What is worldly

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by NaasPreacher (C4K), Mar 28, 2007.

  1. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Just read through another thread that talked a lot about worldliness. I am a fundamentalist and have been since I got saved in 1974. All through those years I have heard things condemned because they are "worldly." I am 51 years old and have recently begun thinking (something I know we fundamentalists are not supposed to do :) ) about who defines worldliness.

    Consider the following when things are not specifically spelled out in the scriptures. I contend that much of what is seen as "worldliness" is based on opinion and personal preferences.

    How do we know what music (not songs, music in and of itself) is worldly?
    How do we know what actions are worldly, apart from what the scripture itself describes as sinful?

    In other words - if the Bible does not address an issue- who dedides if it is worldly?
     
  2. Mexdeaf

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    1. You and only you can decide what is 'worldly' for YOU. (Corollary- Godly parents must decide this for their children up to the time when they are deemed by the parents to be fit to determine that for themselves).

    2. 'Worldliness' is more about attitude than it is about action. Of course, our attitudes are expressed by our actions, but 'worldliness' is a heart issue, not an external one.

    3. Just because it springs from the 'world' does not necessarily make it 'worldly'. (I can remember when computers in churches, wire-rimmed glasses, and colored shirts on men in church were all considered 'worldly'. Now they are acceptable. Did God's standards change?)

    4. Simple definition of 'worldly'- anything that I do (think, say, etc.) that draws me away from the Lord instead of nearer to him, or anything that I do (think say, etc.) that causes me to draw others away from Him.
     
  3. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    So we can't look to God's word for standards of worldliness?

    Where then do we "draw the line"?

    Is the line subjective?
     
  4. Ulsterman

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    Worldliness is the opposite of godliness. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” (Titus 2:11-12).

    Godliness is to be like unto God, it is to reflect the moral character of God.

    What then is worldliness? Sometimes, we think about it in terms of a list of pet hates and sins: Smoking: Drinking: Dancing: Gambling etc.

    But worldliness is much more than those things. Worldliness is a spirit, an attitude as well as an action. There is such a thing as “worldly thinking.” Worldliness is an attitude of friendship toward, a desire for and a wish to be recognised by or identified with the world system. Israel was "worldly" when they wanted to have a king as other nations.
     
  5. Mexdeaf

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    1. Of course, we must look to the Bible! I wasn't implying that we shouldn't. But we need to apply it correctly, within the context in which it was written. Too many of our convictions about 'worldliness' have come from verses taken out of their context. Too many preachers throw the 'old paths' verses at everything, forgetting that what they now call 'old paths' were once new ones to their grandfathers and great-grandfathers.

    2. I know (or seek to know) where the line is for me, my family, and the church I pastor (corporatively speaking). For others outside of those circles, I can tell them what I believe but in the end they are going to have to answer to God.

    3. Unless God's Word plainly states something is wrong- such as nudity, yes.

    How short is too short? How long is too long? What style of music? Which Bible Version? God's Word does not specify those things so it is up to the individual believer to determine those things through principles gleaned from the Word rightly divided, through prayer, and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    Would to God that all Christians would just follow God's simple plan outlined in Romans 14-

    Ro 14:1 ¶ Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.
    2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.
    3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.
    4 Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
    5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
    6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.
    7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.
    8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.
    9 For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
    10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
    11 For it is written: "As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God."
    12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
    13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way.
    14 I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
    15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.
    16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;
    17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
    18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.
    19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
    20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.
    21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.
    22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
    23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.
    (NKJV)
     
  6. donnA

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    If worldliness is subjective, if it's defination changes for different people, as in, whats worldy for you might not be worldy for me, then theres a problem. There has to be a set standard.
     
  7. Mexdeaf

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    Who sez? Chapter and verse please!
     
  8. tinytim

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    So far I agree with all the answers..

    I also think that worldliness is not what we do, but our attitude...
    When we think more about "me" instead of Christ.. we are being worldly..
    And this cuts both ways...

    A person that says, "I don't care who this offends, I am doing it because I want to" is being worldly...

