By embracing the Way of Jesus pathway it is easy to integrate all of life. I don’t have to jump from one frame of reference to another. Following Jesus is genuinely integrative, and the Seven Markers mirror this integration.
For example, I was recently sitting in a board meeting of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. The CFGB vision is to ‘end hunger.’ I did not have to switch terms of reference. If I am following Jesus, I will be like Jesus, who healed the sick and fed the hungry. He taught us to bless others.
I do not need to switch to another frame of reference in order to be a witness for Jesus. I do not have to put on the evangelist’s hat but actually have a happy and strong foundation for speaking positively about my life in Jesus.
How do I relate to someone who holds a different worldview? I will be like Jesus and treat others with respect.
How do I treat those who are weaker? How do I treat my enemy? How do I treat the opposite sex? All these questions are addressed in an integrated way? I love my enemy. I do good to others. I do not take revenge. I do not harass. I do not take advantage. My word is my bond.
How do I face the temptation to cheat, steal, lie, commit adultery, etc.? I have an integrated view of all these things.
All these things are clearly embedded in the teaching and example of Jesus. They are reinforced in the teachings of His followers.
Moreover, I can ask the Lord God for help to live in a way that pleases Him.
Some hold the view that life by faith is in conflict with reason. The biblical view of the ‘heart’ is at odds with our view that intellect can be differentiated from the heart. Heart, in biblical terms, includes the intellect as well as the affections. Faith is not the opposite of reason. Everybody lives by faith, even an atheist. The only question is whether your faith is well based. For example, sitting on a chair is an act of faith.
There is no conflict between following Jesus and ‘science.’ Historian Rodney Stark’s survey of the rise of ‘modern science’ considers 52 great lights from the 17th century – names like Kepler, Galileo and Newton. All but one of these founders of modern was not a Christian and 60% evidenced a profound faith. And the ONE was nurtured in Christian civilization. Stark’s conclusion is unavoidable: First, science arose only once in history—in medieval Europe. Second, science could only arise in a culture dominated by belief in a conscious, rational, all-powerful Creator. Thus it could be said that the rise of science required an Eleventh Commandment: “Know thou my handiwork.”
In every human heart there is a need for an integrated and integrating view of the world. Following Jesus not only allows for this, but encourages and nurtures this.The Way of Jesus integrates all of life. It is about living a life in which there is heart integrity and living life with integrity.
Leave a Comment