Friday, November 18, 2011

Be in the world and not of it? Is that Biblical?

How does one apply "be in the world, not of it"? I think, without
sinning, we need to stay current with the changing of the world. I know of youth pastors who have read Twilight so they can better relate to their youth who were obsessed with it, or to stay current on fashion (when it does not become immodest). Becoming immersed in the world is not an option, but
staying clear of it's trends isn't an option either. Just because the world changes all of its ways (usually for the worse) does not mean that we have to stay in ours.
The Bible clearly points out that we are to flee sinful things (such as Twilight) and focus on things that are pure. "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." – Philippians 4:8

To focus on vampires for educational purposes of any kind is plain evil. Why do we need to immerse ourselves in evil, in order to abhor and rebuke those entwined within it? Look at what the Bible says about those who eat or drink blood...."'Any Israelite or any alien living among them who eats any blood—I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from his people. For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life. Therefore I say to the Israelites, "None of you may eat blood, nor may an alien living among you eat blood." Leviicus 17:10-12

I don't see where imitating the world is advised in Scripture. In fact, all I see is the direct opposite (see verses below). I'm also wondering where this "in the world but not of it" is coming from anyway?

"...the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one." 1 John 5:19

"When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there." Deut. 18:9

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1 John 2:15

"Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." 2 Corinthians 6:17

"Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1 John 2:15

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. **If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.** As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. " John 15:18-19

"They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified." John 17:16-20 [sanctify means to be made holy]

"Friendship with the world is enmity to God." James 4:4

"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." Ephesians 5:1-2

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2

"Do not be deceived: 'Evil company corrupts good habits.' Awake to righteousness, and do not sin...." 1 Corinthians 15:33-34

We need to be set apart for Jesus! Our focus should not be on the world and their ways, but solely on Jesus and HIS plan for our lives. We will be different from the world, and we will be hated for it. Why work so hard on conforming the outside to blend in, when our motives in this world should stand out and be so different?

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Kelly Howard said...

Amen and AMEN! SALT is course, but adds the flavor where there is none! I totally agree!

Karen UK said...

I think that being in the world simply means that we are physically in the world. But we need to be not of the world, so although we are in it we don't become caught up in its ways. I don't understand the whole submerging yourself in a (sub)culture to try and understand people. That's like saying 'I only view these inappropriate images so I understand what it's like for people with an addiction to it.'
A while ago I heard about (sorry about the vague source!) some people who were being trained to spot forged bank notes. Some studied all kinds of forged notes and some studied the methods used. One person just studied a genuine note. The person most sucessful was the one who studied the real note.They knew the real note so well that they could tell a forgery. If we study God's word -we'll spot the world a mile off and steer clear. If we study worldly things it can become a blur.

Anonymous said...

Candace said...

I full-heartedly agree that as believers we need to abstain from the appearance of evil, and to come out from among them and be separate. Thanks for the collection of verses you posted.

I think that by homeschooling we can train our children in an environment that is sheltered from the world and its ways. But as you implied, it is also good not to be ignorant of the evil as well.

I know of a sheltered young boy who left home, and got into drugs. I feel it was because he wasn't made aware and warned of the evils of this world.

Definitely need to seek the Lord's wisdom as we raise our children!

Marisha said...

We must train our children to be discerning and to run everything they encounter through the filter of God's Word. We have to know what God's Word says and so do they if they are to be equipped to stand against evil. We discuss issues with our children, we take them through the process of discernment with us, but I think it is arrogant and foolish to expose them to things that will have a corrupting influence on their hearts and minds. (For example, watching a movie that you know is evil,just so you will know what is in it and can have conversations about it with your peers.) The answer to your initial question seems to be in the John 17 passage you quoted. As people who have been called out of darkness, we also have a calling to proclaim the truth as long as we live on this earth. In that sense we are "in the world, but not of it." It seems that we should be spending more time exposing ourselves and our children to the truths of God's Word than seeking to be "relevant" through exposure to wicked forms of entertainment. Thank you for posting about this, I've been thinking about it lately too. :)