|2 Timothy 2:4 |
4 No man who is engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life;1 so that he may please him who has chosen him to be a soldier.
1 Social action is another form of religion. You take pride in being on "the correct side" of things. You feel righteous, but what you feel is really only an increase in pride, an increase in the flesh. Worldly activities count for nothing. Whatever you do in the flesh is not pleasing to God.
The Bible calls us to stay out of the world. Be in the world, but be not of the world. Your focus should be inward, not outward. You can spend your days on this earth in correcting "evil" or you can seek the will of God; until you are under his control and capable of understanding his instructions and carrying them out with his power. As the disciples were told by Jesus to "remain in Jerusalem waiting for power from on high", you are called to turn inside and seek the heavenly Jerusalem, seeking the light to change you into a vessel equipped with his power and suitable for his service. (Of the 650,000 Quakers, a very small percentage were preachers; most were middle class shop owners, laborers, soldiers, farmers, etc.; but all had an office in the Body of Christ, with their lives being shining examples of Christian virtue.)
Your removing of self from involvement in the world is not a betrayal of your "goodness," it is a commitment to seeking his will without outside competitions. We are not inactive when still seeking; we are called to express our faith in acts of love; giving to those in need, visiting the widows, assisting the orphans, acts of kindness to others, encouraging others in acts of love, and avoiding evil conduct and conversation ourselves. (Acts of love do not include protests, political activity, campaigning, promotion of any institution, etc.) A good soldier does not get involved in civilian affairs. Any action in your flesh to correct the evils of the world, however holy the motives seem to you; unless you have been specifically directed as above, will only retard or halt your spiritual progress -- whatever the purpose: slavery, women's rights, protecting the environment, prevention of cruelty to animals, anti-drug campaigns, alcohol abuse, child abuse, globalization, abortion, war, etc.
We are called to focus on the heavenly treasures, to turn inward seeking the light, to focus on what is beautiful, pure, noble, noteworthy of respect, truthful, and good. If we spend our energies and time in correcting evil, we miss the opportunity to be changed inwardly. After we are changed, then we can toil together with God in the causes of his choice; and there will be causes, but he will be the one who orders our activities — His Will, not ours.
If you think you are "called" to do something, I ask you: Where in the Bible does it speak of being "called," as you use it? Called is to be summoned or named. The Bible has not a single reference to "called" being something that God is requiring you to do, except to come to Him. When he wants you to do something, he gives you commands and orders; not a feeling, a desire, a burden, a door opening, a draw, or a "call." This word is thrown around by some sects to justify anything anybody feels an inclination to do, as being "called." When you are led by God to do something, he tells you exactly what to do and exactly when to do it.