    As is a person that says, "Look at me, I don't listen to CCM, or (using Mexdeaf's example) wear colored shirts, or allow my wife to wear pants, I am righteous, and those that disagree are not"

    Both examples are worldly people...
    Pride defines worldliness..

    Also the line must be drawn at sin as revealed by God's word.
    His word must be the standard.

    But sadly, and someone said something like this in another thread, some have added so many extrabiblical rules to Christianity that now others are going to the opposite extreme to balance them out.

    Neither extremes are correct... The Bible taken in proper context must be the standard.

    Draw the line at sin.
     
  9. menageriekeeper

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    Why?

    IMO, the verses that Mexdeaf quoted clearly state the opposite. That each man has his own opinion and "each be fully convinced in his own mind" (vs 5).

    I believe verse 14 echos the idea: "I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean."
     
  10. donnA

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    chapter and verse what? common sense tells you you don't go around making stuff up, God is exact, we don't get to make our own rules. Whever the rules for life are subjective you've crossed the line away from christianity.
     
  11. Mexdeaf

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    Read Romans 14.

    Do you think God wants all his people to be 'robots'? Or does He deal with us as individuals?
     
  12. tinytim

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    To a certain point I agree...

    But I am sure there are things that C4K in Ireland would not do because the culture there considers it to be wrong...
    But we are at liberty to do here, and vice versa.

    Here is another one... drinking wine.
    It is wrong for me here because it would be a stumblingblock for sinners seeing me buy it.
    But if I were in Italy...

    Some things are considered sin in some cultures, and not others...
    So what do you do?

    1) Is the thing you are considering doing listed as a sin in the Bible?...
    2) If not, is it going to be a stumblingblock to your witness?

    If you can say yes to either one of these, don't do it.

    3) Will it bring Glory to God?
     
  13. rbell

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    Many times the issue IMO is not "worldliness." Sometimes, it's not even "right" or "wrong."

    It's a question of wisdom.

    For instance...I have a kid in my group who's dating someone. They are struggling in an area of their dating life--too much physical stuff.

    Is it wrong for them to date? Where would the Bible say that?

    Sure...there can be arguments made for "not giving the devil a foothold..." and that's significant, but for me, and what I share with this teen...it comes down to wisdom.

    Is it wrong for this guy and girl to go out? Dunno...but it's not wise.

    Wisdom involves being able to see where the path leads...looking past the "right now." If we have Godly wisdom, we are able to make better judgements...because we look past the "is this thing right here sinful?" and look toward "what will this lead to...and is that sinful?"

    There are lots of things in this world that are tough to pin a "right" or "wrong" label on...but we can easily see whether they pass the "wisdom" test or not.
     
  14. Amy.G

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    Rbell, that is soo wise! If we would all just look down the road, we could avoid a lot of mistakes....and sins.

    :thumbs:
     
  15. bapmom

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    This is a very good point!
     
  16. Mexdeaf

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    And that reminds me of another applicable portion of Scripture-

    1Coriunthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.
    24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well -being.
    25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience' sake;
    26 for "the earth is the LORD'S, and all its fullness."

    27 If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience' sake.
    28 But if anyone says to you, "This was offered to idols," do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience' sake; for "the earth is the LORD'S, and all its fullness."
    29 "Conscience," I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man's conscience?
    30 But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks?
    31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
    32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God,
    33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
     
  17. Jon-Marc

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    Personally, I try to shun anything that God specifically says in His word is sinful. Then there is the commandment to "Abstain from all appearance of evil", 1 Thess. 5:22. Everyone has their own personal convictions or beliefs about what is sinful to them. However, I don't try to force my personal convictions on others since I can't point to scripture and prove it's sin.

    Unfortunately, too many people want to force their personal opinions and unprovable beliefs on others. I don't go by the old addage, "Let your conscience be your guide" since a conscience can be wrong. I let the Holy Spirit be my Guide, and He is NEVER wrong.
     
