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HOW TO SURVIVE A SPIRITUALLY TOXIC ENVIRONMENT

In Canada, “pride” is not a month, but a whole season (from June to September). This has been officially declared and enshrined by the Canadian government. So that means nearly everywhere you go in the few passably pleasant months in this otherwise God-forsaken (weather-wise) frozen wasteland, you’re likely to stumble across a pride parade or other pride-related activities.

The city I’m staying in now is gearing up for its pride festivities. That’s what they’re called, “festivities”. That, and “celebration”.

I asked God how he can look down on this nation-wide, summer-long free-for-all of sin and depravity and not lose it, and he told me that he doesn’t dwell on it. He sees it, but he doesn’t dwell on it. He delegates others to monitor and record everything in minute detail for his justice’s sake (no sin goes unpunished), but he himself stands back. If people choose sin, they get the rewards of sin; if sin is what they want, sin is what they’ll get. He won’t stand in their way.

Judgement Day will come soon enough.

I sometimes struggle to apply this example in my own life. It’s probably one of the most difficult things we can do as believers – to live in the world while keeping the world at arm’s distance. Jesus had the grace to look past the sins of people who were not his targeted demographic, unless they specifically came to him for help, and there can be no doubt that anyone who worships at the pride altar is not our targeted demographic. They have another father than ours, and so we should just let them be. Paul touched on this in his teaching on how God has “given them over” to their sin instead of trying to correct them. At some point, you let them go.

You just let them go.

Jesus, by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, could see into the heart of everyone he met. Yet even with that profound depth of insight, he focused his ire mainly on the religious hypocrites, not on the seemingly endless parade of sinners he came across during his travels. Still, standing back while letting sin reign seems counter-intuitive to a Christian. How can we, as believers, live in such a spiritually toxic environment?

I guess the short answer to that question is that we escape to the Kingdom. Physically, we move through the world, but our soul remains firmly in the Kingdom. The establishment of God’s Kingdom on Earth is one of the major accomplishments of Jesus, heralding his victory over sin. As born-again believers, we have full access to God’s Kingdom during our time on Earth. I find that whenever the world gets to be too much, I fully cloister myself in the Kingdom for a few minutes or hours or days or weeks, however long it takes me to regain my spiritual equilibrium. I just shut the world out entirely for as long as necessary. Jesus used to go up a mountain alone for the same purpose. There’s no way you can live in a place that’s under the authority of Satan and not need a respite from the insanity. Because that’s what the world is – demon-driven insanity overlaid with the thinnest veneer of civility.

In the end, I take comfort in knowing that while pride may last for a season, God’s Kingdom lasts forever.

Remember that.