Personal Holiness, Separation, and Being "Worldly"

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by InTheLight, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    I grew up in an IFB. I attend an IFB. Much is made of not being like the world, to "come out from among them and be separate". 1 John 2:15-16 is used like a mantra: "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." A favorite verse for personal holiness is 1 Thess. 5:22, "Abstain from all appearance of evil".

    These verses are used to condemn all sorts of activities--dancing, card playing, going to movies, the music you listen to (even CCM), gambling, the clothes you wear, the length of men's hair (I grew up in the 70's) and wearing beards, tattoos, attending sporting events, etc. etc.

    So I was kind of surprised when our pastor decided it was time for him to join Facebook and Twitter and start promoting the church through those avenues. When it comes to the hottest trend of the past 5 years for the world to be engaged in I can think of nothing more "worldly" than Facebook and Twitter. (No, I'm not on Facebook, but I'm on Twitter.)

    We've all heard the stories of marriages that were broken because of people connecting on Facebook. How gossiping is rampant on Facebook. Inappropriate pictures being posted. Also the sheer amount of time spent on it can become almost idolatrous.

    If this is how the world acts, how do the fundamentalists on BB justify joining Facebook and Twitter? Isn't participating in Facebook and Twitter being "worldly"?
     
  2. abcgrad94

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    Seriously? You've heard IFB folks say using Twitter and Facebook are worldly? Why am I not surprised.:rolleyes:

    I remember when using a screen in church for anything but a missionary slide show was "worldly." Isn't it funny how the opinion of worldliness changes over time?
     
  3. InTheLight

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    Actually, no I haven't heard them say this. BUT, if they strive to be consistent they ought to be denouncing Facebook and Twitter. So, IFB people--why aren't Facebook and Twitter worldly?
     
  4. Inspector Javert

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    Facebook and Twitter and morally neutral, just like a t.v. set or a computer monitor. It depends on who is using it and how that makes it "worldly". I can't imagine a fundamentalist denouncing either medium on its face.
    It wasn't "BECAUSE" of Facebook any more than it is "BECAUSE" someone went to their 30-yr. High School reunion. Marriages have been breaking apart for ages. Whether people connect on Facebook or another avenue, it isn't the fault of Facebook per se.
    These are all examples of what PEOPLE do.....not something that is inherent in Facebook or Twitter. Personally, I hate Facebook for absolutely no particular reason that I can put my finger on, but neither of the two are inherently good or evil any more than a microphone is good or evil. It's what's being said through the microphone that is either good or evil. Only the craziest sort of fundamentalist would inherently denounce either of those two things. I am not surprised that your pastor would create a Facebook account for your Church. Mine is an IFB Church, and they have a Facebook.
     
  5. agedman

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    Why would any believer, much less married ones, be on some social media sight?

    I am not saying that such are evil, but the vulnerability factor seems to escalate dramatically.

    And I have read, heard and actually watched marriages destroyed because of inappropriate behavior generated by visiting on the social media.

    The same problem occurs (more than folks will admit) when one married partner attends a family, high school, college, or some other reunion, an office party, or regular guy or girl nights out without the partner.

    It is opening the door of vulnerability, that usually takes TWO to keep closed and locked.
     
  6. righteousdude2

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    Well....

    ....I have two very strong ministries on FB, in fact, the one page draws nearly 1,000 views a day. It is highly effective in sharing the Gospel; cuts across denominational lines; and it gets great contributions form its members. It is continuing to grow; has an active prayer line, and prayer warriors to staff it?

    In fact, it is so self sufficient that I have left the day-to-day operations of the links up to several on-line alliances I have made through the page, and completely trust to run the links as I would.

    I have a ton of pastors involved, and they all love the ministry of this link.

    So I see something positive in FB as a tool for God, if used in the direction of His Spirit. God can and will use anything that is available in order to propagate the Gospel. Now that's my opinion, but I have proof in the making. :type:

    Once again, for every issue on this board, there are many opposing views. Here is one!
     
  7. Oldtimer

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    First, I agree with those who say that Facebook, the physical communications medium itself is neutral. Neither good nor bad from the standpoint being discussed. It can be "good" or "bad" depending on how it's being used.

    How it's being used by both the creators and the people using it. Our church has a FB page. So do many members. However, so far, I can't bring myself to the point of opening an account.

    The phrase I use is that I can't enter Satans gated community. Why? Because I've looked at who controls the gate. The gate keepers control the revenue string that keeps this gate open. Where does the earnings, produced by my visits to FB go? Where have those monies gone in the past?

    In conjunction, what are the ethics of the founders, owners, & operators? Are they above board in their actions? How many lawsuits have been filed against them for violations of what most people hold dear? Further, what are the politics of this same group of people? Especially how they used their sphere of influence in 2008 & 2012.

    Do your own research on the gate keepers. Learn where dollars earned by FB supporters have gone relating to traditonal marriage, for example. Look at the "big picture" and the role FB has played in national and global politics (especially in the middle East).

    This issue, like so many discussed here is simple. Where do you draw the line? Where is the line that you will not cross when it comes to being used to support the opposite of your personal beliefs? Whether spiritual or civil?
     
