager of DXFE-Davao.


“Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.”
- Matthew 6:32 NLT

In this word of political consciousness we are cautioned to be careful with the terms we use so we do not offend social sensitivities. I think there is wisdom in cautioning our very judgmental society. So who do you call pagans? Who are they? How do you identify them? Jesus used the contrast between the lifestyle of the pagans and the lifestyle of those who belong to His kingdom to make clear his instruction on how kingdom people should live. In giving instruction to his disciples regarding the issue of worry, he sharply exposed the different lifestyles.


How do you then distinguish the two lifestyles? We may have been exposed to the same harsh and hard realities of life; we may even have the same education, the same exposure to technology, and many other similarities. Yet there is an obvious distinction between the two. It’s in the area of our response to the pressures of life. Pagans helplessly respond in worry while the children of God, though they struggle over worry, they have the distinct strength in being peaceful in this high pressure life. The difference is not their positive thinking or outlook in life, it is the Master they know and they trust.

The Pagan’s life is deeply concerned with having everything in order to be happy. They exert all possible efforts to maintain a sense of security, and hopefully, peace of mind, while the child of God is equipped by a supernatural grace to not be overwhelmed by worry. It is not saying that we are numb or indifferent to pain and frustration. Like any other, we are all affected by it yet not controlled by it. Worry, hurry and bury: these are the words that describe a pagan’s life. Not that they lack understanding or the opportunity to change: rather, such worried and hurried lifestyle emanates from a relationship and existence that excludes the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Self reigns and self rules!

The sovereignty of self is the life style of today. Therefore it goes deeply entangled with a life of meaninglessness and worry. Both pagans and followers of Christ have troubles, no one is exempted. It is how they respond to the pressures of life that marks the difference. One is in panic while the other is mysteriously calm. Pagan’s life finds its nourishment from having things and collecting more. Jesus warns us not to fall into such trap, for once we were. Don’t underestimate the convincing lifestyle of the lost, for in many ways they get more converts from those who say they have trusted Christ. Simply put, pagans are quick to worry and are consumed by it. Jesus says don’t be like them for you have a Father who knows all your need.

6 comments:

Kelly B said...

That's not at all true. I know many very Christian people who worry constantly. The idea that Christians let everything roll off their back because of their faith is narrow. As is the idea that pagans behave the way you describe. Neither is true. I know people belonging to both categories and their lives are parallel, they just practice their religion in different ways. You should study and understand what a pagan is other than what the Bible tells you before you judge.

Kelly

A Lil Enchanted said...

Thanks Kelly... you said exactly what I wanted to say :)

A Lil Enchanted,
~LaShan~

Ailurophile said...

I agree with Kelly too. Apart from their religious practices, people generally lead a similar life. Hope you've been doing well and had a good week.

desperateblogger said...

@ Kelly B, A Lil Enchanted, Ailurophile:

thanks for the feedback but if you read the intro, i did not write the article though i agree in some parts of it like this one and i quote: "The Pagan’s life is deeply concerned with having everything in order to be happy. They exert all possible efforts to maintain a sense of security, and hopefully, peace of mind, while the child of God is equipped by a supernatural grace to not be overwhelmed by worry. It is not saying that we are numb or indifferent to pain and frustration. Like any other, we are all affected by it yet not controlled by it. Worry, hurry and bury: these are the words that describe a pagan’s life. "

however, i also do not totally agree with the term "pagan". thanks for the hop!

desperateblogger said...

please note that there are the real christians and the professing christians. i actually know some people who are really intune with God that no amount of persecution or hardship can sway their faith. i actually know some who call themselves christians but are burdened with worries about their daily lives. faith is essential to be one with God for such faith would not cause you undue stress or worry. i am not saying that christians are worry-free. no one is! but worries are transient for their faith would see them through. :)

Shinade aka Jackie said...

Hi there,
I think I understand what you are trying to make as a distinction between the two.

I am a Christian that deals with the mental illness known as Chronic Anxiety accompanied with Agra phobia.

Now I have to take medication daily to even be able to function at all due to my anxiety. However, it runs in my biological family, I am an adopted child so this was not a learned behavior, it is a genetic condition which can be passed down.

If one doesn't read what is written here very carefully then it is very easy to see it as being a little judgmental. I deal with this all the time especially in churches.

They automatically treat me different and begin to make me feel less strong in my faith simply because I do have an illness that is every bit as physical an ailment as Diabetes, Heart problems, even a broken arm.

In brain scans there are areas that clearly light up much redder and darker than a person who does not have Anxiety.

So there are some clear distinctions that have to be drawn here. I always try to speak up for this because so many times people dealing with any mental disorders are accused of lacking enough faith.

But, that is simply not true. Mental illnesses are just as physical as any other medical condition. The only difference is they attack an individuals brain instead of their heart, liver, kidneys, or some other part of the body.

Now if we are to believe that God is in control of all things, which I most certainly believe, then he knew before I was even conceived that I would have these problems to deal with.

So I do deal with them. I have been seeing a Psychiatrist for almost a decade now, I take my medication, and trust in the Lord to make sure I get proper medical care.

It is only by His guidance that I turned away from some very negative habits of controlling this and sought help from DR.'S.

My life is much better now and thank Him everyday for leading me to a DR. and helping me change my life for the better.

I am judged every single day of my life though whenever people hear that I have these disorders. Most that judge me are Christian and I pray for them. for it is they who are judging unfairly and lack an ability to truly understand.

I do so hope things are going well for you. I also hope that I have opened a door here that even you may not have thought of. The door of prejudice and differential treatment of people who suffer from mental illness.

Instead of judging us, it would be of so much greater help if we could receive an understanding reception and prayer just like others who are ill and need prayer.

May your week be blessed and know that in my heart I do understand what you are stating here. But, it is has to be read properly and not glanced over to fully grasp the meaning. To not do so is judging you harshly and unfairly!!

Hugs,
Jackie:-)

 


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