What is worldliness?

마틴로이드존스 목사님의 “육신” 강해

Worldliness is departing from God. It is a man-centred way of thinking; it proposes objectives which demand no radical breach with man’s fallen nature; it judges the importance of things by the present and material results; it weighs success by numbers; it covets human esteem and wants no unpopularity; it knows no truth for which it is worth suffering; it declines to be a ‘fool for Christ’s sake’.
So if worldliness isn’t watching Chariots of Fire or enjoying bodily pleasures, what is it? A closer examination of such texts as Romans 12:2 or 1 John 2:15, reveals that, while real worldliness has several facets, its essence is an acceptance of the presuppositions of the world. This is the heart of Paul’s exhortation in Romans 12. After urging his readers to be not conformed to the world, Paul adds that we are to be “transformed by the renewing of [our] mind.” Paul, in a manner certainly inconsistent with the anti-intellectual pietism of our day, places the emphasis on our thinking. He does this because from the heart (i.e., the mind””see Clark’s Religion, Reason, and Revelation, chapter 2) flow the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23, cf. Matthew 15:17-20). Worldliness is primarily an epistemological issue.

The mind is the battleground of the conflict between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. Paul insists that “though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds), casting down imaginations [arguments, NKJV], and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). This is what lies behind the apostle’s warning that we be not deceived by “philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments [first principles or presuppositions] of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8).
When I speak of “the world” in this paper, I mean those people who think only, or chiefly, of this world’s things, and neglect the world to come–the people who are always thinking more of earth than of heaven, more of time than of eternity, more of body than the soul, more of pleasing man than of pleasing God. It is of them and their ways, habits, customs, opinions, practices, tastes, aims, spirit, and tone, that I am speaking when I speak of “the world.” This is the world from which Paul tells us to “Come out and be separate.”