Enemies of God. James 4:4.

May 17th, 2009

James 4:4.

 4:4.  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.

Enemies of God.

The core meaning of what this passage is about is that we should seek to always be friends of God. The world view of what is right, or acceptable may drift into various directions, but when in doubt, when a world opinion varies, stick to being friends with God.

The world at large doesn't believe in following God. As a whole, laws of society or government are good. They seek out for the general wellfare of the population. Civic laws protect the rights of a citezen, keep people from infringing on the rights of others, and generally lay ground rules for safe behavior. However, every so often, a social group, on the fringe of accepted culture grows enough to be placed in the forefront. That fringe element demands that their unique lifestyle should be embraced as normal. Or at least just as good as some alternate lifestyle. Is it really just as good? Should it be considered just as honorable?

James addresses adulterers. In his day, the Christian people were being swayed to be accepting and tolerant of this behavior. They might even have been persuaded to also take part. At least to accept it and acknowledge it as a valid lifestyle. Though Christians are called to show tender mercy to those who are ungodly, we are not called to support that kind of living. To be a friend to such things makes us enemies of God.

God doesn't make enemies. Human beings, or any being for that matter, make themselves an enemy when they turn from God and put distance between Them and him.

God created everything that we can know about. Our univers, our world, our environment, and all the living things in it. He created it ust the way he likes. He has a special love for the part of his creation that reflects him, namely, the people who choose to live according to his word that we have in the scriptures. But he loves all of his creation, even the parts that don't reflect his image.

To use a modern buzz word, we are to be tolerant of even sinners, as far as they are God's creation. God made them, they have the same good qualities built into them that God put in all of us. We have that common ground. When it comes to being a friend to a sinful practice, choose God.

What is sinful behavior? The world has its own measuring stick. But as any scientist, or engineer knows, any measuring stick has to be calibrated from time to time. A scale has to be zeroed out, delicate electronic measuring equipment needs to be serviced, using precise techniques to ensure it is still accurate. Even printed lines on a yard stick can't always be trusted. The paint may have chipped, or rubbd off, or the stick may have become worn at the ends, or bent, or nicked. Though it may be close enough for most jobs, it is no longer precise and accurate.

The bible, and the standards it lists there for human behavior are the ultimate calibration tool. When dispute arises about a world view being right, check it against the word of God. When a world view wants to be socially accepted, check it against the bible.

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