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What Does Love Not The World Really Mean?

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:21 pm
by WildernessWillie
What does love not the world really mean?

While in the Institutional Church, 1 John 2:15 was preached with passion on many occasions

(Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.)

Along with many qualifiers, or what is meant. Thus as a “Christian” you shouldn’t:

Watch TV “it is of the world”
Go to movies “it is of the world”
Watch or attend sporting events “it is of the world”
Listen to rock, country, pop, rap or other worldly music “it is of the world”
Consume alcohol in any fashion even if you don’t get intoxicated “it is of the world”
Go to public beaches or swimming pools “it is of the world”

I could probably think of a few more, and so could you. So I was thinking. Where do we/you draw the line and what is really “of the world”?

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:53 am
by ianstephenson
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Re: What Does Love Not The World Really Mean?

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:42 am
by Bull of the Woods
WildernessWillie wrote:What does love not the world really mean?

While in the Institutional Church, 1 John 2:15 was preached with passion on many occasions

(Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.)

Along with many qualifiers, or what is meant. Thus as a “Christian” you shouldn’t:

Watch TV “it is of the world”
Go to movies “it is of the world”
Watch or attend sporting events “it is of the world”
Listen to rock, country, pop, rap or other worldly music “it is of the world”
Consume alcohol in any fashion even if you don’t get intoxicated “it is of the world”
Go to public beaches or swimming pools “it is of the world”

I could probably think of a few more, and so could you. So I was thinking. Where do we/you draw the line and what is really “of the world”?
I have not been eccouraged within the "church world" to grab hold of any of these kinds of things in my 36+ years as a believer. But I imagine there are pockets of folks out there with that kind of mindset. I think they would be extremely easy to avoid as most believers in the US pretty much do what everyone around them does when it comes to TV, Movies, Sports Events, music taste, drinking alcohol and even swimming! I don't think we could begin to establish the idea that the general mass of believers are being told they shouldn't do most of these things. I think its been a long time since any significant movement was afoot that was attempting to lay a guilt trip on folks for watching TV or going to movies or dancing.
But I do admit I can't stand rap music for more than maybe 20 seconds and a large proportion of what is on TV is pathetic, but my avoidance of it is not due to some so called "institutional church" constraints. Its just a matter of good taste.

Re: What Does Love Not The World Really Mean?

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:02 am
by AidaC
Great question, Willie, and one that I feel is worth discussing since I'm sure others have the same struggles as you've described. Although the list of don'ts that have been presented to me haven't been as extreme as yours, I've also had a list that was presented either subtly or not so subtly as to what is acceptable behavior for a believer. As a result, I struggled with feeling that I had to agree with that list and I looked down on other believers who didn't adhere to the same "high standard" that I did. That "standard" is so ingrained in me that I recently found myself thinking negatively of some believers when I saw them taking a drink with their dinner. Fortunately, I realized where I was heading and pulled myself back.
ianstephenson wrote:Sometimes we put too much emphasis on what was admittedly written by just another person.


That being said, I agree with Ian. Despite what we may have been taught, none of the NT writers wrote those letters to us. Their letters were written to and for the people to whom they were addressed so I don't see how we can take what they said and make it a set of rules that we have to obey today. We really have little to no idea what was going on with the recipients of John's letter and there were probably circumstances that he was addressing that may not apply to us yet we try to make them fit. Sometimes, that's a pretty long stretch and, as a result, we can wind up with some really peculiar ideas.

The apostle Paul also wrote that nothing is prohibited to us as believers but we have to determine if that behavior is beneficial. While I also don't believe that's a law we're supposed to follow, I do believe it's good advice. So, when I make a decision, I now try to use love as my guide and I ask myself if that behavior would be harmful to me or to someone else. If the answer is "yes," then I know it's not beneficial so I should refrain from doing it. If the answer is "no," then it's okay for me to do.
ianstephenson wrote:We could go round and round in circles so I tend to think about the seemingly simple statements of Jesus to love love God and love your neighbour and that these two commandments are synonymous / equal to each other.

How much easier it is to live with these two commandments instead of trying to parse the many and varied edicts of prohibition.
Once again, Ian has said it well. Like him, I think we need to keep things simple and not make them more complicated than they really are.