Post Number: 8
|Posted on Saturday, June 24, 2006 - 4:51 pm: || |
I sometimes wonder what is the world to the evangelical ...Sometimes, they say that after baptism, you should turn your back to the world ..Does that mean that you don't have the right to have a social and healthy life ..Should the christian life be a yoke and a life of frustration ...? sometimes, I wonder wht would the social life of the christian if he shouldn't be in the world ...
Post Number: 1809
|Posted on Saturday, June 24, 2006 - 5:24 pm: || |
There are some excellent references to the subject of world and worldliness at this link:
In Adventism, worldliness was always defined in such silly external rules and regulations. In short, i believe worldliness is buying into the world system of false theology, and false belief systems. It has nothing to do with abstaining from things that the Bilble does not mention is sin.
Post Number: 1810
|Posted on Saturday, June 24, 2006 - 8:33 pm: || |
There is a very good article on worldliness by a Lutheran scholar Gene Veith:
Here is an excerpt:
Christians exercising their vocations in the secular culture must assess their activity in secular terms, which are also under God's sovereignty. A Christian artist may well express his faith in his art, but the quality of the art lies primarily not in its theological message but in its aesthetic excellence, since the laws of aesthetics have been ordained by God in his creation. There is no need for a distinctly Christian approach to music, plumbing, computer science, physics, or wood-carving, because all of these things, no matter how secular or non-religious they appear, already fall under God's sovereignty."
Post Number: 4214
|Posted on Saturday, June 24, 2006 - 10:35 pm: || |
Bobby, I believe "the world" is everything that keeps us from intimacy with God. It actually may not look exactly the same for every person.
When I was leaving the Adventist church, I realized that God was asking me to surrender every identity except belonging to Him. I remember the shock I felt one day, as I was pondering that Jesus was asking me to give up everything that I knewˇmy comfortable place in my Adventist community, my Adventist bread-and-butter client (an independent Adventist magazineˇAdventist Today), my professional name-recognition within my Adventist circlesˇin short, EVERYRTHINGˇfor the sake of following Him wherever He was going to lead me.
My real shock came as I realized that all of my identity and existence was within the churchˇand Adventism itself was "the world" God was calling me to leave. It wasn't a hedonistic lifestyle or regular "worldly" pursuitsˇno; the world I was to leave behind was the religious and professional and personal nest of Adventism. Adventism was my identityˇand God was calling me to a new one: daughter of God.
I believe, Bobby, that as you pray for God to reveal to you the truth He wants you to know and to show you the things He wants you to change, He will do that. He Himself is our great reward; knowing Him is greater joy than every other attainment.
I am reading a book by Noel Piper (wife of John Piper) called "Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God". In her biographical sketch of Lilias Trotter, a woman who spent most of her life (aged 30 on) ministering to Muslims in Algiers during the last part of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th. Lilias was a gifted artist and the renowned English artist John Ruskin offered to take her as a pupil when she was in her 20s.
Lilias was pursuing both her art and an inner city ministry in London during those years, and Ruskin became frustrated with her for not concentrating more on her painting. She was spending too much time, he felt, on the streets of London. He finally laid it all out in front of her and said that if she would devote herself to perfecting her painting, "she would be the greatest living painter and do things that would be immortal."
Lilias agonized for day, praying for God to make it clear to her what her calling was. She loved her art (after all, it was a God-given talent), and she knew God could use her influence as a Christ-follower for the Kingdom through that sphere. But in the end she wrote in her journal, "I see as clear as daylight now, I cannot give myself to painting in the way [Ruskin] means and continue still to 'seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness'."
She chose to continue to enjoy her art "as a gift, not a passion," and she threw herself completely into her ministry to which she knew God was calling her.
Years later she wrote this, "Never has it been so easy to live in half a dozen good harmless worlds at onceˇArt, music, social science, games, motoring, the folowing of some profession, and so on. And between them we run the risk of drifting about, the 'good' hiding the 'best.'...
"it is easy to find out whether our lives are focussed, and if so, where the focus lies. Where do our thoughts settle when consciousness comes back in the morning? Where do they swing back when the pressure is off during the day?...Dare to have it out with God...and ask Him to show you whether or not all is focussed on Christ and His glory..
"How do we bring things to a focus in the world of optics? Not by looking at the things to be dropped, but by looking at the one point that is to be brought out. Turn your soul's vision to Jesus, and look and look at Him, and a strange dimness will come over all that is apart from Him."
So, Bobby, I believe the world is whatever God clarifies to us he wants us to give up for His sake. He is our existence, the one for Whom we live and breathe. And even though all things come from Him and may be in themselves good, still God asks us to give up perfectly good things, sometimes, in order to pursue Him and the work He brings us with passion.
God is faithful; He will reveal to you the "world" from which He is calling youˇand He will give you Himself as you respond in trust and faith.
Post Number: 115
|Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 5:14 am: || |
I think I'm going to copy the section on the artist and paste it into my art website... is that okay?
Post Number: 4220
|Posted on Sunday, June 25, 2006 - 8:29 pm: || |
Sureˇjust say it came from Noel Piper's book!
Post Number: 116
|Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 12:26 am: || |
Thanks! I put it up here: http://art-for-jesus.blogspot.com/
Also, along similar lines (about "the world" and what keeps you from God) is the book "The Great Divorce" by C.S. Lewis...
Post Number: 22
|Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 2:56 pm: || |
Agapetos, that's one of my favorite books... I love how real Heaven is compared to how weak and transparent the bus passengers are.
Colleen, my father-in-law is in the "Adventist World" you describe. I never see him reading anything that's not Adventist centered, and certainly won't look at anything written or produced by non-Adventists. I guess that's his protection? I pray that his eyes will open like yours did. What a crusader he would be!
Post Number: 547
|Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006 - 3:05 pm: || |
That is one of my favorite books too! I love how it gives us a fresh look at the 'little' preoccupations of 'everyday life' and how they can get between us and God just as surely, and often more effectively, as the 'big sins'.