Things of this World

I have a number of conversations in passing, which happens when you spend lots of time at places where people stop by to converse.

The person was explaining how we was with some people at a bar, waiting for a ride or some such thing. They were watching the Rockies baseball team. He’s a Christian, and felt compelled to tell them that he wouldn’t enjoy the game with them because it’s worldly, and we’re not supposed to care about ‘things of this world.’

Though that is not a popular view within Christianity, it is not uncommon in some circles, and I admit that when I was young, I wondered myself about sports and other things, whether they were worthy of my time, whether they are things I should care about. I mean, there are always prayer meetings to go to and such.

Now, though, I find that view of the world disturbing. It’s a dualistic view that separates things into secular and spiritual. It’s the kind of view that communicates that we, as Christians, don’t give a damn about people, because we don’t care about what they are interested in and what they participate in. It ignores the fact that God created the world, and that the most important part of the creation is people. It forgets that we live in community, and participating in so-called worldly activities builds community.

Where does this come from in the Bible? If any of you have other Scriptures, please share. Here’s some:

Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world.”
Ephesians 2:2 – “Ways of this world”
Colossians 2:8; 2:20 – “Basic principles of this world”
In all four verses above, it’s not talking about doing certain things, but why we do them, the values that lie underneath, the ideas behind them. It’s not referring to specific activities.

1 Corinthians 7:33 – “But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world–how he can please his wife”
A husband pleasing his wife is a worldly activity in this context.

Luke 16:8 – “For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.”
So true. I sometimes wonder if we, as Christians, have a clue about the world outside our walls. The longer I live, the more I question some of the ‘wisdom’ I was taught by the Christian subculture. Maybe if it was based more on faith than fear…

Anything can be an idol, including our own religiousity. It’s always easier to judge people’s righteousness by what they do or don’t do, rather than than to look into hearts to see the motives behind it.