Happy are the people whose God is the Lord.
Psalm 144:15

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Do We Embrace the World?

"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."
James 4:4

Dear Sisters,

I am ecstatic to find the amount of like-minded, sweet hearted, Christian, young ladies that are spreading truth without fear in "blogging land". It's a delight to see sisters building up their siblings, daughters honoring their parents, talented artisans developing their gifts and thoughtful, mature women living and learning life. This is what prompted me to join such a community, the lovely, wholesome, God-honoring words of righteousness, sweet pictures and delightful humor. I love reading posts that encourage and edify me to live in a deeper understanding of Christ's power, but of late I have been saddened by a wave of blogs and posts that do not glorify God, that tear down purity and honor and create desires that young women should not have or want. These posts are enemies of the Lord's work, they tempt and destroy years of faithfulness in the hearts of our brothers and sisters. What is so sad is that many of these authors are proclaiming Christ while advocating the world and it's fleshly desires. The world and the Spirit are not one~ they are enemies, opposites more different than night and day. When we talk, look, act, write, sing and photograph like the world; what is different? Nothing; we are one and the same. In Matthew 5:13 God says, "You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost it's flavor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under the foot of man." When there is no difference between the unsaved and the flavorless "Christian", we are useless, good for nothing, and lukewarm. This quote of Matthew Henry gives some insight:

"We have fair warning to avoid all criminal friendships with this world: "You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?" Worldly people are here called adulterers and adulteresses, because of their perfidiousness of God, whilethey give their best affections to the world. Covetousness is elsewhere called idolatry, and it is here called adultery; it is a forsaking of him to whom we are devoted and espoused, tocleave to other things; there is this brand put upon worldly-mindedness—that it is enmity to God. A man may have a competent portion of the good things of this life, and yet may keep himself in the love of God; but he who sets his heart upon the world, who places his happiness in it, and will conform himself to it, and do any thing rather than lose its friendship, he is an enemy to God; it is constructive treason and rebellion against God to set the world upon his throne in our hearts. Whosoever therefore is the friend of the world is the enemy of God. He who will act upon this principle, to keep the smiles of the world, and to have its continual friendship, cannot but show himself, in spirit, and in his actions too, an enemy to God. You cannot serve God and mammon."

Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. also elaborates on this subject,
"Too often we train our children to make their way in the world. I want to train my children to make war on the world.” In the days that have passed I have been asked by several different people not what such training would look like, not how my children make war on the world, not what are the weapons of their warfare, but what do I mean by “the world.” That expression, the world, is in fact used in different ways in the Bible. Sometimes it refers to the whole of the created order. Sometimes it refers to the whole of humanity, as in John 3:16. Other times, however, it refers clearly to the city of man, to the army of the serpent. When John warns us that “If anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in him” (I John 2:15) he is not suggesting that God’s love for the world in John 3:16 means that the love of the Father is not in the Father. Here “world” refers to the world system, that realm of darkness out of which we have been called.

It is a sure sign of our worldliness that warring with the world is seen as someone nonspiritual, rather than the zenith of spiritual maturity. We have come to believe that we love the world in a John 3:16 sense by loving the world in a I John 2:15 sense, and the devil just laughs.

I understand the temptation. The very first time I broke open the Word publicly, when I was 9, I followed in the same path. At Bible camp I had been chosen by my cabin to be counselor for the day. My duties included leading evening devotions. My brilliant theme? What if, I wondered, the biblical account of creation, and the scientific theory of evolution could both be true?!?!? And so that evening I shared by insights with my little troop. My hope was that not only might I not offend anyone but I might help my charges not to offend others in the future.

CS Lewis, in his brilliant Screwtape Letters, warns us against the temptation of Christianity and… It doesn't matter what we add. Vegetarianism, socialism, nudism, libertarianism, if added to the Christian faith will swallow the Christian faith. He was right. But there is another danger, Christianity minus… We are always looking for ways to keep the faith, and lose its hard edges. Nowhere is this more so than our desire to hold on the faith, and jettison the truth that we will be hated by the world. Every generation we find new ways to try the same folly. Hipster Christianity is just a younger demographic of the same spirit that wafts through Willow Creek and Saddleback. Let us remove the offense, and keep, what exactly?

