Thursday, February 07, 2013

The Spirit of the World

The Bible talks about believers avoiding worldliness. But there is a lot of a confusion about worldliness. I don’t intend to try to settle that confusion here, but I suggest as a starting point this definition from my friend:

Worldliness is fallen values expressed in culture.

Here’s a helpful comment from Francis Schaeffer:

The Christian is to resist the spirit of the world.  But when we say this, we must understand that the worldspirit does not always take the same form.  So the Christian must resist the spirit of the world in the form it takes in his own generation. If he does not do this, he is not resisting the spirit of the world at all. (Francis Schaeffer, The God Who Is There)

It seems, at least at times, that some believers are fighting the worldliness of a world that no longer exists. This is because they fail to recognize what Schaeffer says, and what we see all around us—that culture changes as people express their values.

Fallen values are not always expressed in the same way. Therefore, worldliness is not always the same.

Believers must avoid worldliness. But we must give careful thought to what it actually is. Otherwise, we will avoid things we don’t need to and embrace things we should not.

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