Tag Archives: Worldliness

Beer & Brats after Church – Everyone’s Invited

The local Lutheran Church is hosting a “Traditional Oktoberfest” today following their morning worship services. Complete with an outdoor tent, there’ll be “German music, Brats & Beer!” Hot dogs and wine will also be available. Everyone is invited to wear a costume. Admission and food is free – but they’ll charge you for the booze.

The word worldly means “relating or devoted to the temporal world.” Worldliness is the condition of being concerned with worldly things, especially to the neglect of spiritual things. Scripture has much to say about “worldliness,” none of it good.

In fact, there is to be a clear distinction between worldly people and Christians. Read Paul’s instruction to the Ephesian brethren: This I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles walk…(Ephesians 4.17).

He wrote to the Christians in Corinth to go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you (2 Corinthians 6.17) and James encouraged his readers to keep oneself unstained by the world (James 1:27).

Perhaps the clearest language on this matter is Romans 12.1-2, Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Peter reminds Christians that we should refrain from worldly behavior: But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2.9).

Without meaning to be harsh or judgmental, I see a great inconsistency in professing to worship God in holiness one hour and then conducting a “traditional Oktoberfest” complete with beer and wine the next. How is that different from the world? How does that proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light?

grace and peace to you all
Bill

 

Framing the Argument

There is a saying in politics that goes like this: “He who frames the issue, wins the debate.” In our culture today, I might say it like this: “He who frames the emotionally convincing argument, wins the debate.”

Correspondingly, it is often true that the one who frames the argument first, loudest, and most forcefully will win the cultural debate at stake.

Satan is a master at framing cultural debates today in an emotionally convincing way so that the world swallows his lies (John 8.44, Revelation. 12.15-17). For example, notice how these issues are framed with an emotionally convincing message.

Abortion is framed as a woman’s choice. It is her body and her right to choose.

Homosexuality is framed as an alternative lifestyle between loving individuals.

Gay marriage is framed as a civil rights and civil liberties issue similar to the rights of women and minorities.

Fornication is framed as an act of love, passion, and pleasure.

Christians are framed as intolerant, archaic, insensitive, and legalistic.

Do you see what Satan and the world do? They frame an argument in an emotionally convincing and persuasive way that is appealing.

What should Christians do?

1. We must frame our arguments clearly, convincingly, and emotionally.

We must not get lost in all the details, but frame the argument clearly on these issues. For example, abortion is not about a woman’s right to choose; it is about the taking of a human being’s life.

Sadly, it seems to me that the age of people desiring truth as they did in past decades has gone by. People want to know the relevance and meaning behind a truth. Christians should not just present truth and condemn the above sins in a matter-of-fact matter. We must offer an emotionally convincing argument as well. We have one! The story of the cross is the greatest emotionally charged story in the world. It is the drawing power of Christianity (John 12.32). The story of God’s holiness and His hurt and pain experienced because of sin is powerful; and this story is shared throughout the whole Bible. When we teach and preach about the above issues, we need to make our arguments emotional and passionate. The truth should be taught with love (Ephesians 4.15).

2. We must unveil the falsehood of Satan’s arguments.

Satan is not going to win (Revelation 19-20). But it seems that his lies are winning the hearts of Americans and many Christians. These emotionally charged arguments based on love, kindness, and deeply American values appeal to the masses, especially our young people. Just look at how the opinion on gay marriage has changed so drastically in the last 10 years.  Parents, preachers, youth ministers, and Christians must offer rebuttals to these common arguments heard incessantly in our culture by presenting the truth of God’s Word and calling people to holiness. I am often shocked at how these arguments are believed and not seen for what they are: the lies of Satan. This is the continuing battle between truth and error (1 John 4.1-6, John 8.31-33). We must constantly teach the truth on moral issues, so that it is a bedrock foundation against the world’s convincing lies that constantly assail our brethren.

The arguments are being framed to promote sin. Our culture is buying what Satan is selling. Let’s present the truth about sin and its disastrous consequences (Romans 3.23, 6:23). It might sound like a good argument in our 2013 America, but it will destroy the souls of men (Matthew 16.24-28, 2 Thessalonians 1.7-10).

– Josh Ketchum, Seven Oaks Church of Christ, Mayfield, Kentucky