And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.
No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God
Previously we examined the notion that we cannot follow God and indulge in our vices as well. The philosophy that we can leads to all manner of self-contradictions, not least of which is the Bible’s specific condemnation of it!
Some people try to get around this dilemma, though, by compartmentalizing their life. For them religion is an ornament on the shelf, something to add depth and dimension to the collage of their broader identity. It is a garnish to the main dish. It is living with an at-church-religious-self but also an ambitious-career-self. And because the two are separate, the ambitious-career-self does not have to answer to the expectations of the other.
The appeal of such an approach is obvious, but the simple truth is that none of us make it very long by trying to live good-ish. The above verse clearly condemns the notion of committing to God on Sunday, then looking away from Him on Monday. It is true that we play many different roles in life, but the gospel was meant to permeate them all. We should be trying to be Christ-like in how we interact with our community and our career and our friendships and our family and our side-interests, etc.
All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell
Imagine a castle wall made up of a strongly-fortified-bulwark-part, but also a gaping-hole-part. That is the effect of a compartmentalized discipleship. Are we going to hope that the enemy is kind enough to attack the strong area only? As the above verse suggests, I believe the reason why we even think that the gospel can be taken up and put back down stems from the notion that there is no enemy at all. Why bother patching the hole if there is no risk? Once again, though, which is the one entity who would be trying to convince us that there was no need to be protected?