The Lord’s Affairs Vs The World’s Affairs

Martha_and_Mary_by_He_Qi_China

I don’t think anybody can deny that dichotomies are at the heart of God’s creation. Beginning in Genesis, he separated darkness from day, land from water, and earth from sky. Binary opposites are God’s idea. They compliment each other. Two parts make a whole. One can’t exist without the other. And oftentimes, the two parts can’t be easily separated with a dividing line, like night and day. Down through the history of mankind though and his rejection of creation, binary opposites have devolved into various forms of secular dualisms where one half is evil and the other half is good. Instead of two parts making a whole, the whole is divided into two parts. That is not God’s idea. Good and evil are only temporary dichotomies because God will inevitably destroy Satan. For example, dualism is seen in the scientific method where you have a subject being studied by a supposed objective observer. It’s also seen in Chinese Yin-Yang where everything has an opposing force, where heaven is masculine and earth is feminine, where everything is sexualized. Sound familiar in America today? Christianity, on the other hand, teaches that male and female are temporary dichotomies, that one day there will be no male or female.

But when will that day come? That is the big question I want to tackle here. The typical answer from the standpoint of Christianity is when we get to heaven. As Matthew 22:30 tells us: “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” But notice that this verse does not say that one day men will have no penises and women will have no vaginas. It does not say that one day we will have sleek android bodies. Gender is not defined by the presence or absence of body parts. Rather, the Bible says we will be like the angels – unmarried. They may not even know what marriage is. In a very real sense, there are people alive today who are neither male nor female, eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven, those who have chosen the celibate lifestyle, those who have chosen to take care of the Lord’s affairs. They are just as unmarried today as they will be in heaven. As 1 Corinthians 7:32-34 states:

32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.

The word concern in Greek is merimna which means care or anxiety. Amerimnos means free from anxiety or care. Notice that both the unmarried man and unmarried woman are both concerned about the same thing – the Lord’s affairs. So the real dichotomy is not between male and female. It is between those called to marriage and those called to celibacy – because they are the only two choices in Christian theology. So the big question for singles should not be who will you marry. It should be is marriage for you? Even though there may be few called to unmarried life, the chances of being called are the same for everybody. Note too that the choice has nothing whatsoever to do with homosexuality. It is the sinful lifestyles of 21st century America and scandals in the Catholic church that have aligned celibacy so closely with homosexuality.

So, can the married be concerned about the Lord’s affairs? Compared to the capacity of concern in an unmarried person, the simple answer is no. It is a testament to the spiritual change that takes place when two people marry and have sex for the first time. Their priorities are no longer the same, their concerns are no longer the same, and their responsibilities are no longer the same. Yet, we have churches and even denominations today calling all single people to marry as young as possible and to have as many children as possible. You can’t get more unbiblical than that. It’s probably because they haven’t even read the Bible. The only truth they know is what feels comfortable and what the opinion polls say is trending at the moment.

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