Pilgrim’s Keyboard

April 27, 2009


Filed under: Some Famous | Some Not So Famous — pilgrimskeyboard @ 4:28 pm

1 John 2:15  |  Do not love the world or the things in the world.


HUNCHED OVER HIS DESK, penknife in hand, Thomas Jefferson sliced carefully at the pages of Holy Scripture, excising select passages and pasting them together to create a Bible more to his liking. The “Jefferson Bible.” A book he could feel comfortable with.


What didn’t make it into the Jefferson Bible was anything that conflicted with his personal worldview. Hell? It can’t be. The supernatural? Not even worth considering. God’s wrath against sin? I don’t think so. The very words of God regarded as left over scraps.


Christians rightly shudder at such arrogant presumption. And no true Christian would be so bold as to attempt to create his or her own Bible, blatantly omitting whatever they don’t prefer.


But if we are honest, we too may have to admit that we have a Bible of our own making – a metaphorical one, perhaps, but a cut and paste job just the same. For if we ignore any portion of God’s Word – whether unintentionally, conveniently, or deliberately – we too are guilty of Jefferson’s offense.


Sadly, [we too have] been guilty on more than one occasion.  [We’ve] opened [our] Bible[s] and moved quickly to the encouraging and assuring passages, trying to avoid the difficult and challenging passages along the way.


Here’s one verse [we] find easy to ignore. It’s the simple, provocative words in 1 John 2:15  |   Do not love the world or the things in the world. 


There is nothing subtle about this [verse]. It’s abrupt and to the point … It is categorical: “Do not love the world.” It’s comprehensive: “Do not love anything in the world.” And it’s intrusive, strategically aimed at whatever we desire most: “anything in the world.”


It forbids worldliness in no uncertain terms. … Worldliness … is a love for this fallen world. It’s loving the values and pursuits of the world that stand opposed to God. More specifically, it is to gratify and exalt oneself to the exclusion of God. It rejects God’s rule and replaces it with our own (like creating our own Bibles). It exalts our opinions above God’s truth. It elevates our sinful desires for the things of this fallen world above God’s commands and promises. …


What dominates your mind and stirs your heart? Is it discontentment with your life? Longings for earthly pleasures? Does outward prosperity appeal to you more than growth in godliness? Or is your prayer life characterized by heartfelt supplications for God’s will to be done and his kingdom to come?


Do you relate to God as if he exists to further your selfish ambitions or are you convinced that you exist to glorify him? Are you trying to live without God? Iain Murray describes this way of thinking:


Worldliness is departing from God. It is a man-centered way of thing; it proposes objectives which demand no radical breach with man’s fallen nature; it judges the importance of things by the present and material results; it weighs success by numbers; it covets human esteem and wants no unpopularity; it knows no truth for which it is worth suffering; it declines to be “a fool for Christ’s sake”. Worldliness is the mind-set of the unregenerate. It adopts idols and is at war with God.


Do you covet the esteem and crave the approval of those around you? Do you go to great lengths to avoid looking foolish or being rejected for your Christian faith? Do you consider present and material results more important than eternal reward? Have you departed from God and adopted idols instead? Are you at war with God?


These are tough questions, I know; but they are necessary if you’re to discover whether you have been infected with the disease of worldliness. [C.J. Mahaney, editor, Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World, (Wheaton, IL, Crossway Books, 2008), 15-16, 27-28 (adapted).]   


2 Corinthians 13:5  |  Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.





  1. When the Holy Ghost is moving, He makes it clear to those who can hear Him. This article exemplifies what happened in this years Miss USA pageant, where Miss. California chose a crown in heaven over the earthly crown she could have won if she compromised God’s precepts.

    Comment by Digital Publius — April 27, 2009 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

  2. Hassan, your example was a point well made. Ms. California’s choice of serving her Lord now seems foolish to many I am sure, but in the end when the earthly crown she gave up has rusted away, her heavenly crown that she has will last forever. | cf. Hebrews 11:24-27.

    Comment by pilgrimskeyboard — April 27, 2009 @ 7:14 pm | Reply

  3. This was a meaningful article with an excellent point about creating our own bible. Thanks for sharing it. I love you. 🙂

    Comment by Cindy — April 28, 2009 @ 10:10 am | Reply

  4. Hello,
    Interesting, I`ll quote it on my site later.
    Thank you

    Comment by Jinny — May 1, 2009 @ 10:46 am | Reply

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