Christians are increasingly finding themselves entangled in worldly affairs, social justice causes, and politics. They often try to connect their religion to such things, but God’s word is incompatible and separate from the world.
As Christians, our commander is Christ, who warns us that neither He nor we are of this world and to focus on God’s word.
When Jesus prayed to the Father God for his disciples, he said:
“They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.”
– John 17:16
Therefore, if we are not of this world, why are so many Christians getting entangled in worldly affairs? Here’s a warning from the Bible about avoiding becoming an entangled Christian.
“No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.”
– 2 Timothy 2:4
The dictionary defines “entanglement” as involved, caught up in or in a complicated or compromising relationship or situation. It can also refer to being intertwined, as well as ensnared, such as fish entangled in netting.
Therefore, an “entangled Christian” is someone who is caught up in the affairs of the world and is putting those concerns first before Jesus Christ/God.
The apostle Paul often used military metaphors in his writing, as well as athletics. The dedication of Roman soldiers was well known. Roman soldiers followed orders and were dedicated to their commanding officer. A sworn legionnaire puts his commander’s orders the first and above all other things.
In Paul’s message in the above verse and metaphor, the soldier represents a disciple of Christ, and the commanding officer is Jesus/God.
Paul warns in his letter to Timothy against becoming “entangled in civilian affairs,” using a military metaphor to suggest that Christians should avoid becoming entangled in earthly business.
The point being, no matter what goes on in the world, no matter what politicians or other influential people say – the Christian has only one commanding officer: God/Jesus. The only orders the Christian follows are the words of God.
A Christian is a disciple of Christ who lives to please their commanding officer: Jesus/God.
“But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.”
– 1 Thessalonians 2:4
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.'”
– 1 Peter 1:14-16
One of the biggest traps many Christians fall into is becoming too absorbed in politics, social causes or worldly concerns. Too many of these revolve around humanistic ideals rather than godly principles. Note the purposeful avoidance of the phrase “religious principles.” Religion is of human origin. God’s word is eternal truth.
The things that humans are striving for at this very moment such as alleviating poverty, hunger and racism are already addressed in the Bible. All are equal in God’s eyes, according to the Bible. Unfortunately, it is the corruption of humankind and not following God’s instructions that allow such problems to persist.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”
– Romans 12:2
Pastor John MacArthur of Grace to You Church says: “The kingdom of the world and the kingdom of God are inherently incompatible. The two are mutually exclusive and opposed to one another.”
“Clearly, there is an unmistakable line of demarcation between the things of God and the things of the world,” MacArthur continues. “The ongoing moral and ethical deterioration of contemporary culture makes this obvious.”
“Even brief consideration provides a lengthy list of cultural agendas that are aggressively hostile to biblical Christianity,” MacArthur adds.
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'”
– John 14:6
The Bible is God’s roadmap for living. God’s truth has been proven through prophecy. The Bible demonstrates God’s will for mankind and promises salvation for those who will live according to his will.
Jesus has shown Christians the truth and the way of the truth. Those who do not follow the truth are on the road to ruin.
The Bible warns us that those who entangle themselves in the ways of the world rather than following God’s command have only trouble ahead. And for those who followed God’s word then rejected it and turned away from it, their fate shall be worse than have they never known God’s word.
“If indeed they have escaped the corruption of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, only to be entangled and overcome by it again, their final condition is worse than it was at first.”
– 2 Peter 2:20