Lesson 4: The Christian movement has fallen into the ditches of isolationism and triumphalism.
Isolationism occurs when the church tries to withdraw from the world. This comes from theological movements with dualistic tendencies that regard the world (either the physical world or human worldliness) as bad and something that should be escaped from or avoided. An antidote to isolationism is the instruction to be salt and light in the world (Matt. 5), and Paul’s reminder that the only way to avoid immoral people is to leave the world (1 Cor. 5:9-10).
Triumphalism occurs when the church grows through some other means than proclaiming the good news of Jesus to the world and leaving the results to God. At times, believers have used coercion to grow their numbers or added people for reasons other than faith, such as family connections, ethnic background, geographic location, political pressure, etc. An antidote to triumphalism is the biblical instruction to proclaim the gospel with gentleness and reverence (1 Pet. 3:15), thus growing the community by adding only those who receive the Word in faith (Acts 2:41).
I’ll post the other lessons soon.
Let me know if you have a correction or comment!