Crucified to the World, and The World to You?
Let us then set forth a few subtle forms of worldliness which lure us to the rocks, and wreck our Christian testimony.
1. Our dread of the faces and frowns of worldly men. On the other hand, what a pleasant morsel is the world’s favor and flattery!
2. The unwarranted time we can spend over some trifling hobby instead of “redeeming the time.” We call it relaxation, but there may be much worldliness in it.
3. The ease with which we can sit in slippered feet noting the world’s news when we might be giving the “good news” to lost men. We refuse to endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. Our soft little “world” has us.
4. The prevalent lust for late night lunching and vainglorious witticisms—cheating ourselves of the time needed for God’s fellowship in the Word and prayer next morning. Then we go out ungirt and stripped of our armor to meet the world at large—all because of our own secret inner worldliness.
5. The great place we give to likes, dislikes, and personal choices.
6. How much we are regulated by public opinion, perhaps religious opinion, rather than scriptural principle.
7. How easily we are content to allow this or that thing, be it ever so innocent or lovely, to becloud the world to come.
8. How little we count it a privilege to suffer shame for His name.
9. What expectations we have of great contentment and satisfaction from certain earthly comforts. How fond we are of nice things and luxuries, and how unwilling to forego them for the sake of sending the gospel to the heathen.
10. How we abhor being counted eccentric! How unquestioningly obedient we are to fashion’s decrees, not because the styles are reasonable or right or decent, for they are often most unreasonable and indecent. We are so worldly-minded we would rather be indecent than different. Old King Lust calls thus: “Do this,” and many do it as obediently as any centurion’s servant every obeyed under the lash of his Roman master.
Until we personally take ourselves in hand we need not wonder at the false doctrine, the modernistic “ministry,” the poor church discipline (or none), and the corrupt practices in the church. The whole root of our ruin is found in worldliness. As William Law so well puts it: “The heresy of all heresies is a worldly spirit. Whence is all the degeneracy of the present Christian church? I should place it all in a worldly spirit.”
And now, the ‘offending’ member is to be done to death—not pampered, or even prayed about. It is indeed good to pray for blessing, and to cry out for clean hearts, but not when God says “cut off” and “pluck out.” God has truly cut us off from all evil at the Cross. He now says: It is yours to break with sin—let not sin therefore reign.
(L.E. Maxwell, Born Crucified, 1945)