In John 17, Jesus is teaching his disciples a pretty lengthly lesson. Aware that his crucifixion is near, he really starts to remind his disciples that he is about to be gone. To prepare them for life without the physical presence of Jesus near them, he shares these words:
“I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” -John 17:15-16
Some Christians over the years have gotten this idea messed up. They think that to steer clear from worldliness, they need to detach themselves from the world. By building isolated communities or removing any possible influential mediums from homes or joining a monastery, many people have attempted to live detached from the world.
But Christ didn’t call us to detach from the world. How can we impact a world if we are detached from it? Jesus asked God to keep the disciples in the world. He asked for protection from the evil one. But he made that statement that led to a popular coined phrase today that Christians are to be in the world but not of the world.
Recently, many Christian leaders are advocating for a removal of Christians from tempting environments. Christ would desire that we live in the world but unscathed by the world. His prayer is that we could live in the middle of a worldly culture and still persevere by loving Jesus.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
1 thought on “Worldliness #2 (or how to join a monastery)”
This is the hardest thing to do because when you see something or hear something you can’t help but get it into your mind. Have you ever heard the saying “Monkey see, Monkey do”. That is especially true about bad language; you hear it in your head even though you don’t say it, it stays there like a good song you can’t get out of your mind. It is hard to stand up and do right when all around you are not, especially with the devil in your ear saying it is okay, just a little won’t hurt or just one time will be okay. I don’t like to have my kids watch tv because everything that is on it is implying that culture today everyone is having sex with the same sex or just having sex before marriage and it is okay, they assured me that they know, I just hope so.
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