Recently we visited in a home where there were two small children who, between them, had a roomful of toys of all descriptions. But amazingly, both of them wanted to play the same toy at the same time. That’s an honest childish way of demonstrating the same thing in a more subtle way among “adults”. Failing to confront this type of relation between brothers at an early age, allowing each one of them to “please himself”, sets a pattern for life that will repeat itself over and over again. In all the relations that this “adult” enter, whether family, social, or business, there will be that high “stone wall” that will bring separation and produce very unsatisfactory relationships. That’s the “warfare of the world”. And it’s coming upon the people of God from every direction. Brother vs. brother relations in the world today are open warfare!
For example, the “philosophy of the world” within the educational system in our nation says far too much to our children about growing up in math or in literature, or in history, but says far too little about how they should grow up in FORGIVENESS, or in HUMILITY, or in MERCY.
I have referred already a couple of times in this letter to the “philosophy of the world”, which is a most important statement by Paul to a Body of Believers. Look at the whole verse: “See to it that no one TAKES YOU CAPTIVE through hollow and DECEPTIVE philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (emphasis mine). That’s warfare! Capture the enemy? Deceive him! Let him feed on HIMSELF!
One of the more subtle ways the world is deceiving us is to eliminate the FATHER/SON relationship (that includes daughters). Just eliminate childhood and FATHERHOOD is ended. There’s no more “child-talk” on television. It’s all adult-speak. And the clothes, jewelry, and cosmetics! Just like mom’s! Helmets, cleats, and shoulder pads for the 8 and 9-year-old boys; and all in the competitive atmosphere of the pros. Rush them through adolescence, and you are through with FATHERHOOD. The parent/child relation[ship] is mean by God to hold until we “leave, to be joined to a wife. . . .” Oh, the world wants our kids, so they can take them over and form them in their own fashion, with their thought-patterns set BEFORE they become adults. “As children, we were in slavery to the basic principles of the world” (Galatians, 4:3. emphasis mine).
Paul says later in Colossians that the world’s standards may have an appearance of wisdom with their “SELF-IMPOSED worship, their false humility, their HARSH TREATMENT of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence”. You see, the world says [to] pamper the body (flesh); tickle the senses – all 5 of the PHYSICAL SENSES. We Christians are supposed to have DIED to the “basic principles of this world – WITH CHRIST!” But we have become so ingrained with the precepts of the world that Jesus Christ is having a hard time with His resurrection from within us. In the same letter to the Church in Colossae [Paul says], “SET YOU MIND ON THINGS ABOVE, not on earthly things. . . . PUT TO DEATH whatever belongs to your earthly nature” (emphasis mine).
Jesus made an amazing statement in His prayer: “Father, may they be one as WE ARE ONE! I in them and You in me! May they be brought to complete UNITY to LET THE WORLD KNOW that You sent me” (emphasis mine). We, the BODY OF CHRIST (a BODY is a complete UNITY), must bring forth men and women of God, out of a generation of children who have been steeped and stuffed with an earthly, sensual outlook [on] relationships. As Jesus and the Father are ONE, HUSBANDS & WIVES, you are to be ONE. And you, FATHERS & SONS, and . . . BROTHERS, [you] are to be ONE. It’s impossible by the world’s standards. In the Spirit of Christ, it shall be done!
From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Number 30, April/May 1983.