>I’ve recently been reading a new book edited by C.J. Mahaney called Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World. In the first chapter, C.J. begins by challenging his readers as to whether or not 1 John 2:15 is a verse included in our Bible, or if we, like Thomas Jefferson have created our own cut-and-paste Bible.
1 John 2:15 is a short, to the point and abrubt verse … “Do not love the world or anything in the world.”
As C.J. states … it forbids worldliness in no uncertain terms. He goes on … Today, the greatest challenge facing American evangelicals is not persecution from the world, but seduction by the world.
Unlike so many of our Christian brothers and sisters who live in countries with oppressive regimes – where the church is flourishing, by the way – we in America don’t face imminent threat to our families, livelihoods, and well-being for professing faith in Christ. Our peril is far more obscure and far more insidious. We aren’t under attack from without; we’re decaying from within.
Charles Spurgeon, writing 150 years ago, nevertheless speaks poignantly to the problem in the church today: “I believe, that one reason why the church of God at this present moment has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the church.”
C.J. defines worldliness as a love for this fallen world … loving the values and pursuits of the world that stand opposed to God. More specifically, it is to gratify and exalt oneself to the exclusion of God. It rejects God’s rule and replaces it with our own. It exalts our opinions above God’s truth. It elevates our sinful desires for the things of this fallen world above God’s commands and promises.
Other chapters in the book include:
God, My Heart, and Media
God, My Heart, and Music
God, My Heart, and Stuff
God, My Heart, and Clothes
How to Love the World
I pray that I would continue to resist the seduction of this fallen world.