We often take passages and lift them from their context. For example, Paul wrote to the Corinthians quoting from the prophets, “Therefore come out from them and be separate.” (2 Cor. 6:17). Paul wrestled with this community of Christ followers with regard to a number of issues. An overarching theme could be described as a plea to live in the liberation and victory of Christ and stop living the life of exile. Christians were not encouraged not to have relationships with those outside the faith. Instead, they were encouraged to order their lives according to the victory found in Christ. So, one who orders life according to the victory of Christ (righteousness) will not live the life of an exile (unrighteousness). For at the same time, Paul had earlier written to the Corinthians that he had become “all things to all people” so that he might “win some.” The description of “becoming” for Paul included entering relationships, exposing his connectedness and exposing the victory of Christ.
Eagerness for Christian utopia, reclusiveness, abandonment from the world often leads us to a spiritual arrogance that keeps those who need to hear and experience the victory of Christ receiving a garbled message. Real living, where the spiritual intersects the physical, exposes the fulfillment of life in Christ. Living only for the spiritual disconnects us from the good creation God gave us to live in. Living only for the physical ends in self-worship.
Christian communities must find ways to expose “real living” in Christ as we relate to a world in search of victory.