Gross misunderstandings of Scripture can make you queasy

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When James exhorts us to not be friends with the world (“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?”, James 4:4), is he telling us that we should not be friends with those in the world who do not know Jesus?

It amazes me how some Christians can be so clear that when James tells us “faith without works is dead,” they don’t stray from the correct biblical principle that we are not saved by our deeds but by faith alone.

Well, maybe I am not that amazed.

You see, on YouTube – because of a selfish agenda – there are those who allege to be Christian who proffer that if you garner any approval from a non-believer, you are doing something wrong.

The selfish agenda is that these particular folks want to justify their mistreatment of non-believers by quoting misunderstood Scripture.

So, to those who proffer these inaccurate thoughts, since I know you read this blog, how do you reconcile the following?

I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world, 1 Corinthians 5:9-10

Face it. You can’t.

If you would please continue reading through the thought of James 4:5, may I point you to these words?

Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’

It is about putting your focus on things of the world at the expense of God. This is what James is warning against. This is what John was talking about when he warned us “not to love the things of this world” in 1 John.

For instance, when you create a man-made requirement that one must be Republican in order to be saved you are loving the things of the world. Or, when you tattoo flags to your body to show your loyalty to where you live (putting Jesus’ name on the tattoo doesn’t clean up the idolatry), this is classic “friends with the world” mentality.

Disagree with me? Sound off in the comments.

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In May, 2005, Rob was a secular, Jewish, thirty-something, Los Angeles, personal injury attorney whose idea of getting up early on a Sunday was getting up for the third quarter of the first televised, NFL games.

Thirsting on the idea of playing in a band for the first time in a decade, Rob finally accepted his neighbor's request to get up at seven-in-the-morning on Sundays in order to participate.

Eleven months later, his world was turned upside down by Jesus. Instantly, he began leading songs on the worship team and, today, he now leads that same LIFEhouse worship team in which he was initially invited to join as a non-believer.

God is cool like that.