Friday, September 12, 2008

The Scourge of Worldliness

William D @ writes on worldliness. He notes:

I want to deal with the term: "world" in the negative manner in which the Bible describes it, not referring to the people of the planet:
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

2 Timothy 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life.

He covers:

1. What is Worldliness?
1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Ephesians 2:2-3 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Philippians 3:18-19 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

2. What are the Expressions of Worldliness?
A. Works of the Flesh
Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness (unbridled lusts), 20 Idolatry, witchcraft (drug use), hatred, variance (contention, strife), emulations (fierceness of indignation), wrath (boiling over into outbursts), strife (desire to put one's self forward, a partisan and fractious spirit), seditions (division), heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings (riotousness), and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

2 Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica…

B. Forsaking the Service of God

2 Timothy 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

C. Preoccupation with “-ism’s”
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Ecumenicism: Unity at the expense of truth

Pragmatism: the end justifies the means. This is the heart and soul of the Purpose Driven movement! It is wordly to the core.

Political Correctness: avoiding taboo subjects or buzz words for the sake of being non-offensive

Seeker Sensitivity: appealing to non Christians by making the church look and feel like the world they come from. Offering these so-called "seekers" a product that they naturally want and then hoping that they’ll float into fellowship with God by avoiding all non-confrontational situations. This is the heart and soul of the mega church movement championed by Bill Hybles.

Legalism: Rules and regulations that govern every aspect of the Christians life as a way to induce personal holiness. Colossians 2:20-22 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
This is the worldliness of fundamentalism that gets mistaken for true spirituality.

Conspiracy theories: a preoccupation with conspiracies that are not proven true in order to explain or blame the wrongs that are being done in our world. This tends to draw attention away from the sovereignty of God and trust in His Providence.

D. Materialism
Here’s a classic example of a worldling given by Jesus in this parable:
Luke 12:18-21 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

Ecclesiastes 2:1-15. This passage is a detailed exhibit of one who was the most successful materialist.

E. Reversal of Roles
1 Timothy 2:11-13 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

F. Judging by Appearance
1 Timothy 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?

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