Church & Culture
Comments 5

Holy Worldliness

The church has a double calling: on the one hand to live in the world, and on the other not to conform to the world. The first is a call to worldliness, as opposed to other worldliness—getting involved in the life of the world around us. The second calling is the call to holiness. We have no liberty to respond to one call without the other. Indeed, we may neither preserve our holiness by escaping from the world, nor may we sacrifice our holiness by conforming to the world.

Escapism, on the one hand, and conformism, on the other, are equally forbidden to Christian men and women. Instead we are to combine both callings to involvement and to separation. We are to develop what Dr. Alec Vidler, an Anglican scholar of the former generation, in his book “Essays in Liberality called “holy worldliness.”

Ezekiel 11:12? “You have not followed my decrees. You have not kept my laws. But you have conformed to the standards of the nations around you.”

2 Kings 17:15: “They imitated the nations around them, although the Lord had ordered them, ‘Do not do as they do.’”

Matthew 6:8: “Do not be like them.”

Romans 12:1, 2 “Do not conform any longer to the fashions of the world around you.”

Excerpt From John Stott's "Three challenges to the Contemporary church." Page 4


  1. Good point. Though as usual we must restrain from judging each other. The monastics could be accused of giving up their involvement, and so could the Amish, but I think the record shows they have had a great influence on their neighbors in this world. Regardless, I think you have made an excellent point about the two callings. Thank you.


    • thanks Carroll, you too have a great point. I thing it is necessary for you to point that out. And I agree with you. For me personally, without even thinking about the monastics and the Amish, I tend to want to escape as much as I can into a place where I have nothing to do with this “evil world” but I am reminded that I am called to live in this world and yet not be a part of it in a sense of conforming. Thank you much, appreciate your comment.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s