Is “Enmity” the Problem?? Pt.1

I have been wanting to write a few words on this subject for a while now, but was unsure how to address it.  The problem I find myself facing is in trying to expound upon, further illuminate, or unveil something that is crystal clear in Scripture.  When something is presented in a straightforward manner (black and white, so to speak) but is completely ignored by a great number of those professing Christ, what conclusion can be made?  The passage I am referring to is James 4:4

 Ye adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world maketh himself an enemy of God.

Maybe it is the word “enmity” that is used in so many translations of Scripture.  Perhaps because interpreters have often chosen this uncommon (and often misunderstood) word many have not come to comprehend the full meaning of this passage.  It seems obvious enough what the meaning of enmity truly is, for the statement is made twice, using slightly different terms, to make the meaning more than clear.  Those who seek friendship with the world make themselves God’s enemy.  You read correctly….enemy.  When was the last time you went to a church service and heard the Pastor state that there were people in the crowd who have been striving, working toward the goal of making themselves an enemy of the Lord?  Probably never.  In many churches it is simply stated that God has a wonderful plan for your life if you would just let him in the door to your heart (a message found absolutely no where in Scripture).  But here we have it stated quite clearly that we can indeed become an enemy of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.  Yikes!

So how does someone go about making themselves a friend of the world (and therefore an enemy of God)?  The same way any friendship is made.  Spending time together, learning to appreciate the same entertainments, discussing and evaluating issues and coming to a common view, and other such activities.  Looking at just these few methods brings up an obvious question.  Are you and I making ourselves friends with the world?  Do we watch the same TV networks, programs and sports as those who are lost around you?  Do you listen to music that sounds just like the world’s music so that the others will see “there is no difference, Christian don’t miss out on anything”?  Do you invite people to church knowing your church will be viewed as friendly, or with the knowledge that they will hear the Word of God?  Do you have more in common with the viewpoints of secular organizations such as the Republican Party, the NRA, or United Way than you do with the political and social views of God as explained in Scripture?  Do you try to justify your social & political views with Bible or do you search the bible to try to learn what your views should be?  In other words, do you try to be a well-liked Christian or do you just try to be a Christian?

If the World hated the most humble, giving, loving, righteous and kind man who ever walked the face of the Earth, and in fact hated Him so much they tortured and crucified Him, why does it get along with you and I just fine?  Please do not flatter yourself with the notion that you know how to blend Christianity and culture better than Christ did (and do so in a Godly way)!  Jesus Himself told us that if we are humble and giving servants of Him, preaching the Gospel wherever we went, we would be hated.

 

Read John 15:18-19

 If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

 This passage is also very clear.  If you are truly not of the world you will be hated.  Period.  So why does everyone at work, your old friends from high school, and your neighbors all like you?  I am not suggesting Christians should strive for unpopularity.  What I am saying is we should strive for radical love and obedience to Christ, and let the chips fall where they may.  Preach the Gospel to all creatures (especially if you truly care for them) and live an upright life.  Not to earn salvation, but because you have already been purchased by Christ and belong to Him.  Bring glory to his name not an increase in diameter to your social circle.

When one takes the time to think about it, it is obvious that this problem of ignoring the word “enmity” is not limited to individuals.  Many modern churches are striving to be friends with the world as well.  View a sampling of Rick Warren videos on YouTube or Google sometime and see how many different groups he agrees with.  When speaking to Jews he never discusses Jesus.  When speaking with Muslims he only discusses the common ground found in the Old Testament.  When speaking with Reformed groups he states he agrees with Reformed theology.  He will be anything to anybody to gain their friendship.  How is this not striving to become friends with the world?  It is not just polite small talk so he can access a platform in which to preach the Gospel, because he never actually goes back and preaches the Gospel, just self-help and friendship.  The reason I am picking on Rick Warren is because he is a highly visible example of how Christian ministries are NOT supposed to operate.  Where did Paul and Peter ever compromise their message of repentance and the exclusivity of Christ to become friends with the world?  It takes Scripture twisting of Olympian proportions to say “I have become all things to all men” actually meant Paul agreed with heretics so they would like him!  Why are so many churches and individual Christian ashamed of the true Gospel message (repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Jesus name) when around the lost?  We are more concerned with making them comfortable around us and in our churches than offering them the only message that brings eternal life.  It is not loving or “relevant” to deny them the Gospel nor is it true friendship to make them comfortable living in unrepentant sin.  It is hateful and selfish, leading only to our popularity within worldly social circles while condemning them to an eternity in torment, all so we can maintain a level of social comfort.   Worst of all, it denies the glory due to Jesus Christ who bought you.

What about music?  Why is it that so many churches claim they have “freedom in Christ”, but the first thing they do with that freedom is to play worship music that is nearly identical to popular worldly music?  Is it impossible to write and play Godly music without mimicking the ungodly?  I have heard of many churches now actually playing AC/DC, Jonas Brothers, and other worldly music unashamedly in their Sunday morning services in an attempt to be relevant.  The stated purpose is to make the lost comfortable in Church.  “Church” is by the very definition of the word the body of Christ.  How can the lost be comfortable?!?  Talk about not understanding the word “enmity”!  Wow!

If after examining ourselves and our churches, we are found to be walking shamefully after the world’s affection, what are we to do?  Repent, and again submit to the Lordship of Christ, asking His forgiveness and the mercy available even now because of His work on the Cross.  He paid for all sins, even for the adultery of ignoring our first love and flirting with another.  Of course, a life with a trademark of disobedience and the affection not of Christian Brothers and Sisters, but of the lost indicates not a wandering, but that you yourself are not redeemed (read 1st John).  Repent and believe, calling on Christ for the forgiveness of sins.  Cast all your hope of salvation on Him and give him your adoration and loyalty.  Please, do not avoid or misunderstand this passage any more.  Gaze at the word “enmity” until you grasp every ounce of its’ fearful meaning and examine yourself today.  May Christ convict us all of all we should be convicted of, and lead us in His grace!

Also see Is “Enmity” the Problem??  Pt.2 by clicking HERE

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2 Comments on “Is “Enmity” the Problem?? Pt.1”

  1. dana mcdonald Says:

    AHHHH, HOW REFRESHING TO FIND THOSE WHO STILL WANT OUR GRACIOUS GOD’S TRUTH!!!

    I thank my Savior for helping me to find this website.

    Reply

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