What the world hates about us isn’t our conservative politics. It isn’t our disapproval of their sexual escapades. It isn’t our insistence in disbelieving Darwin. What the world hates about us is Jesus in us. If they don’t hate us, John is telling us, Jesus isn’t in us. There is no safe,reasonable, palatable Christian faith. There is only faith and unbelief. If the world does not hate you, fear for your soul. If the world does hate you, blessed are you for great is your reward in

"As you love your souls, beware of the world: it has slain its thousands and ten thousands. What ruined Lot's wife?-the world. What ruined Achan?- the world. What ruined Haman? - the world. What ruined Judas? -the world. What ruined Simon? -the world. What ruined Demas? -the world, and "what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?"
- 6000 Sermon Illustrations

In Psalm 101:3 David says, "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me."
Cleave? What does to cleave mean? Here is the definition: "to cling closely, steadfastly, or faithfully to somebody or something. to unite aptly ; to fit, to adhere, to stick, to hold on to, to be united in interest or affection; to adhere to with strong attachment." Are we united in interest or affection with the work of them that turn aside? Do we set evil before our eyes? In blogging, not only are we setting our posts before our own eyes- we are setting them before the world to read and glean from. What will the many souls, searching our blogs find? Will they find God's wisdom and knowledge or man's pleasure?

Our Music: Is it full of praise and glory to Him who made our ears to hear, or is it sensual in rhythm or lyrics? Do we embrace or entertain ourselves with the world's sensual music? Do the lyrics of the songs back up Scripture? Does it promote biblical thoughts concerning; purity of heart, courtship, marriage and treating men and boys as brothers in Christ?

Our Writing: Do we write in a direct, mature way- not using terms and slang that the world admires? "Like, whatever"...."Sweet,dude"..."like, that was totally random?" (Providence and Randomness do not coincide.)... "This post rocks"...."what a rock star!" (Do the lives of rock stars glorify God with their lifestyles, if not should we be praising someone with this phrase?) Are these terms full of loveliness and discretion?

Our Speech: Does each sentence, word and exclamation mark honor HIS name? Are we viewing men and boys in a right and pure way? Are we focusing on our outward appearance, more than our heart appearance?("As a ring of gold in a swine's snout, so is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion."Prov. 11:22) Is our heart striving to "fit it" with the crowd? All of these questions are vastly important in regards to matters of the heart. The Lord says we are to, "keep our heart with all diligence; for out of it spring the issues of life." (Proverbs 4:23) Our heart is precious in God's sight. We were bought with a price, therefore let us gratefully bless the buyer by delighting in His commands.

Our Videos: Is the visual entertainment we post and link to, full of grace and glory. Do the people interacting on screen praise God or blaspheme Him? Do the clothing and attitudes of the men and women portray modesty, humility, innocence and a quiet and gentle spirit?

Our Pictures: When others see our photos do they think of the world? Do we look like what we claim to be-Christians? Is there a true look of unsophistication, simplicity and virtue to our pictures? Do they focus on me, myself and I, or do they lift up our families and friends and godly men and women of faith? We recently went to a conference where we heard Taryn and Mirren Martin of Biblical Discipleship Ministries. They exhorted, "If you took everything off your blog about yourself, how much would be left?" This has been convicting to me in all areas of my life.

These are hard issues to evaluate, I would love if you girls would keep me accountable. If you see anything on my blog or in my life, that is questionable or does not glorify God, please let me know. I would love to have your counsel.

Love, Maddie

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever
things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be
any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Philippians 4:8

Here are a couple of external
sites and resources that relate to this subject:

Grace Gems: A free daily devotional of Puritan writings.
Identity Theft: A two part message by Doug Phillips Esq.
Charles Spurgeon's writings- The Prince of Preachers

P.S. ~
Today, I visited Grace Malley's blog, it was encouraging and uplifting, it made me want to go out and tell others of Christ and His goodness. Check it out and tell me what you think. :)

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