  18. DHK

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    In the end times perilous days shall come.
    The Bible describes how things will become more wicked. They will not get better. We see that in the churches as well. Perhaps that is an overstatement, or an over generalization. But let's consider some factors, both historical and biblical.
    First, historically, before the advent of WWII, it was rare if ever that one would ever see a woman in pants or slacks (as they may be called). a dress or skirt was always the norm. The woman never worked. She stayed at home, raised the children, and the husband brought provided for his household as the Bible says he should.

    When WWII broke out things changed. There was a dearth of workers, materials, food, etc. Women began to enter into the work force out of necessity. Most of them were in factories. Some of them were even in the armed forces. (My mother was a communications officer using morse code). By the time the time the war ended many women had tasted freedom or independence. Now they wanted their own careers. It was around 1950 that the "career-girl" movement got started. It was around the same time that slacks on a woman began to become stylish. WWII had a definite impact upon the mores of our society.

    During the fifties, though some women wore slacks to work in factories, you would never see them dressed in church that way. In fact in all the churches--Catholic and Protestant alike women wore dresses, and always had a hat to cover their head. I wonder why that has changed? Men took off their hats when they entered into the church.

    There were a number of things in the sixties that changed our society greatly. There was the advent of rock music--a style of music that promoted rebellion. It was widely promoted first by Elvis, and then by the Beatles. The Hippie movement exploited and popularized this movement of rebellion. Drugs began to become widespread in use.

    By the time the seventies came the church was facing a multitude of problems that had blossomed from the sixties:
    How to define Godly music.
    How to define Godly dress.
    The war against New Evangelicalism.
    In summary--worldliness vs. Godliness--a war that has continued in its various forms until this day.

    During the seventies it was still rare to see ladies in blue jeans in church, though some of the more rebellious teens were starting to take steps to that extent.
    Today, it is very popular.
    In fact today (that is in the past few months), I have talked to IFB pastors that have a hard time defining the word "modesty" because they allow tight fitting jeans on their girls and see nothing wrong with it. They won't preach against such "social sins" for they don't see it as sin, as our old time preachers did. Worldiness is sin. When you dress like the world, and you can't tell the Christian from the world even by their dress, something is wrong. My wife applied for a job at a retail store. They had dress standards written into the contract that she had to sign. The dress standards that she had to adhere to in a secular store were higher than the IFB pastor's standard, that I referred to. It is a shame when a church's standard is lower than the world's standard.
     
  19. Mexdeaf

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    DHK,

    (Sarcasm alert) Jesus said that they will know we are his disciples by how we dress, right? (sarcasm alert off).

    Why does everyone equate 'worldly' with 'well, we never used to do it that way.' If that were the case, off with the suits and on with the robes. Where do you draw the line? How far back do you go? Petticoats?

    FTR and FYI, my wife doesn't wear pants. That was a personal decision that we made. As her husband I am the only man who has the right to set dress standards for her. I also am a pastor but that does not give me the right to set standards for any other lady in our congregation. All I can do is point out the Bible standard- which is modesty- and allow the Holy Spirit to do His job. And He does far better than I ever could.
     
  20. DHK

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    The Bible, though in its entirety is inspired of the Holy Spirit, is not made up of those red letters that Jesus spoke alone. There is more to it than that. Paul spoke of modesty. He also said for the older women to teach the younger women to be chaste and modest. Perhaps you should ask the older women in your church to define modesty for you if you don't know what it is. They are the ones that are to teach the younger ones what modesty is.

    Titus 2:3-5 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
    4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
    4 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

    chaste (hagnos) from the same as 40; properly, clean, i.e. (figuratively) innocent, modest, perfect:--chaste, clean, pure. (Strong's)
    Find out what "modest" means, first.

    The Holy Spirit does not go contrary to his Word. There is a line that is drawn somewhere. Those who go to nudist camps have drawn their line; where do you draw yours? The object is not to be conformed to the world, but rather to be conformed to the image of Christ. The goal is to be as close to the Lord as possible. Most Christians I meet today want to live as close to the world as possible, to identify with the world as much as possible. They don't want to stand out as a Christian. They don't want to be identified as a Christian, either in their dress or in their music.
     

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