Vol. 3, No. 7
Friendship with the world is a danger that most Christians ignore. God warns us in the Bible, in James 4:4, that friendship with the world makes one an enemy of God. We are to be in the world, but not of the world (John 17:15-16). It seems that fewer Christians each year are willing to accept this.
When one comes to the worship assembly, one is immediately struck by the casual nature of the dress of many Christians. There are sisters in Christ wearing skirts that are too short and brothers in Christ in shorts. These men and women are showing their friendship with the world in the way they dress. When someone has a job interview, he or she takes the time to dress to impress. He or she wants to be hired. That person dresses in a professional manner suitable to the job for which he is applying. Often, we forget that our attitude is reflected in the clothing we wear. Are we a friend of the world or of Christ?
We should ask ourselves, "What is going wrong when a Christian comes to worship on Sunday morning and then on Sunday afternoon watches an R-rated movie?" Usually an R-rating on a film means it is full of sex, violence, nudity and other things that the Christian should not want to see. Members of the church of our Lord should carefully investigate anything that they are going to view. If a Christian is seen attending this type of film, it can, and will, destroy his or her influence for good. We must be careful not to have friendship with the world.
The world tells us that we should not discipline our children. We are told that to expect them to sit through worship services is demanding too much. We must be some kind of fanatics to think that our children should be there. It grieves this writer deeply to see the disrespect of children for parents shown in nearly every worship assembly. The Bible clearly tells us that if we love our children we should discipline them. Let us not be friends with the world at the cost of our children.
The language of the world is enough to make your ears burn. One of the most shocking things a person can hear today is the voice of a 13 or 14-year-old girl swearing in a manner that would make the proverbial sailor blush. It is revolting to be around most young people in the world and listen to them speak. How much worse is it, therefore, when a man who claims to be a Christian goes to a baseball game and curses at the umpire? Again, while it is tragic that people in the world behave in this manner, it is not surprising. What is surprising is when it is a member of the Lord's church. Christians are to have a preserving influence on society. Just as salt keeps meat from spoiling, so also is the Christian to be a preserving force in our society. When Jesus speaks of salt losing its savor and says that it is then good for nothing, he is speaking of the lack of value of believers who do not stand up for what is right (Matthew 5:13).
Another topic that should be addressed regarding friendship with the world is the Christian and alcohol. Imagine having someone over for dinner and, after you finish your meal, being invited to sniff a few lines of cocaine with them. Most Christians would recoil at this idea. However, if they knew that this same person occasionally drank a beer, would they feel the same disgust? A drug is a drug. Just because the use of the drug alcohol is acceptable to the world does not mean it should be acceptable to Christians. In many ways, the use of alcohol is a prime example of friendship with the world. Those few who support "social drinking" do not have a single reason for practicing this that cannot be directly identified as friendship with the world.
God plainly tells us to come out from among them and be separate. Part of the reason the church has trouble making converts is because the world cannot tell the difference between the world and them. My beloved brethren, the attachments to the world mentioned herein ought not to be. We need to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith. We must prioritize our lives around the Lord. We must remember to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Our need for salvation is great as is our need for staying in the faith thereafter. We cannot maintain our faith if we are friends with the world rather than with God.