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Appendix 7: Seven Subtle Snares of Worldliness

1. Materialism

  • Explanation—Matter is all that matters.
  • Its Distortion—Deformed view of the world.
  • The Snare—I am what I own.
  • The Effect—Affluence, accumulation, occupied with things, consumer mentality, neglect spiritual things.

2. Activism

  • Explanation—I must fill my life with activity.
  • Its Distortion—Deformed view of work. Seeking from work what only God can give.
  • The Snare—I am what I do, what I produce.
  • The Effect—Neurotic, consuming ministry. Seeking significance from work rather than from the Lord.

3. Individualism

  • Explanation—I must depend on no one but myself.
  • Its Distortion—Deformed view of self. Produces a me-ism society.
  • The Snare—I am the source of my own life.
  • The Effect—Loneliness, resistance to authority, inability to work on a team.

4. Conformism

  • Explanation—Recognition by others is primary and necessary.
  • Its Distortion—Deformed view of the importance or the opinions of others.
  • The Snare—I am who others recognize me to be.
  • The Effect—Praise dependent, seeking significance from the approval of others.

5. Relativism

  • Explanation—It matters not what you believe as long as you believe something.
  • Its Distortion—Deformed view of truth. Refuses to recognize revealed truth.
  • The Snare—I am whatever I want to believe.
  • The Effect—Subjective approach to life, to Scripture; experience oriented, uncertain faith, emotional.

6. Secularism

  • Explanation—Man has no need of religion. Man is sufficient.
  • Its Distortion—Deformed view of man. Fails to take into account man’s sinfulness.
  • The Snare—I am sufficient to handle my affairs.
  • The Effect—Sunday only kind of Christian. Fail to integrate God into all areas of life or reject God completely.

7. Religionism

  • Explanation—If I am good, go to church, etc., I will be okay.
  • Its Distortion—Deformed view of God.
  • The Snare—I am okay because of my religious works and activities.
  • The Effect—Have some facts about God, engaged in some religious activity, but lacking in inner reality. Fail to integrate God into all areas of life.

Biblical Solutions

1. Materialism

  • Biblical Value—Spiritual and eternal values, treasures.
  • Responsibility—Renewal, reevaluation, trust in God rather than in things.
  • Result—Ability to follow God, ministry, laying up eternal treasures.

2. Activism

  • Biblical Value—Christ-directed ministry, His initiative.
  • Responsibility—Fellowship, prayer, sensitivity, openness.
  • Result—Peace, fruitfulness, rest, absence of burnout.

3. Individualism

  • Biblical Value—Body life, co-worker, no man an island.
  • Responsibility—Team work, submission to others, loving one another.
  • Result—Edification of the body.

4. Conformism

  • Biblical Value—Biblical sense of who I am in Christ. Accepted, belong, capable.
  • Responsibility—Learn to live as unto the Lord while resting in Him for my significance.
  • Result—Content, relaxed, able to love others and put them above self.

5. Relativism

  • Biblical Value—Biblical absolutes based on the index of the Bible.
  • Responsibility—Objective Bible study based on exegesis, not eisegesis.
  • Result—Confidence, divine guidance, knowing truth which gives freedom.

6. Secularism

  • Biblical Value—Biblical view of God and man.
  • Responsibility—Total dependence on God.
  • Result—Experience God in all areas of life.

7. Religionism

  • Biblical Value—Finished work of Christ plus obedience.
  • Responsibility—Rest in Christ’s work, honesty, openness, worship, faith.
  • Result—Ability to truly love God and people.

247 This information was adapted from material in Defeating the Dragons of the World, Resisting the Seduction of False Values, by Stephen D. Eyre, InterVarsity Press.

Related Topics: Hamartiology (Sin), Basics for Christians, Sanctification, Cultural Issues