Friendship with the World
Is "Emnity with God"
Stan Cox


"Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (James 4:4)

Recently, while reading through the Dallas Morning News, I ran across the review capsules of all movies now playing in the metroplex. Out of the 34 movies reviewed over two pages, I found three movies (one an unrated documentary, and two movies designated as kids' movies) which did not indicate a presence of strongly objectionable content. Among the other movies, 13 R's, 12 PG-13's, and several others not rated, but with strong sexual content, I found the following snippets: (These are representative, not exhaustive)

  1. A sex thriller about an unhappy psychiatrist who has an affair, leading to blackmail, murder and betrayal. (R: Language, violence, drug use, nudity, sexuality).
  2. A Flowering S&M (Sadism & Masochism) relationship between a shy secretary and her demanding new boss. (R: Language, nudity, violence sexuality).
  3. A woman, about to marry, has to go home and divorce a man she left, but never legally divorced. (PG-13: Language, sex).
  4. A super-agent saves the world, the portrayal of which consists of sight gags, bathroom humor, and sexual situations. (PG-13: Language, sexuality, gross humor).
  5. Two rock groupies reunite after 20 years, revealing how one has changed, and the other remained a "free spirit." (R: Language, drugs, sex, nudity).
  6. A surfer movie starring 4 young girls trying to grow up. (PG-13: Drug and alcohol use, sexual situations, language).
  7. A "righteous" cop, whose "druggie" son has gone the criminal route. (R: Language, violence, drugs, sexuality, nudity).
  8. An FBI agent who suffers a breakdown when taunted by a serial killer. (R: violence, language, sex).
  9. Adaptation of a 1902 Adventure novel about a British soldier in Sudan. (PG-13: Violence, language, sexuality).
  10. Brutal London gangster movie. (R: Strong violence, language, sexuality, nudity).
  11. A bored retail worker who falls for a mysterious, dark stranger. (R: Sexuality, language, drug use, violence).
  12. A bright kid rebels against his dysfunctional family. (R: Sex, language, drug use).
  13. Long time couple finally decide to marry, but bridegroom becomes infatuated with a teenaged girl. (R: Sex, language, drugs, nudity).
  14. Two romances, one contemporary and one in Victorian times. (PG-13: Sexuality, nudity).
  15. A desperately lonely and disturbed man goes beserk when he uncovers a sordid secret in the family he is stalking. (R: Language, violence, sexuality, nudity).

I could go on and on I suppose, but surely 15 examples are enough. I find it laughable that the Hollywood types talk about the need for "realism" in their film-making after seeing just the small sampling of plot synopses above. Obviously, Hollywood has an agenda, and that agenda is the propagation of a morality which is antagonistic toward God and His will for man.. Now, before we make the obvious moral application to this material, there are a few things to note. First, it is important to point out the way in which Hollywood packages the above films. On a page adjacent to the capsules mentioned above, the film industry has its ads for the big budget movies. Note the following:

Whether the ads downplay the objectionable material contained in the movie, or glory in it, the movies are portrayed as sophisticated, enjoyable, and appealing. This is a classic example of the Devil's wiles (cf. Ephesians 6:11). And our children are being taken in by the ungodliness.

Second, we must note that such ungodly snares are not relegated only to Hollywood. In addition to the the movies, and the likewise objectionable television programming, we find a proliferation of pornography on the internet. Witness also the rise of a new class of "soft porn" found in such magazines for men as Maxim, FHM and Gear magazines. Such magazines portray themselves as being "For young, professional men who are confident, fun, and intelligent."

The fashion industry plays its part, influencing attractive young women to wear the most revealing and risque' of fashions. Schools allow such dress during the day and at extracurricular functions. Mothers encourage their daughters to dress like sirens, while their fathers stand affably silent, encouraging promiscuity by not discouraging such attire.

Add the easy availability of illicit drugs, and the even greater problem of ubiquitous alcohol. Sprinkle in liberal attitudes championed by an alphabet soup of organizations such as the ACLU, NOW, NEA, and SEICUS. Top it off by a society that is awash in leisure time and disposable income. What do you have? The world. A world which is dangerously enticing to the people of God.

The Proper Attitude Toward Worldliness

In a nutshell, we quoted from James the proper attitude which Christians should have toward worldliness. "...Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." Instead of harboring an affection for ungodliness and immorality, James further states, "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up" (James 4:7-10)

If any of us have harbored illicit desire for such evil pursuits, we would do well to heed James' exhortation. While the devil places an alluring patina upon these worldly entanglements, in reality they are ugly and destructive. Do not be deceived! "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

A Conclusion: Stated Positively

The Bible is replete with the condemnation of such ungodliness. Warnings are given again and again about the dangers. "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever" (1 John 2:15-17).

Scripture also states positively the type of mindset the child of God should have. I will conclude this article with several for your consideration:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-25).

"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:2-8).

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:8-9).


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