Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Worldliness" Exposed - Conclusion (part 5)

If you've made it this far and managed to work your way through the previous four posts on this subject, congratulations, because now you're at the end! This will be the final post of me on my soapbox trying to give out an attempt at Bible teaching. But in final, let me know what you think of it all in conclusion.

Well, we've studied Apostle John's definition of what the world is, in its entirety (as best as its three sinful components go). Again, quickly, let's go over them...
The world we must avoid and refrain from(1 John 2:15), this world that is the enemy of God and Jesus His Son (John 8:23), does not even know Him (John 1:10), and is ruled over by the prince of the darkness (John 12:31), is made up of the three elements. Three elements listed in 1 John 2:16.

"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world." - 1 John 2:16

The Lust of the Flesh - The ungodly, sinful desires of the body itself, including gluttony, sexual lust and immorality, and the desire for pleasure outside of God's righteousness or refraining from physical pain out of fear of it.

The Lust of the Eyes - The ungodly desires for material wealth, or materialism, as a measure of your life. In other words, it includes seeking wealth, possessions, and material power sinfully out of greed, and putting such things before God.

The Pride of Life - Probably the worst of all, this is being impressed or satisfied with yourself as you are, in other words, thinking you're 'a pretty good person.' This also includes desiring to be respected and recognized positively by other people, or deciding you 'don't deserve' being treated particularly bad, as if we all don't deserve Hell itself as it is.
Now that being said, its easy to see the worldliness IS real, and IS deadly, and must be avoided! But it has little to do with the music you listen to, or the attire you wear, or the car you drive, or the movies you watch. Sure, those things are HUGELY important too, but they aren't this worldliness, not in this case. In fact, the worldliness so many talk about today goes far deeper than just outward actions and activities like this.
Worldliness isn't an action or a habit, its a heart and mind issue. It;s a mindset. It's a way of thinking and a way of feeling, or letting yourself think or feel, that is totally ungodly. Certainly things like the movies you watch and the music you listen to play a huge role in it (Ever heard the saying "Garbage In, Garbage Out?" And more importantly, James 2 states that our faith is worthless without outward signs and workings of it in what we do and say), its not what worldliness really is. We should NOT be worldly, which is a far bigger and harder commitment than many an over-conservative pastor would have us believe. It's not about doing things the world does, not half so thinking like it thinks. God protect us from that.
This doesn't mean we're free to do whatever everyone else does. Worldliness still plays a major part in what kind of music we hear and movies we see, but that's not the reason in itself. If the inspires lust of the flesh, or the music has a message more about material gain and its goodness than anything else, or even trying to be 'cool' enough for friends to fit in, its all worldly. It doesn't mean that listening to secular bands is wrong. It DOES mean that listening to secular bands is wrong if you hear them enough that you start thinking how they think, letting their messages take too much hold in your mind. It doesn't mean you shouldn't go to the movies. It does mean that if the movie involves lust or messages of evil in it. You get the idea.
That's really it. Worldliness isn't nearly as much as a doing and saying issue, as a thinking and feeling issue. Different entirely from what many a pastor would have us believe, and sadly...for harder for us to strive for, and a much deeper problem.
However, don't despair! "For I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Thank goodness in our salvation, God has seen fit to "transform us with the renewing of our minds," and make it possible for us to be separate from the world and its thinking! For all our problems when we trust Him, we can't lose.

Now at the end of it all, let me know what you thought of it all! Please? Thoughts and comments would be great!
And don't worry, Alex won't be getting back up on his soapbox for a long, long time, at least, not in this corner of the World Wide Web.


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