Some of you know of my friendship with John, my octogenarian friend in Canada. If you read the comments he occasionally posts on my blog — and my responses to them — you will see that we come at life from very different perspectives.
I’m going to post a few of his comments and my responses Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 6.57.08 AMfrom time to time and invite your comments to my comments about his comments! What?
Recently, John wrote: “Larry, You have an incredible inconsistent worldview. On one side you deplore the world we life in, but you engage in sentiments of weeping and wooing when one loved one is taken away.
Feb 8,2015 you used John Piper’s words to describe heaven: :No sickness, all your friends you had on earth are with you, you would have all the food you like, all the leisure activities you’re enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tested, no human conflict, no natural disasters.
Some years ago you you thanked all the people who prayed for you to recover from your heart surgery. With all the wonders of heaven that you believe so strongly, why would you hang on to this current world so strongly? I suspect that your “Certainty” is not as certain as you would like it to be.”
I responded as follows: “Good morning, John. Thanks for your comments of July 1st. Let me make sure I understand what you’ve said.</
You say that I have an incredibly inconsistent worldview. You say that I “deplore” the world we live in. I’m not sure how you came to that conclusion about my view. You then used my quote of Piper to argue, I think, that heaven is wonderful. Your question, “Why would you hang on to this current world so strongly?” is a great question.
Here’s what I believe about this world and the next. I believe this world is God’s good creation to be enjoyed and carefully used, but not worshiped (I Tim. 6). It will be renewed and all its brokenness healed when Jesus returns. But there is another world, another realm of existence beyond this one, and this world should get us ready for that world. Creation ought to be cared for (not exploited). The physical pleasures on this planet ought to be enjoyed to the glory of God, but this is not the only world there is.
We can and should grieve the loss of loved ones who pass away, especially if we have little evidence that they have come to terms with the God we have all offended. To die without Jesus as one’s personal Savior is the worst thing that could ever happen to someone.
Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 7.00.22 AMI am not to love this worldly system that opposes God and the things of God (= “worldliness”), but to serve God in this world as best I can.
To summarize, I agree with C.S. Lewis who said, “To love and admire anything outside yourself is to take one step away from utter spiritual ruin; though we shall not be well so long as we love and admire anything more than we love and admire God.” Even more, to love God allows us to love people more than those who don’t know God. Lewis adds, “Because we love something else more than this world we love even this world better than those who know no other.”