In the World, But Not of the World
It was ten years ago that I first read about a group of people who had grown so fed up with America’s tolerance of ungodliness that they decided to do something about it. What they decided to do was to secede from the Union.
The group, ChristianExodus.org, sought to form a new state with a legal code based on the Bible. Their idea was to persuade conservative Christians from all over America to move to South Carolina in several large groups and settle in certain districts in the state, with the first migration planned for 2006. These migrants would ultimately band together as a new state and secede from the U.S. in 2016.
Many of us are very disturbed at America’s national trend toward more ungodliness. Is the solution to withdraw and start a new nation?
God calls us to be separate from the world (2 Corinthians 6:16-17). But that separation is in character and conduct, not in location. Paul exhorted the Philippians, “…prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world…” (Philippians 2:15). Jesus said, “You are the light of the world … Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).
When God led the Israelites out of Egypt, He made them a new nation in a new land. But now in Christ He calls us together as a spiritual nation, regardless of where we live (1 Peter 2:9-10).
What became of ChristianExodus.org? As you might expect, their plans never got off the ground. A recent visit to their website turned up nothing but a handful of pictures and slogans. Let their failure underscore our duty to keep ourselves unstained by the world even as we live in it (James 1:27). Our Lord promises we can succeed in that. “Take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).