  8. John of Japan

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    I'm IFB, and I'm surprised that people think these are wrong. This is the first I've heard that. Quite a few of our IFB supporting churches have FB pages, and many IFB friends are on. It has never occurred to me that it might be worldly. It's only a method of communication, that's all. It can be used for good and evil, just like a telephone, with which you can gossip, criticize, complain and otherwise sin with your tongue. The problem is the heart, not the machine.

    I got on FB to fellowship with our son and friends, since we live on the other side of the world. I also have a page on there for our Christian martial arts organization (almost all fundamentalists). It's only a form of communication. I do very little on it, 5" a day maximum.

    The main purpose for personal separation IMO is to keep us from temptation. Simply because something exists in the world doesn't make it worldly: telephones, telegraphs, cars, refrigerators, computers, etc., etc.
     
    #8 John of Japan, Jun 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2013
  9. Mexdeaf

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    I've said it before, I'll say it again - worldliness is a matter of the heart, not of our relation to external "stuff". The Pharisees were "worldly". Lots of folks who "don't smoke, don't chew, and don't run around with folks that do" are worldly.

    You can read your Bible every day, pray, go to church, witness, tithe, etc. and still be worldly.

    You can divest yourself of your T.V., computer, cell phone, car, house, family, etc. and still be worldly.

    People want to blame "being worldly" on the "stuff" we have and the "stuff" we do, but that's not the problem.
     
  10. salzer mtn

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    Did you know that when Billy Graham bought his wife her first microwave she refused to use it for a period of time ?
     
  11. InTheLight

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    It seems to me that if the same logic used by some IFB's to denounce movies were used for Facebook it would be a consistent argument. Something like this:

    Movies are not inherently good or evil any more than a microphone is good or evil. It's what's being seen and heard in the movie that is either good or evil.

    OR

    Dancing in and of itself is not evil, but the vulnerability factor seems to escalate dramatically.

    I totally understand the reasoning given for why Facebook is not inherently wrong and I agree with the argument, but why does "Abstain from all appearances of evil" apply to things like mixed gender swimming, playing cards, or going to restaurants where alcohol is served but it doesn't apply to Facebook?
     
  12. webdog

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    Bingo:thumbsup: Being 'worldly' is being sinful, and sin stems from the heart.

    The modern christian has defined worldly to mean 'anything I don't approve of'.
     
  13. Yeshua1

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    We are to be in the world, not of it, but the main problem is that many take our personal convictions and preferences and make it as though ALL chritians have to view things just as we do in order to be 'spiritual"

    seperation is not what some see it as being, as the lord jesus had sinners hanging out with him, yet he sinned not, and showed and told them truth!

    How can we be their light if we chose to always avoid at all times?
     
  14. Oldtimer

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    God asks that we give back a portion of what He has bestowed. If I drop $5 in the church collection plate, because I want to give back to Him, would you (any reader) approve?

    God says that homosexuality is a sin. I believe that it is a sin. In your viewpoint (any reader) is it a sin if I want to drop $5 in collection plate to support/endorse same sex marriage? Is it a sin, if I drop $5 into that same collection plate because I want something else in return, for my personal use/pleasure?

    Where do you draw the line?
     
  15. webdog

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    That is the biggest leap in logic I've ever read here. How you got anything pertaining to giving and homosexuality from my reply is anyone's guess.
     
  16. Inspector Javert

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    I love the IFB brethren that I Church with...and I also am active on an IFB cite....but sometimes, I think they are so obsessed (in a certain weird way) with "worldliness" itself....that they are in fact...."Worldly". I think they err often by being on such a witch-hunt against everything they dislike, that their minds are actually pre-occupied inexplicably, with worldly things.

    They are often so busy "denouncing" everything "worldly" that they don't realize that they are mentally obsessing over things "of this World"....and that is IMO equally as un-productive an error.
     
  17. Inspector Javert

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    Agree with WD....I have no idea how one can possibly leap from the topic at hand to dollar values in an offering plate.
     
  18. InTheLight

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    I think I understand what Oldtimer is trying to say. He's saying it's better to abstain from doing things because ultimately you could be supporting sin in a roundabout way. (See post #7 in this thread.)

    This sort of logic is used to denounce going to G rated movies because, as the argument goes, ultimately the money gets put into the corporate coffers and they use the money to make ungodly, violent R rated movies.

    I don't fully buy into this logic. I think if Christians would support morally clean, decent movies then Hollywood would make more of them. Stay away from bad movies, for sure, of which I would guess 90% of them denigrate God and/or glorify sin. But support good and decent movies.
     
  19. webdog

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    Yes. Actually unless someone grows their own food and never buys anything, I can guarantee some of the monies used of ours in day to day life is going towards something sinful, whether it is used to pay an employee who uses their salary to buy drugs or money put into an offering plate the church does not use in a biblical or wise manner (like purchasing all new Apple computers when a family in the church is struggling to meet basic needs)
     
  20. InTheLight

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    You're right, in today's world it's nearly impossible to separate out your money from questionable or downright evil causes.

    Remember the JC Penney and their pro-gay advertising threads? Turns out the CEO got fired for poor performance and they are going to drop the overt gay friendly ads.

    So I guess it is OK to shop at JC Penney now. :laugh:
     

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