Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1 John 2:15
In the Followers, we defined anyone who was not one of us as a “worldly person.” That included all other religions and denominations. They were worldly churches and worldly preachers.
But the term worldly person is used outside of the FOC. In most secular contexts, it is actually a compliment. It is someone who is wise in the ways of the world. An educated, well-travelled person.
Here is how dictionary.com defines worldly:
[wurld-lee] Show IPA adjective,world·li·er, world·li·est, adverbadjective
1.of or pertaining to this world as contrasted with heaven,spiritual life, etc.; earthy;
2.experienced; knowing; sophisticated: the benefits of hisworldly wisdom.
3.devoted to, directed toward, or connected with the affairs,interests, or pleasures of this
4.of or pertaining to the people or laity; secular; neither ecclesiastical nor religious
5.Obsolete . of, pertaining to, or existing on earth.
Churches outside of the FOC also use the term worldly person to refer to someone who dresses in fashionable clothes, has stylish hair, wears a lot of make-up, listens to popular, secular music, and is overly involved in the relevant popular culture.
I have recently heard some reports (yes, gossip) about how Shannon Hickman is getting along in prison. Because her case was high profile and covered in the news media and newspapers, the women prisoners had preconceived notions of how she would be when she arrived among their ranks. The thing that surprised the other prisoners the most was how “worldly” she was. What do you mean by worldly I asked.
“Well, she is into popular music, movies, and TV shows.” So, apparently the other prisoners were expecting someone who did not watch television or listen to music. Maybe they had in mind an Amish woman.
Despite their criticism of her, Shannon has made a lot of friends in prison, but she was a bit unsure at first. Her counselor, realizing that she wasn’t a hardened criminal had advised her to watch out for the other inmates saying, “If a woman comes to you and says she has your back, it means she wants to sleep with you.” Well, imagine her response when a friendly inmate said just that to her, with no intention of sleeping with her.
The inmates at Coffee Creek are required to work full-time jobs for very little pay. They usually receive $100-$200 per month for the full time work. Out of that money, they are required to purchase their own uniforms, shoes, make-up, haircuts, and personal items. Shannon’s chosen job is in the prison chapel. She is a clerk for the religious library.
So what makes someone a “worldly person” to you? Is it someone who gets medical care? Goes to a “worldly church/chapel services”? Is it a positive thing – an educated, world traveler and life-long learner? Is it someone who cares too much about worldly possessions? Or something else?